An election this year is seen as the biggest test yet of whether his ambitious political reforms can stick.
The new law permits fines of up to 100,000 Ethiopian birr (3,000 dollars) and imprisonment for up to five years for anyone who shares or creates social media posts that are deemed to result in violence or disturbance of public order.
Some 297 lawmakers who were present in the chamber voted in favour of the bill while just 23 were opposed.
“Ethiopia has become a victim of disinformation, the country is a land of diversity and this bill will help to balance those diversities,’’ Godebo noted.
Several of the lawmakers who opposed the bill said it violates a constitutional guarantee of free speech.
The nation of 108 million people has regularly held elections since 1995, but only one, in 2005, was competitive.
The law was first endorsed by Abiy’s cabinet in November.
International rights groups say it creates a legal means for the government to muzzle opponents.
Amnesty International’s Ethiopia researcher Fisseha Tekle said politicians, activists, and others will be forced to be cautious.
“They will be afraid that their speech might fall into the definition of hate speech or can be considered as false information,” Tekle noted.