For over two weeks, young people in Nigeria took to the streets to protest against alleged widespread police brutality in the country. The recent protests sprang up after a video surfaced on social media allegedly showing members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) shooting a man to death and then driving away in his vehicle.
From the moment that the video surfaced online, protesters have employed technology to protest against police brutality both online and on the streets. In this article, Business A.M examines specifically the role that technology has played in the #Endsars protests.
Twitter takes centre stage
Twitter has continued to serve as the amplification channel for protests across the world. The real-time value of the social media channel continues to provide value for activists across the world. The #Endsars protests dominated the twitter-sphere throughout the last two weeks with various hashtags related to the protest dominating the trend list across the world with the main hashtag #Endsars hitting number one on the trend list last week.
New money: Protesters adopt bitcoin to avoid government sanctions
At the beginning of the protests, organisations like the End SARS Response, Feminist Coalition and others accepted donations employing the traditional route of bank transfers. But as the protests dragged on, the donations became a bit more centralised with the Feminists Coalition accepting donations via online platform, Flutterwave. But with alleged interference from the government, the protesters quickly adopted cryptocurrency donations.
Going Live: Clear pieces of evidence beyond doubt
One of the biggest trends that we have noticed during the protests is that more and more protesters are embracing the live video function to tell their stories. Tuesday night’s debacle saw different protesters going live on their Instagram and Facebook accounts to share live video feeds of the fracas between men of the Nigerian Army and the protesters at the Lekki toll gate. One of the most important moment during the bloody debacle was captured when Nigerian DJ and musician, DJ Switch went live on Instagram to broadcast live feed of happenings at the Lekki toll gate.
Geo-tagging and timestamping becomes a trend
As many protesters began to share video evidence and photos online, government sources started dismissing them as fake. In response to this, protesters and other citizens began to adopt technology solutions to counter government sources. Two of the biggest trends that began to emerge after this was automatic geotagging as well as manual timestamping. Geotagging is a process where geographical metadata is added to a media file in order to help identify the geographical location where the file was created. Media Archives: The new way to document One of Nigeria’s biggest problem is that the country has had issues with documenting and keeping records. Many important occurrences in the nation’s history are neither documented nor preserved, making it a huge issue for people to go back and be educated about pieces of history that interest them