Twitter is temporarily interrupting trends in Ethiopia for fear of escalating violence

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Twitter has temporarily disabled the trends feature in Ethiopia to ensure the platform cannot be used to incite violence in the conflict-torn country, social media said on Saturday.

The Ethiopian parliament on Thursday declared a six-month state of emergency across the country to protect the population from the rebels of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (PNLF) advancing on the capital.

“We are monitoring the situation in Ethiopia and are focusing on protecting the safety of the conversation on Twitter. Inciting violence or dehumanizing people is against our rules,” said Twitter, adding that trends in the country will be temporarily turned off “to reduce the risks”. Coordination that could incite violence or cause damage. “

Northern Ethiopia has been gripped by the internal conflict since October last year when the central government accused the PNLF of attacking a military base and launched a counter-operation in Tigray. Neighboring Eritrea supported the Ethiopian authorities but said in the spring of 2021 it would withdraw its troops from Tigray.

In June, the rebels captured the administrative center of Tigray, the city of Mekelle, and the government declared an unconditional ceasefire. However, the insurgents later said they would launch a new offensive. They took control of part of Tigray and invaded the Amhara region, bringing them one step closer to the capital, Addis Ababa.

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