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Tag: EGYPT

Using Google to Dissect Arab Revolutions

The revolutions across the Middle East may have ushered in a new era of U.S. intelligence-gathering -- one that could even include Google. Gabriel Koehler-Derrick, an instructor at West Point, and Joshua Goldstein, from Princeton, recently used Google Trends to analyze the terms that Web users in Egypt searched at the height of the country's recent upheaval. "What we did was a comparison of ...

Julian Assange Says WikiLeaks Helped Shape Middle East Protests

During a speech at Cambridge University yesterday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange suggested that his whistleblowing organization played a significant role in the recent protests across the Middle East and North Africa. According to Assange, WikiLeaks' diplomatic cables may have convinced Middle Eastern leaders that they wouldn't be able to rely on U.S. assistance if military forces were to su...

Read This: Shut Up About 'Social Media Revolutions' in the Middle East, Please

[While] the recent round of uprisings may seem spontaneous to western observers – and therefore as magically disruptive as a rush-hour flash mob in San Francisco – the actual history of popular regime change tends to diminish the central role commonly ascribed to technology. By emphasising the liberating role of the tools and downplaying the role of human agency, such accounts mak...

Facing Calls for 'Jasmine Revolution,' China Tightens Grip on Internet

Taking their cue from the social media-savvy protesters in Egypt and Tunisia, a handful of dissidents in China have begun using the Web to organize their own "Jasmine Revolution." Unsurprisingly, the Chinese government is doing its best to silence them. The New York Times reports that Beijing has orchestrated a massive crackdown on Internet and phone services within the country in an attempt...

Egyptian Names First Daughter 'Facebook' in Honor of Revolution

What if American revolutionaries had decided to name their children "Tea Party" or "Musket," or if French upstarts had decided that their sons should go through life being called "Guillotine"? According to Al-Ahram, that's more or less what appears to be happening in Egypt, because a 20-something revolutionary has apparently named his firstborn daughter "Facebook." [Ed. note: To be fair, reading ...

#Jan25 Tweets Become Moving Work of Data Art

André Panisson, who works at data visualization software company Gephi, got lucky while experimenting with a script for tracking tweets. He tracked posts with the hashtag #jan25, just before and right after the announcement of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's resignation. The result is the stunning, pulsating spider web of connected tweets....

Journalist Resigns After Mocking Lara Logan's Sexual Assault on Twitter

Journalist Nir Rosen has resigned from his post at New York University, after posting a series of controversial and unbelievably stupid tweets about Lara Logan -- the CBS News correspondent who was physically and sexually assaulted by a mob in Cairo earlier this month. On February 15th, Rosen tweeted that the correspondent was simply trying to keep up with Anderson Cooper, who had also been at...

Facebook Reluctant to Discuss Its Role in Middle East Protests

Just about everyone not named Malcolm Gladwell can agree that Facebook played a pretty integral role in recent protests across the Middle East. The company, however, doesn't seem very interested in talking about it. According to the New York Times, Facebook's silence has more to do with business than sheer modesty. Although many have praised the social network as a critical mechanism of mobili...

Obama Administration to Unveil New Policy on Internet Freedom

The Obama administration is expected to introduce a new policy on Internet freedom today, following weeks of Web-fueled protests in the Middle East. The policy has reportedly been in the works for about a year, but recent events in Tunisia and Egypt have added a new sense of urgency to the issue as the U.S. struggles to balance old alliances in the Middle East with a new wave of reform-driven...

Dick Durbin Asks Mark Zuckerberg to Create Facebook Anonymity Option

Illinois Democratic Senator Richard Durbin wrote a letter to Mark Zuckerberg last week, asking the Facebook CEO to offer stronger online protection to political dissidents who use the social network for organizing protests. Citing the recent upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia, Durbin argued that Facebook should allow people to use fake names in order to avoid persecution from authoritarian regimes....

Kidnapped Google Engineer Thanks Zuckerberg, Says Egypt Revolution 'Started on Facebook'

Wael Ghonim, the Google engineer who was kidnapped and eventually released by the Egyptian regime, would apparently like to thank Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for making the revolution possible. "I want to meet Mark Zuckerberg one day and thank him," Ghonim told CNN, adding, quite humbly, that he was speaking "on behalf of Egypt." "This revolution started online," said the engineer who, it sho...

Read This: Shooting a Protest? Trash the Tripod, Keep the SD Cards

 When the Internet is working in Egypt, the bandwidth is fine and everyone can use Twitter, Facebook and so on to their heart's content during riots. Indeed, I confidently predict injuries among excitable Twitter users who are so intent on getting the latest development out first that their eyes are cast down to their screens - even as rocks are flying toward their heads. Photographer Stephen Far...

U.S. State Department Now Tweeting in Arabic

The already Twitter-savvy U.S. State Department is now tweeting in Arabic. A few days ago, the Department launched a new feed, @USAbilAraby, devoted exclusively to Arabic-speaking audiences. The account describes itself as the "US Department of State Arabic Media Hub," and, as of this morning, has already accumulated over 500 followers. According to the Washington Post, the State Department op...

Through Drones, Military Can Force Internet Back On Oppressive Regimes

Somewhere between the comforting notion that liberty is protected and the terrifying fact that information technology operates entirely out of our hands lies this interesting little factoid: The U.S. has the capability to reconnect the Internet in foreign countries. When the switch goes off in countries like Egypt, the United States military can remotely trigger satellites or send planes that wil...

Kenneth Cole Redefines Classy With Cairo Tweet

Share This week, the Social Media Outreach Award goes to Kenneth Cole, the brand that offers sensible shoes and faux-leather bags to the upscale T.J. Maxx shopper. Earlier today, the company managed to mix its ever-so-witty wordplay ("If gas prices continue to rise, why not switch to pumps? -Kenneth Cole") with current political events across the Atlantic. When the KC PR team heard about the dam...