Monday, August 9, 2010

Social Networks enhance political protesting in Middle East

In an opinion piece by Mona Eltahawy at the Washington Post tells us that free speech is getting a boost in the Middle East, thanks to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. This is the result of an event I blogged about a little over a month ago, the death of Khaled Said.
Khaled Said's alleged murder by two Egyptian police officers spread quickly on Facebook and Twitter. Shortly after that Facebook groups were started in Khaleds name, and protests were organized.
Ms. Eltahawy discusses the events since his death, including the trial of two of the officers involved in the beating. The trial isn't over, but the fact that there was a trial says a lot.
The beauty and power of the internet is wrapped up in the fact that no one really controls it. As governments and industries try to control what can be transmitted and who can transmit it the freedom that many of  us take for granted is threatened. It may not seem like a big deal to those of us in countries who enjoy constitutional protections, but the activists in countries that don't enjoy those protections can tell you that it is a very big deal, indeed.