In Cameroon, entertainment information on social media can be classified into 3 categories;
1. General Information; The entire Cameroon relates, identifies and engages with the information. It entails information about nationally-known celebrities. Francophones and Anglophones engage unbiasedly with information about these group of people.
E.g Samuel Eto’o, Ngannou, National team players, KO-C, Stanley Enow , Charlotte Dipanda, Daphne, Syndy Emade , Blanche Bailly, Mr Leo , Salatiel etc.
It equally includes communication about events of national interest like Miss Cameroon, Cameroon cup finals etc.
2. Francophone information: This entails information about entertainers, predominantly known by Francophones. E.g Mitoumba, Nguemgain Rosine, Marcelle Kuetche, Lily International, Muriel Blanche, Noelle Kenmoe, Aicha Kamoise , Happy D’Efoulan etc
Most of these entertainers have more than 1 million followers on Facebook.
It is apparent that Francophones have their own popular entertainers, who are not known by Anglophones. For instance; a post about Aicha Kamoise or Mitoumba will intrinsically have a low engagement in Anglophone blogosphere.
Findings; Their content is relatable with the Francophone culture; language, ethnicity and social structure.
3. Anglophone Information: This entails information about entertainers predominantly known by Anglophones eg Caro and Copees, Auntie Felicia, Mic Monsta, Loic Sumfor, Askia, etc
It also entails events like CAMIFF. It appeals predominantly to a particular group; Anglophones.
It is clear that, Anglophones have their own celebrities, who are not known by Francophones.
Findings; Their content is relatable with the inherent culture of English-speaking Cameroonians; language, ethnicity, thinking patterns and social structure.
Communication Identity Theory posits that individuals internalize social interactions, relationships, and a sense of self into identities through communication. In turn, identity is expressed or enacted through communication. There is a nexus between communication and identity. Cameroon is culturally dichotomized in terms of language, thinking patterns and social structure. This is evidenced in social media communication. People engage with content that appeals to their particular group or culture.
THE ROLE OF ALGORITHM
Algorithm is a set of rules that rank content across a given platform. It determines what people see every time they check. For instance it determines what you see on your Facebook feeds.
You are most likely to see content you interact regularly with. Since Francophones hardly interact with Anglophone content due to a language barrier, permeability becomes difficult. Language plays a great role in influencing algorithm. People interact with information they understand. When comments flood in a particular language, the algorithm shows the content to more people who identify themselves with that language.
From the hypothesis, cultural identity may be defined by the social network of people following the social norms as presented by the media.
Theoretically, Francophone and Anglophone media outlets have responsibility to create content in both languages in order to bridge the cultural gap. But in reality, every media outlet does what works for them.
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