#EndSARS Protest


#EndSARS Digital Social Movement Activism Nigeria Protest 21st Century

How to Cite

Inobemhe, K., & Santas, T. (2022). #EndSARS Protest. Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 4(4), 100-124. https://doi.org/10.46539/gmd.v4i4.241


This paper “#EndSARS Protest: A Discourse on Impact of Digital Media on 21st Century Activism” examines the role of digital media in a new generation of activism with a critical assessment of the protest in Nigeria. Specifically, the paper expands on the meaning of social media activism, finds out ways digital media was deployed in mobilisation and management of the protest and also delves into how social media pose as challenge to activism within the context of series of anti-police brutality protests that took place in Nigeria. Specifically, the study looked at how, despite the failure of mainstream media in the country to give the movement prominence, technology (through social media) helped to encourage transnational activism and global solidarity with respect to #EndSARS. The paper relied on existing literature through the use of library research technique. It utilised the technological determinism theory – that served as its theoretical base or foundation. The paper found, among others, that digital media especially social media played significant roles in mobilisation and management of the protest. It also revealed that due to the power that digital platforms wield, authority may be tempted to introduce some form of regulations that may hinder their use. The paper concludes that, indeed, digital media have tremendous impact on 21st century activism in Nigeria. Therefore, the paper, among others, recommends that government must now realise the powers of communication and technology and therefore embark on constant communication with the people while also addressing pre-existing social ills in the country.



Agbalajobi, D. (2022, October 20). Why #EndSARS protests are different, and what lessons they hold for Nigeria. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/amp/why-endsars-protests-are-different-and-what-lessons-they-hold-for-nigeria-148320

Ajisafe, D., Ojo, T. A., & Monyani, M. (2021, June 28). The impacts of social media on the #EndSARs# youth protests in Nigeria. Proceedings of the ICTeSSH 2021 Conference. Proceedings of the ICTeSSH 2021 conference, Virtual conference. https://doi.org/10.21428/7a45813f.638ef816

Akeredolu, F. (2020). Nigerian protesters are making history, again. Stears Business. https://www.stears.co/article/nigerian-protesters-are-making-history-again/

Alozie, B. (2020, August 7). How Igbo women activists influenced British authorities during the colonial rule of Nigeria. Quartz. https://qz.com/africa/1889847/how-nigerias-igbo-women-influenced-british-colonial-rule/

Ani, I. (2020, November 2). Nigeria’s #EndSARS Movement and Media Suppression. Columbia Journalism Review. https://www.cjr.org/analysis/nigeria-endsars-press-freedom.php

Asemah, E. S., Nwammuo, A. N., & Nkwam-Uwaoma, A. O. A. (2017). Theories and models of communication. Jos University Press.

Ayandele, D. O. (Jumo). (2021, February 9). Lessons from the #EndSARS Movement in Nigeria. ACLED. https://acleddata.com/2021/02/09/lessons-from-the-endsars-movement-in-nigeria/

Baiyewu, L. (2020, October 27). #EndSARS: We must regulate social media before it destroys us –FG. Punch Newspapers. https://punchng.com/endsars-we-must-regulate-social-media-before-it-destroys-us-fg/

Banka, N. (2020, November 20). Explained: Why have the #EndSARS protests rocked Nigeria? The Indian Express. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/nigeria-protest-corruption-government-sars-7058604/

Breuer, A. (2012). The Role of Social Media in Mobilizing Political Protest: Evidence from the Tunisian Revolution. SSRN Electronic Journal, 10. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2179030

Cammaerts, B. (2015). Social media and activism. In R. Mansell & P. Hwa (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of digital communication and society (pp. 1027–1034). Wiley-Blackwell.

Dark, S. (2020, October 25). #EndSARS: How Nigerians harness social media against police abuse. Aljazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/25/endsars-how-nigerians-use-social-media-against-police-brutality

Digital systems. (n.d.). Digital Technology Hub. https://www.digitaltechnologieshub.edu.au/teachers/topics/digital-systems

Drew, C. (2021, September 16). Technological Determinism Theory (5 Examples, Pros & Cons). Helpful Professor. https://helpfulprofessor.com/technological-determinism-theory/

Dumitrica, D., & Felt, M. (2020). Mediated grassroots collective action: Negotiating barriers of digital activism. Information, Communication & Society, 23(13), 1821–1837. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2019.1618891

Edwards, F., Howard, P. N., & Joyce, M. (2013). Digital Activism and Non‐Violent Conflict (SSRN Scholarly Paper No. 2595115). https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2595115

Egbe, A. (n.d.). Activism creates distinction. https://www.laga-enforcement.org/media/presentations/power%20point%20presentation%20-%20Activism%201.pdf

Egbunike, N., & Olorunnisola, A. (2015). Social media and the #Occupy Nigeria Protests: Igniting or damping a Harmattan storm? Journal of African Media Studies, 7(2), 141–164. https://doi.org/10.1386/jams.7.2.141_1

