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January 21, 2024
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Abeokuta-born Nobel Laureate, Soyinka, labels Nigeria’s social media as barbaric

Renowned Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, expressed his dismay at the deteriorating state of social media in Nigeria, lamenting that it has descended to the “least denominator” and fallen into the hands of what he referred to as “barbarians.”

Speaking at the 48th President’s party and his investiture as an honorary member of the prestigious Abeokuta Club in Ogun State on Saturday, Soyinka contrasted the intellectual engagement on social media in other parts of the world with the situation in Nigeria. He emphasized that social media, in more developed regions, remains a valid means of interaction due to the intellectual content and reasoned engagements by users.

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However, he highlighted the reverse scenario in Nigeria, where the intellectual aspect has been overshadowed. Soyinka pointed out that even a simple disagreement during elections could lead to individuals being labeled with unfounded accusations on social media.

“In a situation where disagreement in an election can lead one to be labeled with something phobia or whatever. The social media is awash with accusations of one being a kind of ethnophobic. So strange to me but that is what we have been reduced to,” Soyinka remarked.

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Addressing the gathering, which included the Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, and other prominent individuals, Soyinka urged the intellectual community to rescue the nation from the negative aspects of social media.

Expressing his astonishment, Soyinka stated, “I don’t deal in social media. As far as I’m concerned, barbarians have taken over social media and they have swapped the intellectual quotient which used to make and still make social media valid in other societies.”

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In conclusion, he called for a return to reasoned discussions and intellectual engagements on social media, emphasizing the need for the community of intellectual minds and creativity to counteract the negative trends that have plagued social media in Nigeria.

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