The phenomenal frequency of mob attacks on suspects of varying offenses in Nigeria has ceased to be merely a local concern among justice dispensation stakeholders and within Nigerian communities. Social media is evolving as an instrumental trigger of “jungle justice” and has consequently situated mob justice as a global issue that requires critical academic attention. The essence of this research is to expound on the evolving journalistic functions of social media as projectors of actions and reactions of the mob and extra-judicial activities. The paper examines the social news channel, the nature of the news agents, the contents (mob attacks) and the effects of these contents on the users. (Social) Media Effect theory is employed to establish that there is a relationship between media and mob justice. This relationship is described via the accessibility principle that forms part of the cognitive process model of media effect theory. Netnography is used to obtain information by sending unstructured questions to social media users on online platforms, and the data obtained are qualitatively analyzed. Findings from the research establish that social media is an extension of the street mob and enabler of mob justice.

Chapter One Summary

Attaining fairness, equity/equality and freedom by members of any democratic society is complex and a work-in-progress, determined by putting in place the combinations of individual and social behavior (in terms of moral reasoning) as well as well-established egalitarian and democratic institutions and structures. It, therefore, becomes an issue of concern when several loopholes and alarming setbacks are identified within the system. It is from this background that this paper discusses the evolving journalistic functions of social media as projectors of actions and reactions of the mob and extra-judicial activities

Chapter Two Summary

The above patterns of social media usage in relation to mob justice are discussed in turn below.

Information obtained from the respondents establish the following:

  1. The majority of social media users get information about “jungle justice” or mob attacks from social
  2. These information come in forms of videos and pictures of incidences of mob attacks
  3. These incidences are mostly captured by amateurs who are at the scenes of mob attacks, most times, received and forwarded by social media users.
  4. Spreading and viewing of images of mob attacks have not aided the reduction in the frequency and intensity of mob justice but have rather increased them.

Chapter Three summary

The study employed qualitative (focus group interview) to determine audiences emotional responses to the ‘horrific’ images of jungle justices. The method is useful in investigating audience emotional responses to the victims of jungle justice. The qualitative (interview) method is the best according to easwaramoorthy and zarinpoush (2006) when it has to do with generating data on audiences especially when it involves opinion, feeling, thoughts and experiences. In this case, the study investigates the emotional and opinionated responses of nigerian audiences towards victims of jungle justice.

Chapter Four Summary

In investigating the audiences’ emotional reaction towards the horrific images of jungle justice as depicted on the social media, the first research question asked to the participants focused on how they feel after seeing the images of jungle justice victims. Video clips of some victims of jungle justice were played from YouTube. Interestingly, seven out of the eight participants representing the majority were touched by these images they saw while only one participant seemed not to have been moved emotionally by the images of suffering victims

Chapter Five summary

Mob justice is becoming not only a social menace but also of global concern. It has developed to be an international issue because the internet has expanded its scope beyond the geographical entity called Nigeria. Concerns have shifted from the general understanding that these illegal activities of ad hoc groups, who unlawfully and indiscreetly administer justice, are manifestations of failing criminal justice system. Other perspectives to explain the increasing level of jungle justice are emerging. Social media, along with its several positive functions, has been identified, on the basis of theoretical assumptions and empirical findings, as not only a trigger for mob attacks but as an extension of the mob, the perpetrators and keen onlookers.


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