Twitter Suspends Trends Feature in Ethiopia for Fears of Violence

Twitter trends
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Social media platform, Twitter, has suspended some of its functions in Ethiopia over threats of physical harm. Twitter announced that it had temporarily disabled the trends section in the war-torn country and was now monitoring the situation.

“Inciting violence or dehumanizing people is against our rules… Given the imminent threat of physical harm, we’ve also temporarily disabled Trends in Ethiopia,” it said.

Read: After Twitter, Nigeria Threatens to Suspend More Social Media Apps If they Promote Division

The Ethiopian government on Thursday declared a six-month state of emergency in the country, with an aim of protecting the citizens against rebels of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (PNLF) who are advancing upon the capital.

Last week, Facebook, now called Meta, confirmed that it removed a post by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister for inciting violence. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed posted on the social media platform on Sunday, urging citizens to take up arms and “bury” the rival forced allied to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

“The obligation to die for Ethiopia belongs to all of us,” Abiy said in the now-deleted post that called on citizens to mobilize “by holding any weapon or capacity.”

Read also: Twitter to Launch Presence in Africa With Offices in Ghana

According to a spokesperson from Facebook, which recently rebranded to Meta, the post was removed as soon as they were alerted.

“At Meta, we remove content from individuals or organizations that violates our Community Standards, no matter who they are.”

Documents leaked from Meta last month showed that Facebook had been warned that armed groups in Ethiopia were using the platform to incite violence against the minorities.
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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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