Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Ethiopia alleges pro-rebel bias on Twitter in complaint

Ethiopia has filed a complaint on Twitter, a government spokesman said on Tuesday, accusing the social media giant of suspending accounts criticizing the Tigreyan rebels, who are engaged in a fierce, year-long war. are fighting.

The dust-up highlights how both sides are trying to use social media to shape the narrative of the conflict between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and the Tigre People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebel group.

“We have reason to believe that Twitter is targeting and suspending pro-Ethiopian voices that are raising awareness of the TPLF’s atrocities and its lies,” Abiy’s spokeswoman Billin Seyum told a news conference.

“While we have shared this with their policy team, we believe Twitter has been infiltrated by TPLF sympathizers in the same manner as many democratic institutions and corporate spaces have also been infiltrated to provide the TPLF narrative. Has been done.”

Bilen later told AFP that a “formal complaint” had been sent to Twitter.

It did not specify which “pro-Ethiopian voices” were suspended.

But neighboring Eritrea, which has backed Abiy in the war, complained on Tuesday that Twitter had suspended the New Africa Institute, a self-described think tank that regularly consults Ethiopian and Eritrean governments about the war. Talking in, and its executive director Simon Tesfarium.

Eritrean government spokesman Yemen Gebremeskell said on Twitter that Simon “deserves praise for his carefully researched and balanced report (New Africa Institute) on combating mainstream media misinformation stemming from political bias.”

“The suspension of their accounts by Twitter is thus unfair and requires immediate review.”

A Twitter spokesperson said Simon’s accounts were suspended for violations of the rules “including manipulation of our platform and spam policy”.

“This includes creating multiple accounts for posting fake content and creating fake engagements and operating fake accounts,” the spokesperson said, adding that the rules have been applied “objectively” and that Twitter is “politically neutral.”

War broke out in Ethiopia in November 2020 when Abiy sent troops to the country’s northernmost Tigre region to topple the TPLF – a move he said came in response to the TPLF’s attacks on army camps.

Troops from Ethiopia and Eritrea have been accused of genocide and gang rape in Tigre, while the TPLF has recently been accused of similar abuse during its crimes in the neighboring Afar and Amhara regions.

A joint investigation published this month by the UN Human Rights Office and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission warned of potential war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by all sides during the conflict.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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