Fake facebook pages of Dr Tedros irk Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry

(Daniel Berhane)

Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom may not be the first Ethiopian government official to open a twitter account. Certainly, he is the most active one – updating his followers about his official activity, even football matches.

That made him probably the first Ethiopian holder of a “verified twitter account”.

Yet, he didn’t make time for facebook, where he had an account since 2011.

That is no more.

A couple of recently launched impostor facebook pages apparently forced him to expand his social media presence.

On Monday, Tedros announced his official page, which is named Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and described as Official Account for Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia.

The impostor pages, which thus far mainly re-posted his tweets to get credibility, took an annoying turn.

In an apparent attempt to create confusion, they immediately copied the profile photo of the official page and updated their description as “official page”. One impostor page in particular started claiming that the official page is a fake one.

That prompted Tedros’s office to post a note on facebook cautioning that the “Ministry deeply regrets such acts of misrepresentation and cautions all that whatever messages carried by these accounts are not Dr.Tedros Adhanom’s messages”.

This kind of impersonations might be a common happenstance to many facebook users. Though, not what the first Ethiopian Minister who openly engaged facebook had in mind.

Perhaps, it may be a consolation for Tedros that just a few months ago a Deputy President and a Minister of South Africa faced similar issues with impostor facebook accounts .

As it is the case with all types of media, the solution is to engage more, not otherwise.


Daniel Berhane

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