Ekoh, P. C., & George, E. O. (2021). The Role of Digital Technology in the EndSars Protest in Nigeria During COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work, 6(2), 161–162. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41134-021-00161-5

Facsar, F. (2020). Nigeria’s #EndSARS protests: What you need to know – DW – 10/22/2020. Dw.Com. https://www.dw.com/en/what-you-need-to-know-about-nigerias-endsars-protests/a-55362389

Falola, T. (2021). Understanding Modern Nigeria: Ethnicity, Democracy, and Development (1st ed.). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108936866

George, A. (2020, October 25). The roots of the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/10/25/roots-endsars-protests-nigeria/

Gilbert, E. (2021, April 6). The Role of Social Media in Protests: Mobilising or Polarising? 89 Initiative | The First European Think-Do Tank. https://89initiative.com/the-role-of-social-media-in-protests-mobilising-or-polarising/

Goldberg, D. (2019, July 29). What Is Digital Media and How Can It Help My Career? Springboard Blog. https://www.springboard.com/blog/design/digital-media/

Goodman, P. (2021). 20 Examples of Digital Technology. TurboFuture. https://turbofuture.com/misc/Examples-of-Digital-Technology

Granillo, G. (2020). The Role of Social Media in Social Movements. Portland Monthly. https://www.pdxmonthly.com/news-and-city-life/2020/06/the-role-of-social-media-in-social-movements

Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed., pp. xx, 526). McGraw-Hill.

Hari, S. I. (2014). The Evolution of Social Protest in Nigeria: The Role of Social Media in the “# OccupyNigeria” Protest. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Invention, 3(9), 33–39.

Ibekwe, N. (2019, March 22). How widespread impunity is encouraging right abuses in Nigeria – U.S. report. Premium Times Nigeria. https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/321535-how-widespread-impunity-is-encouraging-right-abuses-in-nigeria-u-s-report.html

Igyuve, A., Inobemhe, K., Ugber, F., & Udeh, N. T. (2020). A discourse on the use of new media technologies in Nigerian television newsrooms. International Journal of Social Sciences and Management Review, 3(6), 247–264.

Kaduna, G. (2020a, October 15). #EndSARS: Again, hoodlums attack protesters in Lagos. Premium Times Nigeria. https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/ssouth-west/420933-endsars-again-hoodlums-attack-protesters-in-lagos.html

Kaduna, G. (2020, October 15). Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey joins #EndSARS campaign, calls for Bitcoin donations. Premium Times Nigeria. https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/420909-twitter-ceo-jack-dorsey-joins-endsars-campaign-calls-for-bitcoin-donations.html

Kazeem, Y. (2020, October 13). How a youth-led digital movement is driving Nigeria’s largest protests in a decade. Quartz. https://qz.com/africa/1916319/how-nigerians-use-social-media-to-organize-endsars-protests/

Maclean, R. (2020, November 13). Nigeria Goes on Offensive Against Youth Protesting Police Brutality. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/13/world/africa/Nigeria-EndSARS-protests.html

Madison, S. (2017, January 9). How Social Media Has Changed the Way Political Movements Organize. GovTech. https://www.govtech.com/gov-experience/How-Social-Media-Has-Changed-the-Way-Political-Movements-Organize.html

Marnicio, A. (2014). From progressive to repressive: The role of social media in the Syrian conflict. In Trajectories of change: Challenge and transformation in the wake of the Arab spring (pp. 43–47). https://www.bakerinstitute.org/research/trajectories-change-challenge-and-transformation-wake-arab-spring

Mbamalu, M., Daka, T., & Onochie, B. C. (2020, March 19). U.S. report indicts Nigeria for rights abuse, killings. The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. https://guardian.ng/news/u-s-report-indicts-nigeria-for-rights-abuse-killings/

McCabe, R. (2021). Global Political Protests and the Future of Democracy. Center for Strategic & International Studies. https://www.csis.org/analysis/global-political-protests-and-future-democracy

Medina, G. (2020, August 3). The latest social media challenge is promoting lazy activism. The Cougar. http://thedailycougar.com/2020/08/03/social-media-challenges-false-activism/

Murthy, D. (2018). Introduction to Social Media, Activism, and Organizations. Social Media + Society, 4(1), 205630511775071. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305117750716

Nwoziri, H. (2020). The Impact of Digital Technology on the 21st Century Youth. – Aspilos Foundation. https://aspilosfoundation.org.ng/2020/09/22/the-impact-of-digital-technology-on-the-21st-century-youth/

Obaid, H. (2020, April 14). The Impact of Social Media on Social movements and public opinion formation. Visto. https://vistointernational.org/publications/the-impact-of-social-media-on-social-movements-and-public-opinion-formation/

Obia. (2020, November 11). #EndSARS, a Unique Twittersphere and Social Media Regulation in Nigeria. Media@LSE. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/medialse/2020/11/11/endsars-a-unique-twittersphere-and-social-media-regulation-in-nigeria/

Odoh, I. (2020, October 18). #ENDSARS protests may bring down APC in 2023, Experts warn. Business Day. https://businessday.ng/amp/politics/article/endsars-protests-may-bring-down-apc-in-2023-experts-warn/

