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With Twitter Blocked, Egypt's Protesters Turning to Facebook

protests on police day
Thousands of Egyptians filled the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and other cities today, in protest of their government's economic policies, and rampant political corruption. And, much like the Tunisian demonstrators who inspired them, Egypt's protesters have taken full advantage of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to spread information and organize their actions. Now, however, it appears that Twitter has been blocked within the country, though some resourceful demonstrators are still finding a way to broadcast their 140-character missives to the rest of the Web.

At this point, Twitter's site and mobile platform are both inaccessible within Egypt, as are third-party Twitter clients. But a source told Tech Crunch that some users have circumvented the blackout by using Web proxies. There hasn't been any confirmation of government involvement in the ban, but, as this Herdict Report confirms, the service is clearly inaccessible to many within the country. Vodafone Egypt, for its part, insists that it had nothing to do with the incident, which the mobile provider attributes to saturated networks.

Egyptian protesters are still using Facebook to disseminate news and organize demonstrations. A group called 'We Are All Khaled Said' is posting regular updates (both confirmed and unconfirmed) on what's happening on the ground in Egypt. A recent post reads, "Mobile phone networks are being taken off completely. Very very limited network coverage in Cairo now." Another confirms that Anonymous has already launched 'Operation Egypt,' after having launched a series of retaliatory cyber attacks in Tunisia earlier this month. Even without Twitter, then, it appears that Egyptians will find a way to broadcast their struggle to the world -- and we'll have a window through which to watch it unfold.

Tags: anonymous, egypt, EgyptProtests, facebook, MiddleEast, politics, protest, SocialNetworking, top, Tunisia, TunisiaProtests, twitter