Ethiopia elections: The misinformation circulating online

As Ethiopia prepares for parliamentary elections on Monday, some online users have been posting misleading content and claims.

Access to social media in Ethiopia is relatively low compared with elsewhere on the continent but its use is rising rapidly, particularly around events such as national elections. It’s been one of the most widely shared pieces of fakery during the election campaign – an audio recording, apparently of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, allegedly leaked from a top-level meeting of the ruling party. The prime minister can be heard saying he would “rather die” than leave office.

The recording was originally posted by Kello Media, an online news service based in the United States, claiming it was authentic.

My Abiy’s office subsequently released a statement saying the audio was a fake and that it had been “put together by drawing on different unrelated remarks made by the prime minister”. The BBC’s Amharic language service has analysed the audio and identified distinct jumps, as well as variations in volume and audio quality, strongly suggesting it had been manipulated.

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