Remember the Google guy who went missing in Egypt shortly after he began participating in protests to remove the now former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from office?
It turns out Ghonim was safe, but had been detained by authorities for 11 days. He was finally released on February 7th, and remained in Egypt to continue protesting alongside other demonstrators to demand Mubarak step down. When news broke today that Mubarak planned to vacate the office and turn control of the country over to the Egyptian army, Ghonim tweeted:
They lied at us. Told us Egypt died 30 years ago, but millions of Egyptians decided to search and they found their country in 18 days #Jan25
Ghonim spoke to CNN about the role of social media in the Egyptian revolution, saying:
I want to meet Mark Zuckerberg one day and thank him… I’m talking on behalf of Egypt. This revolution started online. This revolution started on Facebook. This revolution started in June 2010 when hundreds of thousands of Egyptians started collaborating content. We would post a video on Facebook that would be shared by 60,000 people on their walls within a few hours. I always said that if you want to liberate a society just give them the Internet…. The reason why is the Internet will help you fight a media war, which is something the Egyptian government regime played very well in 1970, 1980, 1990, and when the Internet came along they couldn’t play it. I plan to write a book called Revolution 2.0… that will highlight the role of social media.
Pop-prognosticator Malcolm Gladwell has been attracting a lot of heat in the wake of the Egyptian revolution due to comments he made late last year that social media isn’t sufficient to precipitate actual political change. Do you think this situation proves otherwise?