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Wael Ghonim On Egypt 2.0: Using Social Media For Democratic Governance

At the India Today Conclave held last week, Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who facilitated the revolution in Egypt through a Facebook page, likened the revolution to Wikipedia, saying that everyone contributed selflessly, everyone had a role: "You don't even know their names, but everyone did their share, for a better Egypt. We were dreamers, and we managed to make our dream come true in the streets of Cairo." Ghonim added that the Facebook page wasn't started with the objective to start a revolution, but so that "that people should have their voice heard. We had 300,000 - 400,000 people on the page, and we said that we're going to go to the streets, seeking our rights, and for the people in power in our country to respect our dreams. The Revolution & Social Media Ghonim credited Khalid Saeed, the man tortured to death by Police, and said that following his unjust killing, the page came alive. "We used marketing to build the brand, asking people to show their anger saying that we're all Khalid Saeed, and share their photograph, that they're Khalid Saeed (ED: people sharing photos holding a sign is a popular Internet meme format). Inspired by Gandhi, we asked people to do a silent protest, and show their anger for one hour. The first time we did it, thousands of people showed up, miles and miles of people facing the sea in Alexandria and other Governaries. The online world (became offline as people) started go share their…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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