Field Data of The Impact of Virtual Private Network (VPN) On Nigerians During The 2021 Twitter Ban

Published: 14 June 2024| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/bfgft92hw8.2


Field Data_The Impact of Virtual Private Network (VPN) On Nigerians During The 2021 Twitter Ban ABSTRACT This study investigates the impact of the 2021 Twitter ban in Nigeria, focusing on the frequency and awareness of Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and Twitter usage among Nigerians. Employing a survey research method, data was collected from 400 respondents through online and offline questionnaires, the research examines how Nigerians adapted to the ban. It finds a significant decline in Twitter usage from 70.5% to 61% among the respondents post-ban, reflecting the Media System Dependency Theory's implications on disrupted information access and communication. The study also observes an increased adoption of VPNs, particularly IPVanish, aligning with the Technology Acceptance Model's focus on perceived ease of use and usefulness. Limited awareness and understanding of VPNs among Nigerians were noted, indicating a need for greater digital literacy. The demographic analysis reveals a predominant user base among young adults (21 to 25 years), with no significant gender disparity. The study reveals resilience and adaptability in response to digital censorship, stressing the necessity for balanced regulation of digital spaces, user-centric technology design, and enhanced digital literacy. While centred on Nigeria's Twitter ban, the findings offer broader insights into the global interaction of technology, policy, and human behaviour, advocating for open and accessible digital environments. The research highlights the intricate dynamics of social media, VPN adoption, and demographic factors, underscoring the need for nuanced regulatory approaches and continuous user education in Nigeria's online landscape.


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The study employed the survey research method to delve into the frequency and awareness of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Twitter usage among Nigerians amidst the 2021 Twitter ban. This methodology facilitated systematic data collection, analysis, and evaluation, with questionnaires serving as the principal tool for data gathering. Recognizing the effectiveness of surveys in capturing public opinion, attitudes, and orientations within diverse populations over specific timeframes (Nyekwere et al., 2014), this approach was deemed appropriate for investigating the nuanced dynamics of VPN adoption and social media usage during a period of digital restriction. In terms of sample selection and sampling technique, the study comprised 400 respondents strategically chosen from various states across Nigeria to ensure comprehensive representation. Utilizing a stratified random sampling method, demographic variables such as age, gender, and geographical location were considered to enhance the generalizability of findings to the broader Nigerian population. The design of the self-administered structured questionnaire, which incorporated a mix of open-ended and close-ended questions, aimed to facilitate a nuanced exploration of respondents' experiences and perspectives. Additionally, to accommodate diverse connectivity situations, both online-based and offline-based data collection methods were employed, leveraging platforms like Google Forms for online surveys and tools such as ODK Collect for offline surveys. Moreover, recognizing the need for deeper insights, a qualitative component was integrated into the research design, involving interviews and focus group discussions. This qualitative approach allowed for an exploration of nuanced perspectives related to VPN usage and Twitter engagement during the ban, with thematic analysis applied to complement the quantitative findings (Wimmer & Dominick, 2011). Ensuring the reliability of the research instrument, a reliability analysis was conducted, computing Cronbach’s coefficient alphas for each dimension of the questionnaire. The study demonstrated a good standard of reliability, with values exceeding the acceptable lower limit as recommended by Nunnally et al. (1994). Additionally, to bolster the robustness and validity of the findings, Pearson Correlation testing was employed, facilitating an examination of relationships between variables such as Twitter usage patterns before and during the ban, as well as the correlation between the frequency of Twitter use and the duration of usage.


University of Lagos, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta


Social Media, Virtual Private Network, Policy, International Media, Twitter