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Egyptians Use Facebook to Mobilize, Government Not Happy

Social networking site Facebook is getting in the way of Egypt's emergency law governance, which has not allowed more than five people to congregate unless registered for the last 25 years.

In April, young citizens used Facebook to get 80,000 supporters to protest rising food prices. Also that month, on April 6, the site spread support and increased turnout for a textile workers' strike and protest. Just yesterday, an imprisoned blogger was released, after being allegedly tortured for his alleged role in the April 6 deadly protests.

Now, the LA Times reports that Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak may shut off Facebook access in Egypt. Already, the government is warning media not to mention Facebook, while leading a defamation campaign against those who use it.

The article continues to say that the Facebook movement, which offers a safe political space, has shown that there is secular opposition in Egypt. If not ill-fated, Facebook activism may counter the agenda of President Mubarak's son Gamal, who wants to gain youth support for his succession to power.

The Internet, which helps citizens circumvent traditional repression by allowing them to meet virtually, may be the solution for a freer society in Egypt. But, considering that only 40 percent of Egyptians are literate, and much less have Internet access, online tools will most likely be only a catalyst at first.


Join The Conversation
Zeinobia Zeinobia 9 years
Oh sugar dears , now are you speaking about it ?? You know I am Egyptian blogger and I am from that generation that giving a lot of headache to the regime first of all Stephly , please do not speak about Iraq because already there is no democracy in Iraq currenlty , second Egypt is not Iraq , Iraq is not Egypt From another yes Mubarak is the American administration friend, when they want somehting from him , for example to approve the invasion of Iraq or let some war ships pass the Suez Canal ,they speak and say that there is a dictatorship bottomline I do not put hopes on the American administration,this is something we learned from our modern history Liberty Sugar ,you said that 40% of the people are literate, I do not think that 60% of the people of illiterate about the internet access , well if that was the access , why the regime is scared to death ? do you know that Egyptian Government requested the help of the U.S to issue laws and regulations against the Internet use !?? It is not a catalyst now , it was a catalyst from one year ago in the blogs Now if we are going to speak about the facebook strikes and as ladies I think we should mention this young lady
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
It would be nice if just once, America picked a winner to support.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Psychopaths will never learn. Those people will always find a scape-goat. It's never their fault, but someone else's evil or carelessness.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
thanks for posting that, stephley. I had no idea. :(
stephley stephley 9 years
Yet, he's America's buddy: "For many years, Washington has propped up Mubarak's iron-fisted rule with some $2 billion annually in U.S. foreign aid. ( Last week's presidential vote was described as "democratic" because a change in Egypt's constitution, which Mubarak allowed several months ago, permitted opposition parties to field candidates against him for the first time ever... George W. Bush was quick to congratulate Mubarak on his election victory, even though only 23 percent of Egypt's 32 million registered voters (out of a population of some 75 million people) turned out to cast their ballots -- a fact that, in other countries, would likely be seen as weakening the winner's sense of a mandate." (SF Chronicle)
kcwebgirl kcwebgirl 9 years
people always underestimate passion and general feed-up-not-taking-it-anymore rebellion. they can shut off facebook and the protesters would find an alternative. when will psychopath dictators learn?
stephley stephley 9 years
Y'know, if we do create a functioning democracy in Iraq, it's going to want to move out of that neighborhood.
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