Investor briefing: Amnesty International’s Report - Meta's Contribution to Human Rights Abuses in Northern Ethiopia
Amnesty International’s latest report titled ‘A death sentence for my father’: Meta’s contribution to human rights abuses in northern Ethiopia, discusses Meta’s role in serious human rights abuses against Ethiopia’s Tigrayan community. This is Amnesty International’s second report assessing Meta’s role in human rights abuses in conflict-affected and high-risk areas (CAHRAs), following a 2022 report focusing on the Rohingya in Myanmar. This latest research reveals that many of the same systemic failures in Myanmar occurred again in Ethiopia.
On 4 November 2020, armed conflict broke out in Ethiopia’s Tigray region between forces aligned with Ethiopia’s federal government and forces affiliated with Tigray’s regional government, later spreading to neighboring Amhara and Afar regions. The conflict was characterized by extreme brutality against civilians committed by all parties to the conflict, an estimated 600,000 civilian casualties, millions of internally displaced civilians, and the forced migration of an estimated 70,000 civilians to Eastern Sudan. At the height of the conflict, Facebook in Ethiopia became awash with content inciting violence and advocating hatred. Content targeting the Tigrayan community was particularly pronounced, with pages posting content advocating hate that incited violence and discrimination against the Tigrayan community.
Meta’s content-shaping algorithms maximize engagement and boost content that is often inflammatory, harmful and divisive, as this is what tends to garner the most attention from users. In the context of the northern Ethiopia conflict, these algorithms fueled devastating human rights impacts, amplifying content targeting the Tigrayan community across Facebook, Ethiopia’s most popular social media platform.
Alia Al Ghussain, Researcher and Adviser on Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights at Amnesty Tech
Laura Okkonen, Investor Advocate at Access Now
Jaimee Kokonya, Africa Campaigner at Access Now
Watch the webinar here:
For additional details, please contact the Investor Alliance for Human Rights.