Social Media Addictions

“I’m an addict, I just get lost in facebook” replies a young mother when asked why she does not see herself able to help her daughter with her home work. Instead, she spends time chatting and browsing the social networking sites with rising numbers of facebook, Twitter and Instagram users.

Africa is increasingly gaining prominence in the sphere of social networking. Qualitative analyses of relevant secondary data show that children and youths aged between 13 and 30 constitute Africa’s heaviest users of social media.

On internet, people engage in a variety of activities some of which may be potentially addictive. Rather than becoming addicted to the medium perse, some users may develop an addiction to specific activities they carry out online.

Addiction is a disease. The annoying and undying love youths have for social media is unprecedented. Most students have probably and almost forgotten the real spelling of some simple words and cannot improve on the ones they knew. Most ladies feel more pressured to get known and popular online and are easily pressured or bullied to be sexually promiscuous while online in order to get attention from boys likes, comments and shares.

Online chats encourage sexual bullying. Interactions almost end up being sexualized, so it’s posting and self representation too, especially on instagram. Social media are killing the child in our children.

As you walk along major roads and streets, you will see them holding tight to their mobile phones and in public transport buses their phones become their ultimate companions.

Specifically, we can argue that there are five different types of internet addiction, namely computer addiction (i.e. computer game addiction), cyber sexual addiction (i.e. online pornography), information download (i.e. web surfing addiction), online gambling and internet shopping addiction, and cyber-relationship addiction (i.e. an addiction to online relationships).

Now, social networking sites appear to fall on the last category. It may be plausible to speak on facebook, instagram, twitter, and Google because addiction criteria, such as neglect of personal life, mental preoccupation, escapism, mood modifying,, experiences, tolerance, and concealing the addictive behaviour, appear to be present in some people who use social networking sites excessively.

In terms of history, the first social networking site (six pegreas) was launched in 1997. In 2004, the most successful current networking site facebook, was established as a chased virtual community for Harvard students. The site expanded very quickly and now facebook currently have over 500 million users, of whom over 60 percent log on to it every day.

No doubt, the phenomenon of the social media has in no small measure, impacted positively on the development of the Nigerian youth and indeed, Nigerians at large. Youths have become better informed and educated by constantly abreast of global news.

It has also provided a platform for unemployed youths to either be gainfully employed or become aware of job opportunities across the world. Aside this, it has provided unlimited platform for genuine business transactions and has delivered people from abject poverty.

The positive sides are many but the negative sides, arguably are much more. The negative effects seem to take much heavier toll on the youths. From cyber bullying, which is alarming for the cultured teens to youths, people are constantly duped, kidnapped, raped, and even killed most especially by strangers who claim to be friends from these faked online personality.

From all said, everything in life has it positive and negative sides. We must try and maintain order by balancing in order to be on the good side. The social media has provided unlimited possibilities for Nigeria youths, however, in view of its shortcomings, it’s obvious, youths are to be carefully and continually enlightened on the good, the bad and the ugly sides of social media.

Parents, Guardians, NGO

Government play major roles in the enlightenment and teaching of the balancing methods of the social media usage in order to properly harness the positive sides only for personal development. This would go a long way in reconstructing the child in our Nigerian children and youths at large.


Woman Shot Dead For Recording Neighbour’s Fight

Mother-of-three Willyene Mathias Siqueira, 22, was shot on Wednesday, September 27 as she filmed a vicious fight between her two neighbours.

She had been filming an argument going on between her neighbours on her cellphone.  The neighbours, a husband and wife had started arguing in their home, then they took the fight out into the street in Santana de Cataguases, Brazil. The argument was reportedly resulting from a row about their children.

As Willyene filmed the fight, her 40-year-old neighbour, the man fighting his wife, walked up to her, pulled a gun from his pocket and shot her twice reportedly while trying to shoot the cell phone she was recording with.

The fight occurred in Santana de Cataguases in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. Willyene was taken to the Hospital de Cataguases where her condition was initially described as “critical”. She later died on Saturday.

Military Police launched a manhunt for the 40-year-old suspect, who had fled his home.

He was found a few hours later in his house, where officers also discovered a gun and ammunition.

He is now in police custody and could be charged with murder.

