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Social media and messaging apps restricted in Ethiopia amid religious tensions

February 10, 2023

 FEBRUARY 9, 2023
Network data confirm the restriction of Facebook, Telegram and TikTok in Ethiopia on Thursday 9 February 2023. The incident comes amid anti-government protests sparked by tensions over an attempt to split the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewhado Church.

Real-time NetBlocks metrics indicate that Facebook, Telegram and TikTok have been restricted on state internet provider Ethio Telecom, with aggregated reachability statistics collected from an initial set of 20 vantage points. This class of disruption can be worked around using VPN services, which are able to circumvent government internet censorship measures.


What’s happening in Ethiopia?

Protests relating to tensions over pressures on the EOTC have sparked wider anti-government sentiment. Ethiopia has an history of social media restrictions during protests, although authorities do not generally announce the measure.

NetBlocks recommends against the use of internet filtering due to its disproportionate impact on the public’s right to freely access and impart knowledge.



Internet performance and service reachability are determined via NetBlocks web probe privacy-preserving analytics. Each measurement consists of latency round trip time, outage type and autonomous system number aggregated in real-time to assess service availability and latency in a given country. Network providers and locations are enumerated as vantage point pairs. The root cause of a service outage may be additionally corroborated by means of traffic analysis and manual testing as detailed in the report.

NetBlocks is an internet monitor working at the intersection of digital rights, cyber-security and internet governance. Independent and non-partisan, NetBlocks strives to deliver a fair and inclusive digital future for all.

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