Amid renewed protests in Ethiopia, web brigades composed of user accounts of Oromo tribal descent waged an online campaign to protest historical injustices and exclusion
from the government's development efforts in the country. The latest clashes, which erupted on 29 June 2020, had led to the death of at least 178 people as at 13 August
CfA’s iLAB analysed several Twitter hashtags related to the protests. First, we examined the volume of tweets using the #OromoProtests hashtag, as well as other hashtags related to the protests such as #AbiyMustGo and #hacaaluuhundeessaa. The #OromoProtests hashtag has had a relatively consistent presence on Twitter for the last seven years, with periodic increases in usage around key events.
iLAB further observed the coordination of users participating in the protest by use of lead websites with pre-drafted tweets, coordinated link sharing, creation of new accounts and use of automation to share the narratives within the hashtags. Further, users re-shared old protests and genocide pictures falsifying them as evidence of current protests with the intention of potentially polarising or inciting reaction from the public.