Main Article Content

The terror of images: Interrogating selected Facebook postings in Nigeria

Rasheedah Liman


New media makes it possible to connect people who share interests and activities across political, economic and geographical borders through instant  messaging. The widespread adaptation of Facebook may be attributed to the fact that it offers some unique features and modifications compared to  other platforms and social networking sites. Facebook is said to have about 1.65 billion users as at 2017, totalling to almost a quarter of the world’s  population. Nigeria has the highest users of Facebook in Africa. People of course use Facebook for different purposes. Unfortunately there are ample  evidence that terrorists or terrorists’ groups are using this tool to communicate and encourage their followers and supporters to carry out acts of terror.  And terrorism is one of the biggest threats to peace and stability of Nigeria, especially national security and socio-economic developments. This paper is  however concerned with another kind of terrorism, which is the terror of images posted on Facebook by particularly some users in Nigeria. Stories of  violence and graphic images are often posted on individual pages containing uncensored and unedited horrific detail. Watching these images and feeling  the anguish of those directly affected has a way of creating stress and anxiety for other Facebook users. In fact, there are studies that have  established that constant exposure to gory images can cause post-traumatic stress disorder. As a result, Facebook has started placing warnings for  graphic videos and images that have been flagged as offensive or inappropriate. However, most of these violent images still appear on trends and  newsfeeds. But why are some Nigerians fascinated with sharing violent images without warning their friends about what they are about to see? Content  analysis and questionnaire is applied to interrogate selected graphic images posted on Facebook by Nigeria users. 

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2971-6748
print ISSN: 0189-9562