Social Media Saturday - Revolution

Saturday, 5 March 2011

I first read about people in Egypt using a dating website to communicate about liberty and democracy from ABC. The story is truly amazing. When the protests against dictator Hosni Mubarak began, social media was closely monitored by government agents and people weren't able to communicate about political issues through Facebook and Twitter. A creative guy found away around the censorship and used a dating website as a social media outlet to stay in touch about political developments.

The Libyan business man created a profile on the dating website Mawada (similar to the US version of and pretended to be searching for his wife. On the site, members of the revolution began trading messages with one another and used a sort of poetry as a code for calls to action.

For instance, the ABC story reported, "The five Ls in the phrase 'I LLLLLove you,' for example, meant they had five people with them. If a supporter wrote, 'My lady, how I want to climb this wall of silence. I want to tell the story of a million hurts. ... But I am lost in a labyrinth. … Maybe we can meet on Yahoo messenger,' it told the writer to migrate the chat to Yahoo Messenger so as not to raise the suspicion of the monitors."

Social media is playing a major part in the revolution in many Mid-Eastern countries. Protestors have a quick way to communication and an easy platform on which to spread messages of hope, liberty and democracy.

No comments