An incident in Ethiopia is to serve as a test for social media networks after a man decided to sue Facebook, a platform he says can lead to killings.

Abrham Meareg, son of an Ethiopian chemistry professor, filed a lawsuit against Meta, Facebook’s parent company, claiming that the platform has incited the killing of his father, including viral hate and violence, and has harmed people across Eastern and Southern Africa.

The suit further claimed that Meareg Amare, a 60-year-old Tigrayan academic, was gunned down outside his home in Bahir Dar, the capital city of Ethiopia’s Amhara region, after a series of detestable messages posted on Facebook which maligned and doxed the professor, triggering his murder.

Read More News

Bra-less Pamela turned chilly France hot

The claim accuses Facebook’s algorithm of lining up treacherous and vile content to engage users, increase advertising prospects, and boost profits in Kenya.

In the complaint, it says, “They have suffered human rights violations as a result of the Respondent failing to take down Facebook posts that violated the bill of rights even after making reports to the Respondent.”

Further, the claim asserts that Facebook has failed to sufficiently invest in content moderation in nations across Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, particularly from its hub in Nairobi.

More so, it asserted that Meta’s failure to deal with the core safety issues has fanned the flames of Ethiopia’s civil war.

Response From Facebook

Meta’s response to the allegations was summarized in their statement to CNN saying:

“We have strict rules which outline what is and isn’t allowed on Facebook and Instagram. Hate speech and incitement to violence are against these rules and we invest heavily in teams and technology to help us find and remove this content. Our safety and integrity work in Ethiopia is guided by feedback from local civil society organizations and international institutions.”

Can Rush Hour 4 break any legs?

Outraged By Killings

Meareg lamented that “If Facebook had just stopped the spread of hate and moderated posts properly, my father would still be alive.”

“I’m taking Facebook to court, so no one ever suffers as my family has again. I’m seeking justice for millions of my fellow Africans hurt by Facebook’s profiteering — and an apology for my father’s murder,” Meareg said with an indignant tone.

Meareg is initiating the litigation with the assistance of a legal advisor and former Ethiopia researcher at Amnesty International, Fisseha Tekle, and with Kenyan human rights group, the Katiba Institute.

Facebook has acknowledged that it didn’t do enough to prevent its platform from being used to inflame violence. Its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, wrote an open letter apologizing to activists and promised to increase its moderation efforts.

It seemed that Facebook, as a social media platform, does not only keep relationships alive thru constant and real-time communication. It also takes lives

Ethiopia is under siege. Screengrab from