Think Before You Share That Picture By Yemisi Adegoke

You know the kind of picture I’m talking about. The images of the badly injured, maimed or dead people.  Women, men, children, half naked or dishevelled, limbs dismembered or twisted into an impossible angle. Pools of bloods on the ground or on the walls.

Thanks to Whatsapp and the continued explosion of other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, these images, or videos are becoming increasingly difficult to avoid.

Scenes of carnage, horror and devastation. I could go on but I’m sure by now you have an idea what I’m talking about. Perhaps you’ve been sent some of these images today or shared some, but it’s time to rethink what you’re doing. Nigerian news outlets, bloggers, the general public at large, you need to stop sharing these videos and images. Just stop.

Every time you click, share or send one of these graphic videos, showing people at their most defenceless at their most vulnerable, you are contributing to the dehumanization of Africans.

Just look at how the African body is portrayed across the world. If it’s not overly sexualized, it’s famine or disease ridden, it’s destitute, it’s dying, it’s dead. Horrific incidents happen the world over, but graphic images are not always used to tell those stories.  Ask yourself how many times you’ve seen the dead or maimed bodies of Europeans published in newspapers or circulated on social media in the aftermath of a terrorist attack? Or any other violent and senseless act?

International media outlets usually take many things into account before publishing a graphic image, namely; whether or not use of the image is justified, is the image necessary for the story or if it’s solely for shock value, among others. Certain procedures are usually followed when it comes to being able to identify the dead, faces are usually blurred to protect victims and their families. How many outlets here take similar caution? And what message does this send out regarding how we value the lives of our own people?

Sharing such images of black bodies is not only dehumanizing, it gives non-Africans the ‘permission’ to classify Africans as “others.” If we are publishing and sharing pictures of ourselves like this, people from other cultures can do the same, under the guise of ‘their culture is different,’ although they wouldn’t normally.  Culture may be different but humanity, decency and respect should apply equally to all.
It could be argued that at times graphic imagery has its place. Take the tragic image of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned in the Mediterranean. The distressing image of his dead body on a beach quickly went viral and sparked international outrage about the handling of the migrant crisis.

The same could be said for the image of Omran Daqneesh, the five-year-old Syrian boy who was photographed bloodied and covered head to toe in dust after an airstrike, sitting calmly in the back of an ambulance in Aleppo. He quickly became a symbol of the horrors of the Syrian civil war and was pushed to the top of the international agenda.

In the Nigerian context however, can we argue that the graphic images are published and shared are done so with the same intention? Are they all necessary or for shock value? Pictures of bloodied, maimed and dead Nigerians are now so commonplace now and to what end?

Photos were widely shared of the horrific attack at St Phillips Catholic church in Ozubulu, Anambra in August Graphic images of dead parishioners, were posted everywhere, even by media organizations, the identities barely concealed, if concealed at all. Blood everywhere, and to what end? Was it necessary? Would the church attack be less horrific if these images were not circulated?

Instead these victims; mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters were stripped of their dignity for clickbait, what if those people were your loved ones? If their lasting image in the minds of others was the worst moment of their lives?

We must stop sharing these images, we must challenge our media outlets on whether it is appropriate to publish and shares, we must stop being active participants in our own degradation and dehumanization.

4 Ways To Avoid Twitter Scams

Created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams and launched in July of that year, Twitter is today one of the world’s most popular social media networks. The micro-blogging service was one of the 10 most-visited websites in 2013 and has been described as “the SMS of the Internet”. As of 2016, Twitter had more than 319 million monthly active users.

The growing popularity of the medium and the numerous revenue-generating opportunities it offers to users has seen scammers and other con artists come up with unscrupulous means to compromise the accounts of unsuspecting users and/or swindle them of their hard-earned money.

This piece by the research and development unit of Yudala, composite e-commerce site, sheds some light on the most common Twitter scams to avoid.

1. Pay-for-new-followers scam: In addition to individuals caught in the vanity trap of acquiring more followers to shore up their social media image, a number of organisations have also fallen prey to this particular scam. In most cases, the perpetrators of this phoney scheme succeed in tricking the user to sign up for a service that is guaranteed to deliver loads of new followers for a fee. Victims of this scam are often won over by the bogus promises of the scammers who claim to possess databases of millions of Twitter users with the right interests who can be targeted and converted to new followers by the subscriber. Apart from the financial losses that come from falling prey to this scam, you or your organisation may also end up being accused or reported for spamming other users and eventually have your account suspended from Twitter.

