In Wael Ghonim's new book, "Revolution 2.0," he maintains that last year's movement in Egypt was a leaderless revolution. We recently spoke with Ghonim, who is in Cairo, still hard at work trying to improve the future for his people and his country.
Egyptian rebels stormed the headquarters of the feared State Security Intelligence Directorate this weekend. They stole files indicated that secret policemen spied on Facebook accounts, harassed Coptic Christians and had advance knowledge of terrorist attacks. Then they posted the secret files—to a WikiLeaks-like Facebook group.
Microblogging is growing into a foreign affairs phenomenon: While the United States government embraces Twittering in Arabic and Persian, Twitter is quietly recruiting an army of savvy geeks to develop platforms in multiple foreign languages.
The role of social media is critical because it helps to spread cognitive dissonance by connecting thought leaders and activists to ordinary citizens rapidly expanding the network of people who become willing to take action.
Egypt is widely considered the litmus test for what will happen in the rest of the Arab world, but the importance of social media in its political transformation is larger than that. The use of social media in Egypt is a dramatic demonstration of a clash of cultures — of the old and new, of violence and peace, of the past and future.
In polls, Egyptians stated they trust the BBC more than Al Jazeera. So why has the BBC announced plans to cut evening Arabic-language radio broadcasts just as Egypt undergoes a revolution and the Middle East enters an era of widespread unrest?