An Appraisal of ‘Facebook’s Global Peer-to-Peer Campaign on Challenging Violent Extremism’ in Nigeria: The SOAR Peer-to-Peer Project


Department of Theatre and Performing Arts, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria


This article reviews the efforts of Facebook Incorporated in countering violent extremist narratives in Nigeria since 2015. It assesses the methodologies of Facebook and Edventure Partners in the trifecta global campaign that involved Speak Out Act Right (SOAR) team in Gender Policy Unit of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Bayero University Kano (BUK), Kano, theWomen Against Violent Extremism (WAVE) of the American University of Nigeria (AUN) Yola and African Youths International Development Foundation (AFYIDEF), Abuja. This study examines the impact of SOAR campaign in challenging extreme narratives both on Facebook and the university’s hosting communities. The paper uses the theory of Virtual Ethnography to claim that the deficit in providing institutional and logistical support to small community groups, organizations, popular online pages and research institutes by the Nigerian government contributes to the widespread of extremist narratives online. It contends that the regional government and the armed forces of many West African countries fighting terrorism have not invested enough time and resources in developing counter narratives to dispel the tokenism or methods terrorist groups used in recruiting student fighters to feed the intellectual wing of their extremist positions. It argues further that governments invest more on procuring arsenals and other military hardware rather focus on communication dimension to halting the attractive lure offered by groups with extremist positions. The study affirms that the ‘Facebook Global Peer-to-Peer Campaign on Challenging Violent Extremism’ in Nigeria provides a toolkits, materials and methods with which individuals, community groups, organizations, universities and even the government  and armed forces can use in fighting extremism.