Meta, the parent company of Facebook, contributed to serious human rights abuses against Ethiopia’s Tigrayan community, Amnesty International said in a new report published today.
A death sentence for my father: Meta’s contribution to human rights abuses in northern Ethiopia, shows how Meta has once again failed to adequately curb the spread of content advocating hatred and violence, this time targeting Tigrayans during the November 2020 to November 2022 armed conflict in northern Ethiopia.
Three years after its staggering failures in Myanmar, Meta has once again – through its content-shaping algorithms and data-hungry business model – contributed to serious human rights abuses.Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General
Amnesty International has previously highlighted Meta’s contribution to human rights violations against the Rohingya in Myanmar and warned against the recurrence of these harms if Meta’s business model and content-shaping algorithms were not fundamentally reformed.
“Three years after its staggering failures in Myanmar, Meta has once again – through its content-shaping algorithms and data-hungry business model – contributed to serious human rights abuses. Even before the outbreak of the conflict in northern Ethiopia, civil society organizations and human rights experts repeatedly warned that Meta risked contributing to violence in the country, and pleaded with the company to take meaningful action,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
“However, Meta ignored these warnings and did not take appropriate mitigation measures, even after the conflict had broken out. As a result, Meta has again contributed to serious human rights abuses, this time perpetrated against the Tigrayan community.”
The Facebook platform is a major source of information for many Ethiopians and is considered a trustworthy news source. Facebook’s algorithms fueled devastating human rights impacts by amplifying harmful content targeting the Tigrayan community across Facebook during the armed conflict.