November Monthly Disinformation Analysis: 2023
Analysis

November Monthly Disinformation Analysis: 2023

The November 2023 Disinformation Analysis highlights several examples of misleading and false information circulating online in Ethiopia. These claims touch upon various aspects of Ethiopia’s political and economic landscape, including the country’s GDP growth, troop movements, and the death of a journalist. Misleading Claim: Ethiopia’s GDP Doubled in Five Years In November 2023, Ethiopian Prime…

Disinformation Tactics within the Foreign Education Consultancy Sector
Analysis

Disinformation Tactics within the Foreign Education Consultancy Sector

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education administers standardized assessments, including the Grade 12 or university entrance exam, to evaluate student performance. In recent years, the overall passing rate has experienced a significant decline, sparking widespread concern. This decline has prompted students to explore alternative avenues for higher education, leading to a surge in demand for foreign education…

Potential impact of explosive weapons on the Lalibela rock-hewn churches
Analysis

Explainer: Potential impact of explosive weapons on the Lalibela rock-hewn churches

Recent claims on social media, particularly on Twitter, allege that the Lalibela rock-hewn churches, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Ethiopia, were damaged by an air strike conducted by the Ethiopian army on November 11, 2023. These claims emerged against the backdrop of the ongoing armed conflict in the Amhara region between Fano militants and…

Is Ethiopia’s economy bigger than its neighbors combined?
Analysis

Is Ethiopia’s economy bigger than its neighbors combined?

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed claimed that Ethiopia’s economy was the second largest in East Africa five years ago and is now bigger than those of its neighboring countries combined. Abiy assumed power in April 2018 following widespread protests, pledging economic and political reforms to foster prosperity and democratization. The Ethiopian government, led by the…

November week three summary
Analysis

November week three summary

President Sahlewerk Zewde stayed behind and seeking asylum in the US A claim circulated on social media platforms, particularly Twitter and TikTok, that Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde had left Ethiopia for the US and was seeking asylum there. The claim stated that she traveled to the US for a visit and stayed behind to seek…

Disinformation in Ethiopia in October 2023 was driven by the conflict between Fano militias and Ethiopian government forces. Disinformation was spread through a variety of tactics, including altered and old videos, recycled claims, and false images.
Analysis

October monthly disinformation trend analysis

Disinformation in Ethiopia in October 2023 was driven by the conflict between Fano militias and Ethiopian government forces. Disinformation was spread through a variety of tactics, including altered and old videos, recycled claims, and false images. The armed conflict involving Fano militias and Ethiopian government forces significantly contributed to the dissemination of disinformation last month….

November Week One Disinformation Summary
Analysis

November Week One Disinformation Summary

Blinken called for the withdrawal of the ENDF from the Amhara region Last week, a claim (link, link) circulated on social media that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for the withdrawal of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) from the Amhara regional state. On November 2, Blinken issued a statement commemorating the one-year…

PM Abiy Ahmed Fact-checked: Had Ethiopia's GDP Doubled in Five Years?
Analysis

PM Abiy Ahmed Fact-checked: Had Ethiopia’s GDP Doubled in Five Years?

Claim: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) claimed that Ethiopia’s GDP doubled in five years. Verdict: Misleading. Ethiopia’s GDP did not double in five years, either in real GDP or US dollars. On the 116th Ethiopian Military Day on October 26, 2023, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) said: “Ethiopia, for the first time in its…

Does international law guarantee that landlocked Ethiopia gets a coastline?
Analysis

Does international law guarantee that landlocked Ethiopia gets a coastline?

Ethiopia’s government officials and affiliated media have stated that the country requires coastline access or access to the sea. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has emphasized the need for Ethiopia to secure a coastline or access to the sea through the Red Sea or Indian Ocean. The government has also urged neighboring countries to discuss or…

October week two disinformation summary
Analysis

October week two disinformation summary

Afar militias fighting the Ethiopian army supporting Fano HaqCheck encounted Facebook posts (here, here, here, here) sharing a particulat image with a claim that Afar militants joined Amhara Fano militants in waging a fighting against the Ethiopian government. The Facebook posts use an old image that is out of context to support the claim that…

September monthly disinformation trend analysis
Analysis

September monthly disinformation trend analysis

Disinformation in the Amhara region in September was mostly about the war between the Ethiopian government and the Fano militia. The following are the specific themes of disinformation that circulated in the month: Fighting casualties Disinformation about ENDF soldiers being killed in fighting and the government transporting troops using planes was common in the Amhara…

Verification of Social Media Accounts and their Implications
Analysis

Verification of Social Media Accounts and their Implications

Verification of Social Media Accounts and their Implications In today’s digital world, social media platforms have become powerful tools for public discourse, connecting people across the globe. However, as their influence grows, the need for credibility and authenticity has become increasingly important. At the heart of this digital evolution lies the process of verification, a…

October week one summary
Analysis

October week one summary

The government smuggled stolen artifacts into the UAE A Telegram channel with over 334,000 members claimed that the Ethiopian government smuggled stolen artifacts from the Amhara and Tigray regions to the UAE and that half of the stolen artifacts were sent to Vatican City, Rome and half of them were given to Emirati President Sheikh…

September week three summary
Analysis

September week three summary

Oromia regional militia attacked Somali villages An X (Twitter) post on September 18, 2023, claimed an image showed an Oromo militia attacking Somali villages. The post shared two pictures and claimed that the never-ending civil war in Ethiopia was spreading to the east and that heavily armed Oromo militia sponsored by the regional government of…

September week two disinformation summary
Analysis

September week two disinformation summary

Claims related to detention and editing old posts Throughout the week, there were claims and controversies on Ethiopian social media over the detention of ethnic Amharas across various parts of the country. Images circulated on social media with claims that they showed recently detained ethnic Amharas, but HaqCheck could not confirm whether the images were…

September week one summary
Analysis

September week one summary

Soldiers being transported to the Amhara region On August 26, 2023, an X (Twitter) account shared an image that they claimed showed Ethiopian military personnel being transported by helicopter to the Amhara region amid the ongoing conflict. Despite the Ethiopian government’s recapture of many areas, including major cities, from Fano militia groups in the Amhara…

August week three summary
Analysis

August week three summary

False Image of Aerial Attack in Finote Selam A Facebook page with over 40,000 followers posted an image claiming that the Ethiopian government had recently conducted an aerial attack in Finote Selam, resulting in the deaths of 270 civilians, including children as young as three. The post went viral on the platform, garnering nearly 30…

August week two summary
Analysis

August week two summary

Fano militants captured Ethiopian army soldiers A Facebook page with over 300,000 followers shared an image claiming to show an Ethiopian army soldier who had recently surrendered to Fano militants. The post was shared close to 200 times and received over 1,700 reactions. The claim came amid intensified fighting between the Ethiopian military and Fano…

August week one summary
Analysis

August week one summary

False image claimed to show rifles seized by Fano militants A Facebook post with over 90,000 followers claimed that Ethiopian army troops entered Shewa Yifat in the Amhara regional state to disarm Fano militia groups, but were defeated and retreated, abandoning weapons. The post was accompanied by an image that was falsely claimed to show…

July week three summary
Analysis

July week three summary

In the third week of July 2023, several disinformation and controversial claims circulated on social media platforms regarding the ongoing conflicts in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. False claim of Fano militants capturing weapons A Facebook post on July 10 claimed that Fano militants in the Debre Elias Woreda seized over 15 rifles from local…