Facebook has deleted popular lawmaker’s post.
Social media platform Facebook has taken down a post by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed urging Ethiopians to kill and bury rebels.
The post was a violation of the social media platform’s policy on inciting violence.
On Sunday, Mr Ahmed had urged citizens to take up arms to protect their neighbourhoods if the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) advanced on the capital, Addis Ababa.
Mr Ahmed posted that the rebel advance on the capital was “pushing the country to its demise,” urging citizens to “organise and march through [any] legal manner with every weapon and power… to prevent, reverse and bury the terrorist TPLF.”
“We were made aware of a post by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and removed this for violating our policies against inciting and supporting violence,” a spokesperson for Facebook, whose parent company recently rebranded to Meta, told the BBC.
Facebook employees had exposed the company’s failure to curb the spread of posts inciting violence in “at risk” countries like Ethiopia.
A CNN report noted that Facebook ranked Ethiopia in its highest priority tier for countries at risk of conflict, but the documents provided to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed that Facebook’s efforts were insufficient for the volume of inappropriate content on its platform.
The U.S. spoke against the violent takeover of the country by the rebels. The ongoing conflict between the TPLF and the Ethiopian government and allies have seen the capture of cities around the capital in the past week.
The rebel group that formerly dominated Ethiopian politics claimed to have occupied the strategic town of Dessie, 13kms from Kombolcha, and 400kms north of the capital Addis Ababa, on the major road that connects the federal capital to Mekelle, the capital of Tigray Region.
The conflict between Mr Ahmed’s government and the TPLF spiked in November 2020 when forces of the TPLF seized military bases in Tigray, a northern region.