The interaction of mass media and social media in fueling ethnic violence in Ethiopia

Image: Kreatikar on Pixabay.

In an Accord article this month, Muna Shifa and Fabio Andrés Díaz discuss how social media platforms play a prominent role in modern society by providing tools for various voices to communicate ideas, perspectives and worldviews. Such potential has been illustrated by the role of these platforms in supporting social movements, mobilisation in defence of the environment, and the defence of marginalised communities and groups across different latitudes. However, in many instances, social media has also been used to spread misinformation, broadcast hate speech, and incite violence. The authors discuss the interaction between mass media and social media in conflict contexts and the risk associated with normalising hate speech. They do this by examining the case of the ongoing conflict and ethnic tensions in Ethiopia in the context for the emergence of armed conflict in Ethiopia since 2020. Read the article.