WASHINGTON – When Ethiopia’s federal forces and the Tagore’s People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) began fighting in November 2020, a front was quickly opened online, where the sides tried to bring the raven story to fruition.
Social media became a battleground, with the Ethiopian government and its supporters on the one hand and supporters of Tigrayan activists and supporters. Each side has tried to present its version of events for the English-speaking audience, according to the Media Mopulation Casebook. Ated at the Shorenstein Center for Technology and Social Change Project at Harvard Kennedy School, the Casebook Group has been researching an informational appeal campaign with Tiger since the conflict began.
Much focus on the Tigers is on raising awareness of the conflict, while supporters of Prime Minister Abi Ahmed’s administration in Addis Ababa have tried to refute their opponent’s claims. And while both are misleading or at times false claims, the study found that public relations and government-backed consumer posts often try to discredit any content that violates the federal government’s statement.
“This is a complex case that connects the Horn of Africa’s geopolitics with historical trauma, activity, hate speech, inaccurate, unprovoked platform eruptions, and propaganda, all in the midst of an ongoing civil war.” According to media research. ip Inlay Case Book.
At the beginning of the controversy, Tigerline activists took to Twitter, and the non-profit advocacy group Stand With Tiger appeared soon. At the same time, government groups such as the Ethiopia State of Emergency Fact Check tried to counter what they saw as the TPLF’s infamy, often seeking to discredit foreign and local coverage.
Operating exclusively on Twitter and Facebook, the group, later known as the Ethiopian Currency Issues Fact Check (ECIFC), was birthed with official voice guidance and statements that often condemned the international coverage of the war. What the
Some analysts with whom VOA spoke inspired believed that the federal government launched the group. Authorities deny the claims, and government supporters see ECIFC as a compulsory response that they view as biased media coverage.
Dina Mufti, spokeswoman for Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, told VOA that “Evo,” the coverage of the TAPF-affiliated LaPea workers, has been abducted in different parts of the Western world. Information and misrepresentation are running unmanageable campaigns. And they are not helping the international community to really see the ground. “
Deacon Joseph Tafari, chair of the Ethiopian American Sodec Council, an association that defines itself as a human rights lawyer and the rule of law in Ethiopia, agreed.
“Something had to be done,” he said, referring to the VOA, which he sees as biased reporting. “In these circumstances, the government has no other or any means or tools.
The urge to drive online opinion completes traditional efforts over the past year, as different parties engage lobbyists to influence U.S. government policy and public opinion.
Under the latest agreement, Ethiopia’s peace ministry spent $ 270,000 a month with the international public policy and law firm Holland & Knight for a contract, according to a foreign lobbying report.
The Ethiopian-American Sodec Council in Colorado hired three Public Affairs Professionals to help “reverse the artistic criticism of the government’s response to the violence in Tigre.”
And Van Butten-Montague-York, a policy and advisory company at the Tiger Center for Information and Communication Washington, on “removing all Eritrean military personnel and militias for the sake of all,” and on humanitarian aid. Ensure accessibility. Tiger, News Website Politico Ave. After the Senate bill was approved, the firm stopped lobbying by the center, according to reports.
The focus on influencing opinion reaches foreign media, with Ethiopia’s federal government arguing that the TPLF is dominant or is distorting international coverage.
But Ethiopian journalists and analysts say the federal government has legitimate coverage of the misinformation already understood by the government or sympathizing with the Tigrayan cause.
The Abbey administration was quick to throw its support behind ECIFC and dismiss it as something that sees it as discriminatory coverage. When the ECIFC launched on social media, Prime Minister’s spokesperson Blaine Seume sent an email and a tweet directing the media to the group’s social media accounts.
Get up-to-date and factual information on state-of-the-art emergency and rule of law regulations by the FDRE federal government in the Tigris area, “Blaine Twitte.
The CIFC alleges that the media was used to “complicate exaggerated and unverified allegations,” citing “false allegations filed by TPLF officials” and misinterpreting official statements.
The allegations later, in a statement posted on Twitter on August 11, cited reporting of US-based shops including the Bloomberg and Washington Post.
“The content of most headlines and stories is silently denied and turns a blind eye to the role that the terrorist organization TPLF plays in destroying the country’s stability,” the statement said.
Local and foreign journalists who cover Ethiopia tell VOA the AO statement that the Ethiopian government is serious about international coverage.
“It became a war about storytelling,” remarked Tdesale Lemma VOA, founder and editor-in-chief of Edis Standor. “They are still worried about the true impact of the war.”
The reports and statements also appear to support reporting by the United States and international organizations that have been criticized by the government and the ECIFC.
VOA made several interview requests to ECIFC through its social media pages but received no response.
On its Facebook page, ECFIC lists itself as an official website. But the same details do not appear on Twitter. By scanning the group’s public information, VOA couldn’t determine who works for the group or who has its official mandate.
Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Dina told VOA that the fixed-check group is not appealing to the government.
“The group is free. They are acting themselves, “said Dina. “I don’t think they are doing a wonderful job.”
“They give the right information – the right information – from Ethiopia,” he continued. “I am not interested in commenting on this group.
Hidden as a fact check
Some say that the work of ECIFC defines a widespread phenomenon in which a “fact check” itself conducts misinformation.
Ali Virji, senior consultant with the US Institute of Peace, said the group’s “fact-finding approach to support is very, very high-priced and very important.”
“There are people who don’t bother to do anything that is received by a government spokesperson. But if they look at the fact-check ‘fact check’ with it, then maybe it will make an appearance and this is credible information, “said Virgil. “It potentially reduces the idea that there is objective reporting.”
Ethiopian journalist Tisdale said that despite the name, the group’s intention has always been clear: to convey the story of the federal government there. “From the beginning, it wasn’t about fact checking as it was about comparing information that the government sees, not its interests. It barely did any fact checking.”
VOA does not maintain a self-titled fixed-checking account among tagger side supporters.
Stand With Tigray is one of the most prominent Pro Tigrayan groups. It has over 36,000 followers on Twitter and 14,478 followers. The group operates twitter campaigns that urge the international community to stop the humanitarian crisis, and that it deters those who see it as oppression in the region.
CIFC, by comparison, has over 84,000 followers on Twitter and 111,000 followers.
The pro-government group has a broad audience, says Claire Wilmot, who jointly writes the Media Maturation Case Book Report Dueling Information Campaigns: The War Over the Narrative in Tigray.
Wilmot said that everyone is a sign – especially foreign journalists and foreigners in general, as well as members of Ethiopians and diasporas in Ethiopia.
“The fact check account PowerWatch draws its strength from the statement that TPLF has been funding online large-scale abortion campaigns, which has not been substantiated with any evidence. It uses this misinformation story to portray any and very critical reporting that the government has to offer. Negative Light, “Come to Wilmot VOA.
“The impact that information health will have on Ethiopia – on the ability of independent journalists to challenge government statements – is a big question.