Wow, what a couple of weeks it has been for Social Media. Heralded as helping spark the revolution in Tunisia by giving people the voice to call the populace together against corruption, Social Media is now being fought by the Egyptian government.
Yesterday the Internet was effectively turned off in Egypt but little could be done to contain the fallout.
Thanks to Social Media and Bloggers giving the world a front row seat to the protests taking place, we know that the medium has a powerful punch that corrupt governments should fear. In order to limit the exposure of the Egyptian crisis, the government first blocked all social media channels — including Twitter — before turning off all Internet access in the country.
Biz Stone wrote a Blog post titled “The Tweets Must Flow” which indirectly mentions Twitter’s impact and role in the past two weeks in regards to citizen uprisings. While Biz doesn’t directly bring up the revolution that is taking place in Tunisia nor the protests in Egypt, he does assert that Twitter’s goal is to share information and will try everything in its power to not be impeded by government restrictions.
Our goal is to instantly connect people everywhere to what is most meaningful to them. For this to happen, freedom of expression is essential. Some Tweets may facilitate positive change in a repressed country, some make us laugh, some make us think, some downright anger a vast majority of users. We don’t always agree with the things people choose to tweet, but we keep the information flowing irrespective of any view we may have about the content.
Twitter users also called together to distribute any information about the Egyptian protests. In the past day, over a quarter of a million Tweets that directly related to the Egyptian protests were sent.