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Several Telegram Channels Impostering the Ministry of Education

By Rehobot Ayalew


Claims: Dozens of Telegram channels with thousands of subscribers claim to be of the Ministry of Education

Verdict: Misleading


Following the news that “the 2023/24 mid-term exit exam’s results have been released on February 26”, MultiFactCheck (MFC) have identified several Telegram accounts claiming to be of the Ministry of Education (MoE).

Some of these channels have 100,000 subscribers. For example, an imposter channel by the name of the Ministry of Education has over 127,500 subscribers and another channel named “ትምህርት ሚኒስቴር” (which translates to the Ministry of Education) also has more than 110,000 subscribers (see the following screenshots).

Screenshots of imposter accounts in Amharic (top) and English (bottom) with substantial number of subscribers 

These two pages of imposter accounts also claimed on their channels that “[this] is the actual Ministry of Education, Student Information page”. As a result, these imposter channels frequently circulate inaccurate or deceptive content that lacks validation from the MoE. Such inaccurate or deceptive content ranges from sharing misleading advertisements to posting fabricated announcements, which pose risks of confusion and potential harm to students, parents, and educators alike (see below screenshots). 

Screenshots that show an account impostering to be of the MoE (top) and sharing non-education related content (bottom)  

The screenshot at the top shows a false announcement claiming: “The first ever channels opened for university and high school students.” The post has links to categories including Sport, Music, Politics, Film, Technology, Book, Religion and others. The screenshot at the bottom shows a call for promotion on the Channel. The advertisement reads: “What do you want to promote on this channel? Sales, Shops, Hair and Face treatments, Consultancy companies, and anything you want, you can advertise here.”

However, upon careful scrutiny and verification by MultiFactCheck, it has been confirmed that the official Telegram channel for the Ministry of Education Ethiopia, which by the time this article was prepared had 79,661 subscribers, stands as the sole authentic source endorsed by the respective authority (see screenshot below). 

Screenshot of the official Telegram account of MoE

MultiFactCheck was able to verify the imposter accounts by cross checking from the official website of the MoE. The official Telegram account and other social media pages run by the MoE on Facebook, X (previously Twitter), and LinkedIn, can be found at the bottom of the website or in the “Contact Us“ page (for more information see the website). Thus, for instance, if one clicks the Telegram link on its website, it then redirects to the official Telegram of the MoE. 

After cross checking imposters’ claims with the original channel of the Ministry of Education, MFC rated their claims as misleading.

In recent times, the proliferation of imposter accounts on social media platforms has become a significant concern, particularly regarding the dissemination of misleading information. In light of this, it is essential for individuals to adopt vigilant practices when consuming information online. Here are some tips for cross-checking the authenticity of sources:

  • Verify Official Channels: Always verify information from official channels or sources directly affiliated with the respective authority. Official websites, verified social media accounts, and press releases are reliable sources of information.
  • Check for Consistency: Cross-reference information across multiple credible sources to ensure consistency and accuracy. Discrepancies or contradictions among sources may indicate misinformation.
  • Scrutinize Content: Evaluate the content for logical coherence, factual accuracy, and credibility of sources cited. Be wary of sensationalist or inflammatory language, as these may signal potential mis/disinformation.
  • Be Skeptical of Anonymity: Exercise caution when encountering information from anonymous or unverified sources. Lack of transparency regarding the source’s identity or affiliations raises red flags for potential misinformation.
  • Report Suspicious Activity: Report imposter accounts or instances of misinformation to the respective platform authorities or fact-checking organizations. Timely reporting helps mitigate the spread of false information and protects others from falling victim to deception.

The prevalence of imposter accounts on social media platforms underscores the importance of critical thinking and discernment when navigating online information ecosystems. By adhering to these guidelines and adopting responsible information consumption practices, individuals can contribute to combating the spread of mis/disinformation and upholding the integrity of information dissemination.

We at the MFC strive to verify misleading and false claims so that people get fact-based information and make an informed decision as well. In the process of our work, accuracy and transparency hold a central role. Therefore, if you see errors in our content, please write to us at [email protected] so that our team will make corrections.

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(MFC) is an independent fact-checking organization which is launched to pin-point, track-down, scrutinize, investigate, interrogate, publish and distribute the factual accuracy of claims made by public figures. MFC’s project has geographical priorities. Our work mainly focuses on nations in the Horn of Africa and their diaspora community who reside abroad. We operates from various regions of Africa, Europe and North America. Through a multitude of professional proficiency, MFC deploys best practices of journalism, scholarship and expertise in order to flag, investigate and publish a fact.

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