Africa-Press – Kenya. Twitter has confirmed to the BBC that it has suspended a number of accounts focusing on the conflict in Ethiopia for violating its rules.
Although Twitter did not give an exact figure, pro-Tigrayan users estimated the affected accounts could number in the hundreds.
The social media company told the BBC it had taken this action for “violations of the Twitter rules, including engaging in hashtag and mention spam” – where specific hashtags and Twitter handles are repeatedly included in tweets.
“This is in line with our continued efforts to protect the safety of the conversation on Twitter related to the ongoing situation in Ethiopia.”
Some vocal Twitter accounts which back Tigrayan forces fighting the Ethiopian government have been complaining of losing hundreds of followers, while others complained of their friends having been suspended from the platform:
While most of the affected accounts appear to be pro-Tigrayan, Twitter said it enforces its rules “objectively on content and accounts – we remain neutral to political identity and ideology”.
Affected accounts can appeal against the decision.
In recent months, social media companies have come under fire over what critics have been saying is their inaction over use of their platforms to spread hate and incitement.
In November last year, Twitter temporarily disabled its Trends function for Ethiopia which is meant to show the topics that are most popular at any given time.