|Chapter title||Alternative Responses to Presidential Tweets on Elections in Africa: A New Counter Power?|
|Editors||Ndlela M. and Mano W.|
Twitter has emerged as an important counter-power to “big men” politics in Africa. Long denied access to mainstream media, which is captured by commercial and political interests, ordinary Africans have had to rely on alternative communication to challenge and counter untruths and lies from political leaders who routinely steal elections and behave in an authoritarian manner. The presidential tweets give the impression that they are delivering on election promises, and yet hide many problems on the grounds, including denial of social, economic and political rights to Africans. The chapter demonstrates how social media has emerged as an important avenue for some citizens to expose such hypocrisy, register dissent and to offer counter-narratives that challenge presidential propaganda in Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe, even though the wider ramifications of these alternate tweets for electoral politics are arguably at an initial stage. What is undeniable is that the relative ease of creating and disseminating social media content is broadening political communication and giving rise to new ways of civic participation and agency in electoral politics across Africa. The distributed intelligence of social media is resulting in new hope for democratisation but has also become a thorn in the flesh for those in power. What is at stake is the increased power of user-consumers, which is resulting from easier access, digital behaviours and freer speech than before. Being in charge will never be the same for those in power in Africa. The voice of the marginalised voters, both individuals and collectives, is growing louder as they tweet back to counter electoral lies and misinformation from their leaders.
|Keywords||Twitter Counter-narratives Political communication Civic participation Agency|
|Book title||Ndlela M., Mano W. (eds) Social Media and Elections in Africa, Volume 1. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham|
|Published||03 Jan 2020|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-30553-6_4|
|Web address (URL)||https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-30553-6_4#citeas|