Digital Images on Social Media and Proliferation of Fake News on Covid-19 in Kano, Nigeria


Covid-19 digital images fake news Kano Nigeria and social media

How to Cite

Kurfi, M., Msughter, M., & Mohamed, I. (2021). Digital Images on Social Media and Proliferation of Fake News on Covid-19 in Kano, Nigeria. Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 3(1), 103-124.


Misinformation becomes rampant in the digital age and social media provide people with the opportunities for engaging more actively in society. The objectives of the study are: (i) to ascertain the extent to which residents of Kano have been exposed to digital images on Covid-19 that often accompany fake news in social media; (ii) to establish the extent to which residents of Kano are influenced by fake news on Covid-19 with images; (iii) to find out the factors that often lead to the influence of fake news with digital images on Covid-19 among social media users in Kano; (iv) to ascertain the social media platforms mostly used in spreading fake news about Covid-19 in the state. Theoretically, Technological Determinism and Perception theories were adopted to analyze these issues. A Positivist approach to data generation and analysis was adopted using the survey method. Two local governments were selected for the study: Tarauni and Kano Municipal. Tarauni local government area had the highest number of the Covid-19 cases, while Kano Municipal had the lowest number. The population of the study consist of 593,087 with a sample size of 400 respondents derived from Taro Yamane’s sample size prediction table. The respondents were reached through cluster sampling. A total of 400 copies of questionnaires were administered to respondents in Tarauni and Kano Municipal. However, only 385 copies, which represent (96%), were retrieved and found usable for the study as the remaining 15 were not returned. The study found that Kano residents were significantly exposed to digital images that often accompany fake news in social media. They read news online every day, prefer news accompanied by images, share and like news online. The study also found that Kano residents are influenced by fake news with digital images on Covid-19 to a very great extent, especially on Facebook. Factors responsible for proliferation of fake news on social media include: perception or instinct, eagerness to be the first to share images and lack of knowledge about image verification tools. The study concludes that ignorance and the old belief that pictures do not lie were responsible for this.


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