A team of scientists and data analysts at GETFACTet investigated social media data to find the origin and trending of the hashtag that popularized the Tigray genocide narrative worldwide, which has been playing a key part in the international community’s response to Ethiopia, including US foreign policy.
The data that revealed a piece of shocking information indicates that non-military actors outside Ethiopia were coordinating #TigaryGenocide cyber campaign that is linked to the TPLF military command preplanned military attack or “pre-emptive strike” on the Ethiopian military base.
According to the findings, on the night of Nov 3rd and Nov 4th, 2020, 17 accounts were created, and the first “#TigrayGenocide” tweet began on Tuesday at 19:46 from one of these accounts, which is considered the genesis of the hashtag.
This shows that “#TigrayGenocide” was launched before and during the attack on thousands of Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) stationed in Tigray, many of whom were massacred by Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces while they slept. “#TigrayGenocide” was
already circulating the international social media hubs long before Ethiopian forces responded to the attack by the TPLF that started the war and the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
Upon closer examination of the numbers, approximately 184 additional accounts were created, with a total of 201 accounts being created nearly the same day on Nov 4th, pushing the “#TigrayGenocide” worldwide. This is the most significant number of accounts created to propagate the genocide narrative within a single day (Figure 1, see the spike on Nov 4th).
On Nov 5th, 156 additional new accounts were created, with a cumulative of 357 that started “#TigrayGenocide” tweet. Between Nov 5th – Nov 30th of 2020, nearly 1633 cumulative new accounts opened and reached 75,581 “#TigrayGenocide” tweets (this does not include retweets, replays or likes). After Nov 5th, daily new account creation declined by more than 80 percent, while the #TigrayGencoide retweets sharply increased. This indicates the first 201 accounts created on Nov 4th were the ones driving the genocide hashtag for the consecutive months following the beginning of the conflict.
Figure 1. Number of newly created accounts per day that start twitting “#TigrayGenocide” versus date.
Figure 2. New accounts created accounts (accumulated with time) that start twitting “#TigrayGenocide” versus date.
Figure 3. Cumulative “#TigrayGenocide” tweet versus date.
While the “TigrayGenocide” hashtag retweets increased exponentially, there was no communication (internet or phone) between Nov 4th to Nov 30th from the Tigray region to the outside world.
Why were hundreds of accounts created to spread the genocide hashtag on the day TPLF launched its initial attack and even before Ethiopian Defense Forces were deployed to the Tigray region to defend against the TPLF’s attack?
As we look at these accounts deeper, we uncovered a large percentage of the accounts tweeting “#TigrayGenocide” for the first two months were outside Ethiopia and concentrated in specific locations such as Melbourne-Australia, Colorado-USA, Enschede-Netherland, and Islington London.
As time progressed between January – February 2021, the same hashtag was trending with 50,000 retweets per day. A coordinated effort from non-Ethiopian individuals from Tanzania and Kenya, with more than a million account followers, were tweeting this hashtag, giving it an international social media voice.
During our data mining, the “#TigrayGenocide” tweets starting from Nov 4th used the hashtag without providing specific incidents that include the location, date, and time of a genocidal act. This loose use of the term ‘genocide’ without confirmed evidence made this serious term a broad statement.
The fact that #TigrayGenocide began on the night of Nov 3-4th during the TPLF attack, during the electric blackout, even before the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) response, clearly shows that non-military actors outside Ethiopia were coordinating a #TigrayGenocide cyber attack with military action in Tigray. This campaign was designed to distract the international community and shape the public perception of the actual aggression of the TPLF.
These factual reasons raise important alarming bells for those genuinely concerned with preventing genocides and conflicts. The intentional, premeditated and well-coordinated use of these accounts to propagate an unconfirmed narrative of genocide should also be a call to action for international lawyers and policymakers seeking to curb the misuse of the media to create conditions that advance narratives of fear and hatred, which escalate conflicts to ultimately cause the deaths and dislocation of millions based on falsehoods.
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Hello Genocide support!
The siege of Tigray and the genocide started three years before the war when the Abiy government and it savage Amharas stated their intention by blocking the road connecting Tigray to the rest of the country, by cutting Tigray’s budget and by inviting Eritrea.
Well, isn’t it amazing that in spite of a well-coordinated international conspiracy, Abiy Ahmed is still at the apex of power in Arat Kilo? He even went to the war front and returned in one piece. That guy’s such a survivor, and this must piss off the mighty TPLF indescribably. They are begging the international community daily to return them (the TPLF) to Arat Kilo, while at the same time Tedros is insulting the same international community by calling them racists. Let me tell you something: I work with a bunch of white people, and even the worst racist doesn’t want to be called a racist. (An actual racist person always justifies his actions and behavior, and never admits to being a racist.) So it’s counterproductive for the WHO director to call the predominantly white international community racists. The smear campaign didn’t work then; it will not work now.
By the way, they also insulted the African Union, especially Olusegun Obasanjo’s efforts. Here is a link that might interest you.
I wonder if insulting everyone is the best way to get what you want? This sounds like a child throwing temper tantrums.
Did you mean to say the “siege of Leningrad?” Tplf is a group of cowards who murdered Tigrayans in their sleep. And idiots as well for thinking they will return to power and being routed back to their caves in just two weeks.
Excellent analysis. The terrorist TPLF did not succeed to regain power. Let’s help the peaceful Tigrians to be free from this inhumane and greedy Junta TPLF
Borkena Why Degrade Journalism?
What does this mean? Explain your concern a little further. It’s a wonderful article that sheds light on why the West has been hoodwinked into supporting the TPLF. The TPLF probably put all their eggs in the basket of the West turning up guns blazing and ousting Abiy Ahmed and of course reinstalling the very instigators of this catastrophe in Arat Kilo once again. Well, no more TPLF in the entire country of Ethiopia!!!
Savage TPLF Tigrians started massacring and torturing Amharas 50 years ago. It went for 27 years during TPLF hold of power in many ways and methods including sterlization of young women. The most recent in 2020 premeditated Amhara Genocide where over 1000 Amharas were slaughtered just in Mai Kadra Begemder, Gonder alone and after later in other part of Gonder and Wello as well.
After TPLF is ousted The #Stop Amhara Genocide is still being carried out by the Fascist Junta Abiy Ahmed dictatorial regime/ OLF/Prosperity Party/Shene/Oromo Liberation Army all in collaboration and help by Oromo ethnic Dominated and Controlled Fascist Abiy Ahmed regime.
is still going on in the Amhara Slaughter Hell, Wellega, Oromia Zone in Ethiopia.
The TPLF is good at fabricating and spreading lies and falsehoods. The exposure above is important because it will inform the international community how the TPLF has been trying to mislead and misuse their good will and concern for human rights. The TPLF precipitated the crises and is accusing others of blockading and besieging Tigray. It is trying to create the besieged mentality in Tigray as part of its overall plan of mobilization and conscription in Tigray. I hope that Tigray will soon run out of cannon fodder for the TPLF` s war of domination and supremacy.