Who would have thought that twitter and facebook could foment a revolution?
Yet Wael Ghonim says it did. He’s one of the people behind the
“We are all Khaled Said” facebook page, and he spent a dozen days in jail for it:
“Because of the Internet, the truth prevailed.
And everyone knew the truth.
And everyone started to think that this guy can be my brother.”
Here’s a post from that facebook page on 3 March 2011:
“I really want you ALL to understand that your support to Free Egypt &
Egyptians is vital. Don’t you ever think that sitting on FaceBook
supporting & commenting help help Egypt. A whole revolution started on
Facebook & is now bringing Freedom & starting a new modern Egypt.”
Other Egyptian organizers say similar things:
“Online organising is very important because activists have been able
to discuss and take decisions without having to organise a meeting which
could be broken up by the police,” he said.’
The day of the protest, the group tried a feint to throw off the
police. The organizers let it be known that they intended to gather at
a mosque in an upscale neighborhood in central Cairo, and the police
gathered there in force. But the …organizers set out instead for a
poor neighborhood nearby, Mr. Elaimy recalled.
Starting in a poor neighborhood was itself an experiment. “We always
start from the elite, with the same faces,” Mr. Lotfi said. “So this
time we thought, let’s try.” ‘
The NY Times story goes into detail about how the online organizing
interfaced with and instigated the initial meatspace protests.
And you don’t need a laptop or a desktop computer to use
social media. As Reese Jones
in 2010 75% of the population of Egypt had cell
phones (60 million phones in service likely with SMS)
possible to message via Facebook via SMS at
And this was all after similar efforts in Tunisia had successfully
exiled their tyrant and inspired the Egyptians, who in turn inspired
the Lybians, etc.
And what inspired the Tunisians to start was Wikileaks posts of U.S. cables
showing the U.S. thought the Tunisian dictator was just as clueless and
corrupt as the Tunisians thought.
So yes, social networking on the Internet has fomented multiple revolutions.