In the early hours of Nov. 4, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed shut down telecommunications and deployed troops to his country’s northern Tigray region. Shortly after, a flurry of new Twitter accounts appeared and began to tweet about the situation. By the following week, new accounts were responsible for nearly a quarter of tweets about the crisis.
On the surface, this is a familiar phenomenon. Some regimes use swarms of automated accounts — known as “bots” — to sway political discourse. However, my analysis of nearly 90,000 recent tweets, along with interviews with Ethiopia’s diaspora, revealed a different phenomenon: There are real people behind most of these new accounts.… Seguir leyendo »