Between biased state media, out-of-touch international outlets, and a battered private news sector, Cameroon has been a desert of reliable information since before the outbreak of civil war in 2017, when Anglophone activists declared Ambazonia’s independence and launched a guerilla campaign against the Cameroonian defense forces. Enter social media—oasis, or mirage?
The "Anglophone Crisis," as the protracted power-struggle is called, has killed thousands of people and displaced millions more. For a conflict rooted in decades of colonial-era tensions, the internet is a new and unpredictable weapon. Social media is used to alert, confuse, inform, blackmail, fact check, and kill, with mortal stakes for combatants and civilians. Behind every Facebook page, Twitter account, or WhatsApp group covering the conflict is a person—and a motive—hidden behind the screen.