“If there was no social networks, this would never have been sparked”-Wael Ghonim

Wordle of a interview of Ghonim by Steve Garfield
In an interview about the Egyptian revolution on 60 Minutes tonight, Wael Ghonim told Harry Smith that “if there was no social networks, it would have never been sparked. Because the whole thing before the revolution was the most critical thing. Without Facebook, without Twitter, without Google, without YouTube, this would have never happened.”

Block the whole Internet, you’re gonna really frustrate people. One of the strategic mistakes of this regime was blocking Facebook. One of the reasons why they are no longer in power now is that they blocked Facebook. Why? Because they have told four million people that they are scared like hell from the revolution by blocking Facebook. They forced everyone who’s just, you know, waiting to read the news on Facebook, they forced them to go to the street to be part of this.

Ghonim, who has called the galvanic events that swept Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak out of power “Revolution 2.0,” spoke eloquently about the role of social networking in Egypt. “If there was no social networks, this would never have been sparked. Without Facebook, without Twitter, without YouTube, this would never have happened.”

Shortly after the 60 Minutes interview aired on the East Coast of the United States, Ghonim posted another tweet:

My message to the dictators of the world: You should at least freak out. Block Facebook and cancel Fridays. #Jan25 #SidiBouzid #WhatsNextless than a minute ago via web

What happens next in Egypt is not clear. As Anthony Shadid wrote this week, it’s uncharted ground. What is clear is that history has been made, and in Wael Ghonim’s eyes, “this was an Internet Revolution.”

About Alex Howard

Alexander B. Howard is a DC-based a technology writer and editor. Previously, he was the Washington Correspondent at O'Reilly Media, where he covered the voices, technologies and issues that matter in the intersection of government, technology and society. If you're feeling social, you can follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook or circle him on Google Plus In addition to corresponding for the O’Reilly Radar, he has contributed to the Huffington Post, Govfresh, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, National Journal, The Atlantic, CBS News and Forbes. He graduated from Colby College with a bachelor's degree in biology and sociology. Currently, he is a resident of the District of Columbia, where he lives with his greyhound, wife, power tools, plants and growing collection of cast iron pans, many of which are frequently used to pursue his passion for good cooking.

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