In collaboration with Addis Ababa University, and with the support of a tremendous team of researchers, PCMLP is pleased to launch the first report of a series looking at online engagement and hate speech in Ethiopia. The team, led by Dr Iginio Gagliardone, has been testing innovative methods to understand how Ethiopians in Ethiopia and the diaspora are using social media to talk about politics, religion, and ethnicity.
The results, which largely focus on interactions on Facebook, are particularly important given the limited availability of systematic research on social media use in Africa. They also suggest how, despite the limited penetration and polarization that has characterized the media in Ethiopia, social media seems to have offered new opportunities for engagement and experimentation.
This first report only offers a preliminary analysis of the initial results, and the two following reports will look more in depth at the debates before and after the 2015 elections and at prevalent forms of communication in the Ethiopian online sphere.