Author’s Note: The information war (InfoWars) on Ethiopia today is in full swing.
Lies, fake news and disinformation intended to bamboozle, hoodwink and confuse Ethiopians are spreading on social and legacy media like the bubonic plague.
The vectors of this social pandemic are social media rodents, online mind-sucking ticks and cyber tsetse flies that spread anxiety, sleeplessness, confusion, demoralization, anger, misery, despair and a malaise of doom and gloom on a vulnerable population.
Last week, I got dozens of inquiries by phone, email and text about a tweet allegedly sent out by President Donald Trump (screenshot below). I would have ignored and dismissed the whole episode as a childish prank but for the fact that the people contacting me, often cheerfully, were well-known members of the Ethiopian diaspora establishment including respected academicians, businesspersons, religious leaders and retired public officials.
I was stunned how a patently and manifestly fake Trump tweet could fool so many people who are judicious, cautious and even shrewd in their professional lives. I wondered how such a simple piece of photoshopped disinformation could reverberate throughout social media land and confuse, mislead, deceive and fool others who lack sophistication, discernment and tech savvy.
There is an organized and concerted effort to bury the people of Ethiopia under a social media avalanche of evil propaganda, disinformation and fake news 24/7/365. The aim of this effort is to perpetrate psychological terrorism on naive, gullible and unsuspecting people undergoing emotional turmoil about the political and social situation in Ethiopia.
The strategic aim of the digital psycho-terrorists is 1) to use fake news, disinformation, conspiracy theories and psychological warfare to delegitimize, destabilize and discredit the current leadership and changes taking place in Ethiopia after 27 years of ethnic apartheid rule, and 2) to create total chaos and anarchy in the country and create an opportunity for the those who were kicked out of power and and their Johnny–come–lately lackeys (ye dil tor arbegnoch) to return to power as savior white knights in shining armor.
Their tactic is a simple one. “Repeat as many lies, disinformation and conspiracy theories often enough and they become truth”. Or as Mao Zedong said, “A lie told a hundred times becomes the truth.”
I call this information/psychological warfare “digital psycho-terrorism”.
I shall argue in this commentary that it is necessary to organize and implement a digital psychological counter-terrorism program to fight lies, disinformation and conspiracy theories on social media and online.
I tender the old maxim paraphrased, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of lies, disinformation and conspiracy on social media and online is for good men and women to remain dupes and do nothing.”
It is the moral obligation of all people of good will, good mind, good heart and good faith to fight digital psycho-terrorists on and offline day and night for evil never sleeps.
I have been warning on the coming of digital psycho-terrorist troll infowars on Ethiopia(ns) for years
I have been warning my readers and followers of the looming digital psycho-terrorist infowars for some time now.
In my September 5, 2016 commentary, I discussed the lies and disinformation campaigns of the previous ethnic apartheid regime. I explained how the Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) waged a 25-year-long disinformation campaign to keep itself in power. I identified 10 elements of the TPLF’s coordinated disinformation campaigns.
In my September 16, 2016 commentary, I warned we should never let the TPLF con men scam and flim-flam us with their targeted disinformation campaigns.
In my September 25, 2016 commentary, I examined the TPLF’s massive disinformation campaign to discredit the widespread popular uprising (which ultimately occasioned its demise) against its oppressive rule in Ethiopia and challenged the cry wolf TPLF boys who were creating alarm and fear by announcing imminent genocide.
In my March 2017 commentary, I wrote about the “Lords of Living Lies” and their “infernal life of complete mendacity on Planet Denial-istan Ethiopia.” I deconstructed 10 boldfaced and shameless TPLF lies in the TPLF fictional narrative by simply fake (fact) checking them.
In my August 12, 2018, commentary I explained how the Forces of Darkness have weaponized, tribalized and vulgarized social media in their infowars to polarize Ethiopians and derail the peaceful revolution in Ethiopia. I called on all Ethiopian social media warriors to come to the aid of their country to fight fake news, disinformation and conspiracy theories.
In a joint opinion piece dated August 17, 2018, we expressed concern over the lies and rumors spread on social media to create instability, violence, death and destruction in Ethiopia. We condemned the rumor mill operated by a well-organized group of digital thugs to delegitimize Prime Minster Abiy and his government and rob public confidence in the peaceful change that is taking place in Ethiopia.
In my March 2019 commentary I demonstrated how the “Chicken Littles of Ethiopia” were in full hysteria mode clucking, “The sky is falling on Ethiopia.” I examined the relentless psychological war of attrition aimed at manipulating minds, crushing hearts, fraying nerves and breaking down the spirit of the Ethiopian people.
Back in my May 2011 commentary, I demonstrated how TPLF Uber Boss Meles Zenawi had been making hyperbolic claims of economic growth in Ethiopia by cooking statistics and massaging GDP (gross domestic product) numbers to claim Ethiopia is in a state of runaway economic development. I demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt that Zenawi’s voodoo economics was built on lies, damned lies and statislies (statistical lies).
But it was in my August 2007 commentary that I made the TPLF an offer they can’t refuse: “If they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.”
But lies, of course, course in the blood stream of the TPLF. After all the “LF” in TPLF stands for Lie Factory.
The TPLF leaders are pathological liars and they can’t help it. They are congenital mythomaniacs afflicted by “pseudologia fantastica”. Simply stated, they are born liars!
Read the full story here.