Ofoegbu, J. (2014). The place of human rights in Nigeria’s democracy. OGIRISI: A New Journal of African Studies, 10(1), 60. https://doi.org/10.4314/og.v10i1.4

Ojedokun, U. A., Ogunleye, Y. O., & Aderinto, A. A. (2021). Mass mobilization for police accountability: The case of Nigeria’s #EndSARS protest. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 15(3), 1894–1903. https://doi.org/10.1093/police/paab001

Ojeme, V. (2021, April 1). Nigeria records significant human rights abuses in 2020-US 2020 Report. Vanguard News. https://www.vanguardngr.com/2021/04/nigeria-records-significant-human-rights-abuses-in-2020-us-2020-report/

Ojewale, O. (2020, October 29). Youth protests for police reform in Nigeria: What lies ahead for #EndSARS. Brookings. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/africa-in-focus/2020/10/29/youth-protests-for-police-reform-in-nigeria-what-lies-ahead-for-endsars/

Okunola, A. (2020, October 1). 10 Activists in Nigerian History Who Represent the Resilience of Its People. Global Citizen. https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/nigeria-independence-activists-history-resilience/

Olaoluwa, A. (2020, December 1). End Sars protests: The Nigerian women leading the fight for change. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-55104025

Olowolagba, F. (2021, June 10). EndSARS protest was not to overthrow govt—Nigerians counter Buhari. Daily Post Nigeria. https://dailypost.ng/2021/06/10/endsars-protest-was-not-to-overthrow-govt-nigerians-counter-buhari/

Olson, R. (2021). Roles of Social Media in the Black Lives Matter Movement During COVID-19. Honors Projects, 838. https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/honorsprojects/838/

Olukoya, S. (2021, April 28). Protesters attacked in Nigerian demos against police abuse. AP NEWS. https://apnews.com/article/police-police-brutality-africa-lagos-nigeria-64a909a53c4916bff606becc53b93601

Osae-Brown, A. (2020, November 11). Nigeria Mulls Social Media Rules as #EndSARS Protests Go Online. Bloomberg.Com. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-11/nigeria-mulls-social-media-rules-as-endsars-protests-go-online

Ovide, S. (2020, June 18). How Social Media Has Changed Civil Rights Protests. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/18/technology/social-media-protests.html

Paul, E. (2019, November 8). From hashtags to the reality: 5 impactful social movements in Nigeria that started on Twitter. Techpoint Africa. https://techpoint.africa/2019/11/08/social-movements-twitter-nigeria/

Philips-Alvarez, L. (2019, October 1). 10 Facts About Social Activism. The Borgen Project. https://borgenproject.org/10-facts-about-social-activism/

Police fire tear gas in Nigeria ‘Democracy Day’ protests. (2021). Aljazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/6/12/police-fire-tear-gas-to-break-up-nigeria-protests

Prilleltensky, I. (2020). The Importance of Activism during a Crisis| Office of Institutional Culture | University of Miami. University of Miami. https://culture.miami.edu/blog/importance-of-activism/index.html

Reid, A. (2020, July 7). Genuine Social Media Activism: A Guide for Going Beyond the Hashtag. VII Digital. https://www.viidigital.com/genuine-social-media-activism-a-guide-for-going-beyond-the-hashtag-2/

Ruppel, S., & Arowobusoye, O. (2020, October 27). #EndSars: How Social Media Challenges Governance - the Case of Nigeria. PRIF BLOG. https://blog.prif.org/2020/10/27/endsars-how-social-media-challenges-governance-the-case-of-nigeria/

Santas, T., & Inobemhe, K. (2021). Social Media Regulation in a Democratic Nigeria: Challenges and Implication. Media & Communication Currents, 5(1), 71–88.

Simon, D., Grimes, M., & Roch, S. (2018). Digital media and communications. In D. Simon (Ed.), Communication for Business Professionals (pp. 1305–1332). eCampusOntario.

Soladoye, A. A., & Ojo, A. O. (2020). Impact of social media on police brutality awareness in Nigeria. International Journal for Management and Modern Education, 1(1), 14–27.

Spasojevic, L. (2017). Social Media as a Tool for Political Change: The Uprising in Iran (2009) and Egypt (2011) [Master’s thesis, Harvard Extension School]. https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/33826164

Ugobude, F. (2020, October 21). How Technology Is Playing a Crucial Role in the #EndSARS Protests. OkayAfrica. https://www.okayafrica.com/protest-in-nigeria-end-sars-technology/

Wallis, J., & Given, L. M. (2016). #digitalactivism: New media and political protest. First Monday, 21(2). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v21i2.5879

Watson, R. O. (2005). Thirteen types of activism. Dictator Watch. https://www.dictatorwatch.org/A101/dwguide/thirteentypes.html

What Is Digital Media? All You Need to Know About New Media. (2020, March 4). Maryville Online. https://online.maryville.edu/blog/what-is-digital-media/

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.