Social Media Mayhem: Soyinka Blasts “Barbarian” Takeover in Nigeria

Social Media Mayhem: Soyinka Blasts “Barbarian” Takeover in Nigeria. Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has launched a scathing attack on the state of social media in Nigeria, declaring it to be “taken over by barbarians.”

In a speech delivered at the 48th President’s party and his investiture as an honorary member of the Abeokuta Club in Ogun State on Saturday, Soyinka expressed his deep disappointment with the decline of intellectual discourse and reasoned engagement on platforms that he believes should be fostering these very things.

Soyinka maintains that in other climes, social media remains valid as a means of interaction due to the intellectual content and reasoned engagements deployed by users.

However, he notes that the reverse is the case in Nigeria, where those who have dragged it down have swapped out the intellectual quotient aspect of it.

He said the situation has degenerated to a level where even a mere disagreement in an election could lead to one being labelled on social media as having a phobia of others.

He said, “In a situation where disagreement in an election can lead one being labelled 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. And when that kind of accusation comes, there is no need or value in trying to say you are not. You just say, ‘Thank you very much! The complement of ethnophobia is ethnophilia.”

Soyinka urged the nation’s community of intellectual minds to rescue the country from the monstrosity of social media.

He expressed astonishment and disbelief that people are so power-besotted that they cannot even accept the possibility of losing an election.

“I’m astonished and flabbergasted that people are so power-besotted that they can’t even accept the possibility that they did not win an election,” Soyinka said.

“It does not matter whether you are right or wrong or they are right. It is just a question. Take your facts to the table, let’s examine them carefully, consider the possibility that we may be wrong or you may be wrong but you don’t have to descend into demonisation of the group to which others belong to establish your point.”

He reiterated his stance on social media, stating that he doesn’t engage with it as it has been overrun by barbarians who have degraded its intellectual quality.


The playwright expressed his faith in the community of intellect, minds, and creativity to rescue the country from the monstrosity that social media has become.



He said, “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. Here in this country, social media has been dragged down to the lowest common denominator.

“However, I believe in the community of the intellect of minds and creativity to rescue us from the monstrosity that social media has become (in this country).”



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