Mechachal – Examining the Dissemination of Hateful and Dangerous Speech on Social Media in Ethiopia

The Mechachal project, one of first academic studies to contextually examine how hate speech emerges and disseminates in social media, has released its final report. A collaboration between University of Oxford's Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy and Addis Ababa University, the research team examined thousands of comments made by Ethiopians on Facebook during four months around the time of the country’s general election. Hate speech was found in just 0.7% of overall statements in the representative sample. Their findings may have wide implications for the many countries trying to address growing concerns about the role played by social media in promoting radicalisation or violence.