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The problem is not with the platforms in as much as it is with the political communications culture that is largely devoid of civility.


In the 2010s, Ethiopia, along with the rest of the world, learned the hard way that the astounding technological improvement in the exchange of information exacts a terrible cost. Facebook, YouTube and Telegram may be free to access, but the cost they exact on socio-political relationships is devastating.


Rarely has a weapon as fantastic for political mobilisation emerged throughout human history. It has been unprecedented in its ability to create political polarisation and propagate misinformation and disinformation to a wide section of the population within minutes. Ethiopia’s experience with this has been no different, with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube playing the frontline roles in the dissemination of inflammatory rhetoric. The problem is not with the platforms in as much as it is with the political communications culture that is largely devoid of civility.






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