2. Work-from-home schemes: With the growing popularity of the micro-blogging service, a number of new revenue-generating streams have emerged on Twitter. Users who have managed to organically build up a huge follower base have risen to the status of influencers, often patronised by brands and other advertisers to endorse their products with targeted tweets often for an agreed fee. Riding on this, a very common Twitter scam, offering users an opportunity to make money from home by tweeting about other people’s products, has also become popular. Research shows that most gullible victims are often asked to part with some money as sign-up fee to get a starter kit for the service. This involves parting with a credit card number from which the fraudsters keep charging a hidden membership fee on a monthly basis. This scam goes on until the exasperated user wises up to the game and cancels the credit card.

3. Twitter phishing scam: Phishing refers to the activity of tricking people by getting them to give their identity, bank account numbers and other sensitive information over the Internet or by email and then using these to steal money from them. Ever come across a link on Twitter which re-directs you to a legitimate-looking site that requires you to supply personal information? You may just be about to become a victim of one of the most sophisticated Twitter phishing scams. By forging emails from legitimate sites such as banks, e-commerce sites, airline companies and educational institutions,  phishing scammers lure users into disclosing personal details such as name, credit card details, and password, among others.

4. Fake Direct Messages (DMs): Direct messages are communications or posts sent privately to another Twitter user while signed on to the platform. Scammers have been known to rely on sending fake DMs as a means of gaining access to or compromising the accounts of other users. This occurs when scammers use a hijacked account to send out seemingly innocuous direct messages.

In most reported cases, the messages include links which re-direct users to fake login pages requiring the supply of credentials or login details. Once a user falls victim and provides the required details, the compromised account is taken over by the scammer who can then use it for a number of nefarious purposes. Fake direct messages are also used by other fraudsters whose interests go beyond compromising users’ accounts to actually swindling them of money and other valuables often by offering phantom oil blocs and other incredible investments or preying on elderly ladies in what is popularly known in these parts as 419 scams.

-Twitter viruses and spyware: This is another less popular means of hijacking the accounts of Twitter users. In most cases, the scam originates from tempting messages or erotic pictures sent by faceless accounts followed by a link. Once a user clicks on the link, it immediately re-directs to a site from which malicious software is uploaded onto your computer or device. A few cases have also been reported of messages that originated from a regular follower, a friend or relative whose accounts have been hijacked and used to trap their unsuspecting contacts. Another variant of this particular scam is the sending out of messages offering access to a programme that, when installed, could let you know who has been checking out your Twitter profile or who has unfollowed you. Once downloaded, the user inadvertently installs spyware which grants unauthorized access to his/her account.

Source: PM News

Man Jailed For Insulting, Defaming Katsina Governor on Social Media

A Katsina Chief Magistrate’s Court has sentenced one Gambo Saeed to nine months imprisonment for insulting and defaming the character of Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State on social media.

Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari

Saeed resides in Muduru village in Mani Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The Police Prosecutor, Insp. Isa Liti, earlier told the court that Saeed was arraigned following complaints received from Mr Mansur Ali Mashi, Senior Special Assistant (SSA), to the Governor on Radio Monitoring.

He said “Mashi said the accused person abused Masari and called him names on social media.

“He said the accused person posted on the media that it was Gov. Masari who influenced the impeachment of Speaker of Katsina State House of Assembly, Aliyu Muduru.’’

Liti said police arrested the accused person and arraigned him for intentional insult, defamation of the governor’s character and inciting disturbance.

The charges were in accordance with sections 399, 392 and 114 of the Penal Code.

He also explained that the accused person confessed to have committed the offences. Delivering the judgment on Monday in Katsina, Chief Magistrate Abdu Ladan, said the court has found the accused person guilty of the said offences; each charge attracts three years imprisonment.

Ladan then sentenced the accused to nine months imprisonment without option of fine.


All That Comes With Social Media

At the opening of the 2017 press week of the Delta State Council of the Nigerian Union Of Journalists, speakers discussed social media and all that comes with it.

Emmanuel Uduaghan, immediate past governor of the state who was the chairman of the occasion was pleased with the opportunity to speak his mind about the theme of the program-“Journalists,Social Media, and Good Governance” which he admitted once being a victim of the menace of social media.

