The Premeditated ‘Tigray Genocide’ Cyber War Against Ethiopia in the Age of Social Media –
Addis Ababa, August 23, 2022 (Walta)– A team of scientists and data analysts from GETFACTet investigated social media data to find the origin and trend of the hashtag that popularized the Tigray Genocide narrative around the world, which played a role key in the international community’s response to Ethiopia, including US foreign policy.
The data that revealed shocking information indicates that non-military actors outside Ethiopia were coordinating the #TigaryGenocide cyber campaign linked to the pre-planned military attack of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) military command or ” preventive strike” against the Ethiopian army. base.
According to the results, on the night of November 3-4, 2020, 17 accounts were created, and the first “#TigrayGenocide” tweet started on Tuesday at 7:46 p.m. from one of these accounts. This is believed to be the genesis of the “#TigrayGenocide” hashtag, and it has never been used before this day.
This shows that the “#TigrayGenocide” was launched before and during the attack on thousands of Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) personnel stationed in Tigray, many of whom were massacred by TPLF forces while they slept. “#TigrayGenocide” was already up and circulating on international social media long before Ethiopian forces responded to the TPLF attack that sparked the ongoing war and humanitarian crisis.
Upon closer examination of the numbers, approximately 184 additional accounts were created, with a total of 201 accounts created on almost the same day on November 4, 2020, pushing “#TigrayGenocide” around the world. This is the largest number of accounts created to spread the genocide narrative in a single day (Figure 1, see November 4 pic).
On November 5, 2020, an additional 156 new accounts were created, with a cumulative 357 who tweeted “#TigrayGenocide”. Between November 5 and November 30, 2020, nearly 1,633 cumulative new accounts were opened and reached 75,581 “#TigrayGenocide” tweets (this does not include retweets, replays or likes), see Figure 3.
After November 5, 2020, daily new account creation decreased by more than 80%, while #TigrayGencoide retweets increased sharply. This indicates that the first 201 accounts created on November 3 and 4, 2020 were those that fueled the genocide hashtag for the consecutive months following the start of the conflict.
While retweets of the “TigrayGenocide” hashtag grew exponentially, there was no communication (internet or phone) between November 4 and November 30 from the Tigray region to the outside world. This raises an important question – if there was no communication in November with Tigray, then who are the eyewitnesses to the alleged “genocide” and who is reporting it to the world?
Another eyebrow-raising fact about the “#TigrayGenocide” campaign is that the hashtag circulates without providing specific incidents that include the number of victims, location, date and time of the alleged genocidal act. This loose use of the term “genocide” without confirmed evidence has made this serious term a broad statement.
Looking further into these accounts, we discovered that a large percentage of accounts tweeting “#TigrayGenocide” in the first two months were outside of Ethiopia and concentrated in specific locations such as Melbourne-Australia, Colorado-USA, Enschede-Netherlands and Islington. -London.
Over time between January and February 2021, the same hashtag was trending with 50,000 retweets per day. A coordinated effort of non-Ethiopian individuals from Tanzania and Kenya, with over a million followers, tweeted this hashtag, giving it an international voice on social media.
The fact that #TigrayGenocide started on the night of November 3-4 during the attack and blackout of the TPLF, even before the response of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), clearly shows that actors not military outside Ethiopia were coordinating a #TigrayGenocide cyberattack with military action in Tigray. This campaign was designed to distract the international community and shape public perception away from the actual aggression of the TPLF.
These factual reasons ring alarm bells for those genuinely concerned with the prevention of genocide and conflict. The intentional, premeditated and well-coordinated use of these stories to propagate an unconfirmed narrative of genocide should also be a call to action for international lawyers and policy makers seeking to curb the misuse of the media to create conditions that advance narratives of fear and hate. , which escalate conflicts to ultimately cause the death and dislocation of millions of people based on lies.