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Crisis, social media and fake news in Sub-Saharan Africa: The case of the Anglophone problem in Cameroon
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Media and Communication Science. (DEMICOM)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4082-3349
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines and compares the verifiability of the news stories disseminated on Facebook, by the government and the secession activists in relation to the ongoing Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. I argue that the power, structure and affordance of Facebook provide a fertile ground for partisan activists in authoritarian political contexts of the Sub-Saharan Africa, to inundate the public with strategic false information, inundate with the intention of mobilizing public opinion support and advancing political agendas. Theoretically, I draw from the news content models of fake news classification and the theory of framing. Empirically, I use a quantitative content analysis method to analyze the news published on Honneur et fidélité and Baretanews, respectively Facebook pages of the Cameroon government and the exiled Anglophone activist, called Mark Bareta. The period of analysis includes four weeks (15th August 2018-15th September 2018). The results show that the secessionist activist published more news stories on Facebook than the Cameroonian government. However, the information circulated on Baretanews severely lacked basic elements of reliability, while the stories shared on Honneur et fidélité were consistently corroborated by visual cues and attributed sources. Moreover, the secessionist activist used mainly the conflict and the attribution of responsibility frames, whereas the Cameroonian government use the conflict and human-interest frames.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Fake news, Facebook, political activism, Anglophone crisis, government
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-37197OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-37197DiVA, id: diva2:1350389
Conference
69th Annual ICA conference, Communication Beyond Boundaries, WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, 24-28 May 2019
Available from: 2019-09-11 Created: 2019-09-11 Last updated: 2019-09-18Bibliographically approved

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Nounkeu Tatchou, Christian

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf