How Facebook Is Reacting To Egyptian Riots

Posted Feb 3, 2011

It may be debatable, but Facebook was the communication medium for the anti-Mubarak protests in Egypt. Facebook has about 5 million Egyptian users. The Egyptian youth on Facebook spread messages about having a protest around Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt. This eventually caused Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

“I have talked to people inside Facebook in the last week, and they are debating this internally,” stated “The Facebook Effect” author David Kirkpatrick. “Many countries where Facebook is popular have autocracies or dictatorships, and most of the countries have passively tolerated their popularity. But what’s happened in Egypt or Tunisia is likely to change other countries’ attitudes, and they’ll be more wary of Facebook operating there.”

Twitter and Google had partnered with each other to offer alternative communication after the Egyptian government took down the Internet. Facebook decided not to get involved any further. “The movement [in Egypt] was very dependent on Facebook,” stated Egyptian blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah. “It started with anger then turned into a legitimate uprising.”

[Washington Post]