Exploitation Of Social Media Affect Egyptian Revolution Media
On Jan 25th, 2011, the world for the first time witnessed a revolution that brilliantly leveraged the power of social networking tools to overthrow a corrupt regime. Facebook, twitter and blogs were all used to mobilize people across the State of Egypt and the 30-year dictatorship regime of Mubarak was overthrown in 18 days of peaceful demonstrations.
On Feb 11th, 2011, US president Barak Obama said: "There are very few moments in our lives where we have the privilege to witness history taking place. This is one of those moments. This is one of those times. The people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same".
The eRevolution was sparked by a group of young activists on Facebook calling for nationwide demonstrations to restore people's dignity and demand reform, freedom and social justice. Through the initiation of different Facebook groups, citizens coordinated their ideas and demonstration logistics via group posts, and comments, while communicating heavily on twitter and sometimes cell phone SMS services.
The government blocked twitter, SMS, and Facebook access in the hope of cutting communication lines between protestors and movement organisers. These Egyptian internet filters were easily bypassed by third-party proxies however, and on Jan 28th all internet access across Egypt was shutdown; the first online blackout of such magnitude in history. The move failed to slow the momentum of the revolution as people were already aware of where to go and how.
Egyptians still managed to access the internet over land-line dial-up and fax services, transmitting information and updates to sources outside of the country. Google also launched speak2tweet which allowed Egyptians to call a regular landline number in Cairo which used voice recognition software to convert their speech to text.
As the regime cracked, a vice president was appointed and a new government took over, with internet access and mobile phone communication restored in a gesture of goodwill to the Egyptian people. This tactic backfired horrendously on Mubarak, with Egyptians now able to upload videos of the violence the police force and thugs had inflicted on protestors. These videos can be sourced on YouTube right now - people being run over by cars, shot, snipered, and beaten to death by Molotov cocktail, machete-wielding thugs.
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