Social networking and Online technologies in Tahrir Square
2004, Kefaya Movement Protest
Kefaya, a grassroots political party, was the first in Egypt to publically protest Mubarak’s Government, in an event held in 2004. On Al-
Jazeera television, Iman Ramadan, one of Kefaya’s founders, advocateddoing away with the State’s Emergency Laws.
2007, KEFAYA ACTIVISM On Kefaya’s website, www.harakamasria.com, users can air their grievances through comments on the site and post You-Tube videos of police torture. Furthermore, Kefaya blogs help to give the group more publicity.
Picture taken from: www.harakamasria.com,
April 6 2008, AHMED MAHER AND APRIL 6th Youth movement
Student protestors chose April 6th 2008 to support a worker’s protest in the city of Mahalla. Ahmed Maher helps to plan protest by learning from the Serbian activist movement, ‘Otpor!’known for its peaceful tactics. Maher also helps produce a strong media presence for the group, especially though blogging.
April 6 2009 The students are harshly confronted by State security forces. There website is shut down after the earlier arrest of fourteen activists.
April 6th 2010 Youth Movement
Ahmed Maher and student WaleedRashad, adopt Eastern European tactics of peaceful protest, from the “CANVAS” movement, which helped to bring down Slobidan Mislosevich in 2000. They use the symbol of a raised fist, to show their solidarity and commitment.
June 2010, Khaled Said is murdered
Khaled Said was a 28 year-old Egyptian student from the coastal city of Alexandria. He has been compared to the young Tunisian, Mohammad Bouzazi. Both of these were made symbolic martyrs of their respective revolutions, like the masses of young people in their countries, both were young, educated and oppressed. Said’s face is stamped onto hundreds of posters and flags seen throughout the protests.Court trial confirms that Said was tortured and killed by the Egyptian police in June last year.
January 18th 2011Asmaa Mahfouz, a member of the April 6th youth movement, produces a vlog to rally others to come to Tahrir Square on January 25th. In it she urges people not to be afraid, and to also tell their friends to help protest via Facebook.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgjIgMdsEuk
January 20thWe are all Khaled Said page produced by Google Executive, WaelGhonim, commemorates police cruelty toward Said, who was tortured and beaten to death, being accused by his killers of drug possessionhttp://www.facebook.com/elshaheeed.co.uk
January 27th: Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry Messenger services are disrupted. This move receives enormous media attention and highlights the importance ofsocial media as a tool in the planning and broadcasting of events.
January 27thInternet is shut down The Associated Press also confirms widespread Internet outages in Egypt.Resney’s, a US based Internet monitoring company, reports that Egypt’s four main press providers are shut down. Vodaphone, which is a particularly popular provider in Cairo, receives criticism for pandering to pressure to stop providing coverage.
January 28thObama shuts Internet down
President Obama calls on Egypt to reconnect the Internet and access to social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. The White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also wrote on Twitter, from his @PressSec account; “Very concerned about violence in Egypt — government must respect the rights of the Egyptian people & turn on social networking and Internet.”
Sunday 30thJanuary: “The Guardian,”publishes the work of journalists on the field in Egypt, through tweets, sound recordings and in printed text. The Guardian’s scrolling blog helps connect Egyptians and foreigners to election events throughout the revolution. The Guardian also reports on the activities of prominent Presidential candidates like Omar Suleiman, Ayman Noor and Mohammed el Baradei.
Picture Taken from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/jan/30/egypt-protests-live-updates
February 2:Twitter produces ‘Speak to tweet’ technology.
Twitter helps to support protests on the ground by creating a voice enabled posting system via the connection of a simple phone line. Google announced this change through its blog, in a post titled “Some weekend work that will (hopefully) enable more Egyptians to be heard.”Speak to Tweet means that protestors can have their voice messages sent out as tweets with the #egypthashtag added, though they have no Internet access. This was a very helpful tool in allowing protestors to continue communicating with the international public, and with eachother.
February 11thHosni Mubarak steps down
Thousands have gathered outside of the Presidential palace in Heliopolis Cairo, awaiting Hosni Mubarak’s announcement that he is to step down from presidency. Omar Suleiman, the vice-president, explains in a State TV address, that the President is “waiving” his office, and is to hand over power to the Supreme Council of the armed forces. Once again, Al Jazeera streams the event live through its website.
February 20th Al Jazeera timeline
The Aljazeera press company provides images of the revolution on the ground, broadcasts the police brutality that occurred in Tahrir Square on January 27th and is generally useful in communicating the events on the ground to the greater public. This ‘Timeline: Egypt’s revolution’ helps connect the public to the events at Tahrir.
July-August 2011: Ongoing broadcast of Mubarak trials streamed on almasryalyoum.comand other sites,means that even Egyptian ex-patriots can stay connected to events in Cairo. The accessibility of the trial footage also means that protestors can contest Mubarak’s statements. Online streaming technology helps create some transparency in a Governmentstill marked by corruption and secrecy.