In his opening remarks, which set the tone for the lecture delivered by renowned professor of constitutional law and former Edo State governor, Oserheimen Osunbor, Uduaghan described the social media as a leveler because everyone has access to it, and so provides the forum for everybody to air anything in his mind – the good, the bad and the ugly. “But the result of that is that the ugly seem to be overtaking the bad and the good. So, we have a lot more ugly posts in the social media than posts that are acceptable”, Uduaghan opined. He said while it has the advantage of immediacy, “that speed has its disadvantage because once a wrong information goes into the social media, it’s very difficult to retrieve it”, adding that even when you are able to retrieve it, or correct it, sometimes, not more than 10 percent of the people who read the first message will agree with the corrected message, while 90 percent will still be going on with the wrong message.

Uduaghan was particularity concerned about the situation in Delta State where he allerrged that blackmail has been made a big profession. Getting emotional, Uduaghan said “I am a man of peace; I have managed the state for eight years and I ensured that there was peace in Delta State, and I will not be part of anything that would bring insecurity to Delta State. And if I perceive that my action might bring insecurity to Delta State, I will also say it to the government. I think I have discussed this with the SSG before and advised him, but I have not seen the result of that advise. That is why I am saying it publicly”.

Instagram Increases Video Recording Time To 60 Seconds

Two months after letting advertisers extend their videos to 60 seconds, Instagram is granting the same privilege to regular users.

Instagram videos, which have been limited to 15 seconds since they were introduced in June 2013, can now extend to a full minute.

Like its corporate parent, Instagram has been gradually transforming its feed from a stream of static images to a more lucrative collection of videos.

In the past six months, the time Instagram users spent watching videos has increased 40 percent, the company says.

Instagram has helped that along by adding public view counts, which spur publishers and advertisers to make more videos.

The company also began collecting top videos around special occasions and promoting them at the top of the feed, Snapchat-style.

Today’s update for Instagram on iOS will also return a useful tool to creators: the ability to create a video using multiple clips from the camera roll.

Dozens of apps had cropped up to stitch your video clips together; you can now do it inside Instagram once again.

The update is rolling out today on iOS and Android.

Twitter To Shut Down Tweetdeck For Windows, April 15

Twitter has announced that it will no longer support the Windows version of its TweetDeck application. The company said that this change will take effect on April 15 and says that you can still use TweetDeck, but just on the Web.

No specific reason was given for the termination of support for the Windows version of the app, but it’s possible that Twitter may not have enough resources available to manage this along with Chrome and iOS versions.

Although Twitter has released updates to its platform over the past few years, such as support for polls and animated GIFs, some had complained that the company wasn’t doing more for TweetDeck. It responded in today’s blog post saying that it has been “working on infrastructure projects … to ensure we have a stable foundation to continue improving TweetDeck in the future.” Twitter went on to state that over the past year, it “shipped features such as TweetDeck Teams, group Direct Messages, and a confirmation step before Tweeting, as well as new search filters to make it easier to surface Vines, GIFs, Periscopes, and older content.”

In other news, product manager Amy Zima also unveiled a “seamless log-in experience” on the Twitter platform. This means that when you’re jumping between different Twitter-owned properties, such as, its analytics, or even TweetDeck, you’ll automatically be logged in.

Nigerian Listed Among Top 30 Global Social Media Influencers

TIME magazine has recognised 25-year-old Nigerian-born American blogger Angie Nwandu, among the 30 most influential people on the Internet.

Nwandu of the celebrity gossip site, “The Shade Room’’ (TSR) came 20th, ahead of Kim Kardashian, Drake, Tess Holiday, Peter Bouckart, among others.

According to the international magazine, Nwandu, within two years, transformed TSR, an Instagram account and blog, to a flourishing media empire,

“As more and more of our own daily interactions happen online, so, too, does celebrity drama. And Nwandu, 25, has made it her business to capture it.

“Two years ago, she started TSR an Instagram account and blog that aims to be like Page Six for celebrities on social media: a chronicle of who likes whose posts, who comments on whose photos, and who starts following (or better yet, unfollowing) each other.

“Since then, TSR has become a burgeoning media empire, replete with its own tipsters, staff (there are now four full-time employees), and advertisers—all of whom serve an audience of 3.9 million. And counting’’ it said.

Also listed among the 30 most influential personalities are, International football maestro, Cristiano Ronaldo and US presidential hopeful, Donald Trump. (NAN)