This paper seeks to highlight the various patterns adopted by academic staff of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree while engaging in public discourse through the social media. Specifically, the study aims at establishing the effectiveness of the social media as new forms of public sphere against the backdrop of the criticisms levelled by normative theorists such as Jurgen Herbamas on the failure of the traditional media to create an ideal public sphere. Findings from the study reveal that the social media do not constitute a mediated public sphere as they have not taken the place of traditional media as major sources of information on public interest to most academic staff of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree. Access to the internet, which makes for easy participation among some academic staff constitutes a major hindrance to other respondents’ participation. Some of the respondents are seemingly disinterred whereas others consider the social media as very porous. This study concludes, among other points that for social media to constitute an ideal public sphere there is need for a subtle form of regulation in order to make the contents safe and of good taste to the general public. The study further shows that the social media, as they were at the moment in Nigeria do not constitute an ideal public sphere.

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Categories: Volume 1 No 1