Addis Creates its Own Social Media Platforms

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Ethiopia has begun developing its own social media platform to rival Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, though it does not plan to block the global services, the state communications security agency has said.

For the past year Ethiopia has been engulfed in an armed conflict between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which controls the Tigray region in the country’s north. Supporters of both sides have waged a parallel war of words on social media.

The government wants its local platform to replace Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Zoom, Shumete Gizaw, the director general of the Information Network Security Agency (INSA), said. Shumete accused Facebook of deleting posts and user accounts he said were “disseminating the true reality about Ethiopia”.

He also told the news website Al-Ain Amharic that authorities were working on the platform to replace Facebook and Twitter, and that a trial had already been completed of a soon-to-be-operational platform to replace WhatsApp and Zoom.

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