The Ethiopian social media landscape during the third week of December was dominated by three main issues and related claims.
The first issue was related to ongoing conflict and violence in the Oromia regional state of Ethiopia. Social media platforms, particularly Telegram was characterized by disturbing graphic videos and images.
Videos and images showing decapitated human heads, a man guillotining a person’s head, etc were shared across social media platforms.
There were controversial claims regarding these horrific videos and images. HaqCheck saw claims that the people shown in the videos beheading were Fano militias.
Whereas, others shared videos that show many corpses and claimed that the dead bodies belong to armed fighters of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) who were killed in recent engagements.
Yet, we couldn’t verify whether the claims were true or false.
The other two issues that flamed information controversy on social media were Ethiopia’s status in relation to the recently announced Chinese tariff-free privilege for African products and regarding what Ethiopia did and didn’t achieve during the 2022 US-Africa Leaders Summit.
HaqCheck came across controversial claims regarding the issues. However, HaqCheck hasn’t reached a conclusion yet.
Moroccans displayed the ONLF flag at the Qatar World Cup
HaqCheck observed a social media post sharing an image that the picture shows the Moroccan national team displaying the flag of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and rejoicing after a match.
The Moroccan national football team has reached the Qatar FIFA World Cup semi-final as the first African Arab country. After their victory against Spain, the Moroccan squad raised the Palestinian flag.
The image presented by the Facebook post to support the claim that Morrocans raised the ONLF flag in the Qatar World Cup was taken from another publication. Also, the image was altered to make the flag seem like the claimed one.
The original image shows the Moroccan team raising the Palestinian flag after a match in the 2022 FIFA World Cup being held in Qatar.
Thus, HaqCheck confirmed that the image doesn’t support the claim and rated the image Altered.
We recommend social media users be cautious of potentially misleading and controversial information. They should look for additional information before they accept or share the claim.
HaqCheck urges public offices and other agencies to offer timely updates about ongoing issues. The lack of sufficing information has been observed to be one of the main factors behind disinformation dissemination.
Government and other organizations are recommended to ensure the right of citizens and the media to access information.