ASSESSMENT OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN DOCUMENTING HUMAN RIGHT VIOLATION IN AFRICA

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Abstract

The study is on assessment of social media in documenting human right violation in Africa.The total population for the study is 200 staff of National human right commission, Abuja. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made lawyers, researchers, senior staffs and junior staffs were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies

 CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background of the study

The Internet and social media have become increasingly important in political activity. Blogging, video-sharing and tweeting were crucial in the political events in Africa. They are important to human rights defenders everywhere. But the use of these new technologies to assert old freedoms has been met with repression by some governments. It is hard to imagine modern life without some form of media and communication technology accompanying everyday activities. Human life is surrounded by technologies that provide us with the opportunity and means of information, connection, entertainment, education, creation of our own art or content, but also to conduct businesses, buy and sell and work. Not confined to the living room anymore, the media are mobile, versatile, converged, and available around the clock. The new media have been heralded as promising and liberating technologies: From their everyday use of posting photos of family and friends and connecting with them via Facebook, for example, to political participation, as in the recent Europe-wide protests for social justice and the Arab Spring, their role in times of crisis is multifaceted bringing together people and supporting democratic participation At the same time however, the new media forms prompt old questions anew with regards to common understandings and practices of upholding human rights. Digital technologies, global markets and shifts in political and other forms of constellation around the world, from situations of crisis and fear of terrorism to financial meltdowns and civil unrest, have provided the framework within which governmental organisations as well as private corporations have turned their attention to the ways in which digital communications can be used to serve their purposes. There are various issues in relation to the ways in which new communication technologies and in particular the digital media world pose new challenges to established – and yet fragile – human rights, not only in regions that are historically traumatised by human rights violations, but also in so-called Western democracies whose track record and official commitment to safeguarding of human rights is generally much better. The areas mostly affected by the new environment of digital communications are the right of freedom of speech and related right of assembly and association (see Nowak, “Freedom of Expression, Association and Assembly”), and the right to privacy (see Nowak “Right to Family Life and Privacy”). At the same time, the fact that information and communication technologies are so widely integrated into every aspect of life, has led many to argue for rights related to access to these technologies, in particular to the internet. This accompanies claims for the introduction and inclusion of the right to communicate, as a widely encompassing right that aims to recognise the multifaceted functions and roles of human communication.

ASSESSMENT OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN DOCUMENTING HUMAN RIGHT VIOLATION IN AFRICA