How Facebook Changed The World: The Arab Spring
Tunisia - December 2010
- Popular vacation state
- Needed money to pay bribes in order to sell at outdoor markets
Friday, December 17, 2010 - Mohammad
- Didn't have the money so was thrown out of town square that morning
- City council would not help him
- Set himself on fire
Saturday, December 18, 2010
- Thousands of people gatherd in protest of what had happened the day before
- Later that night, street war with police. Throwing stones vs. tier gas and bullets
- Tunisian State Government TV reported nothing!
Everyone had mobile phones
- People were filming from every angle, even though it was illegal
- President: Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
- Government sensors all political sites
- 2 million facebook users. Government didn't sensor Facebook
- 90% had mobile phone, 25% had broadband
- Computer engineer and friend - university students, wealth
- Hated president and wanted to speak openly
- "can't have a view or your own personality"
- Tunisian bloggers accessed networks in other countries and expressed their opinions
- They could, if caught, face detention and torture.
- Posted to Facebook and Al Gazid TV picked up the videos and broadcast them across the Middle East
- Protests spread, but they needed union members to join (working people)
- Hacked into union website and asked people to come to the protest
Protest, Mohammed Ali Square:
- Police thought they were ahead, but...
- People posted safe places to walk on Twitter
- Thousands of people gathered
- Had software on his phone that allowed for live streaming so that people could see it in real time
- Police came in with guns and killed people
- Tried to go on a PR offensive
- Picture with dying Mohammed
- Arrested two main protesters (January 6, 2011)
- Protesters were pissed so they stayed in the streets
- Police kept killing
- 150 dead already
January 13, 2011
- President: "From today, there will be full freedom of expresion."
- Tunisians were already beyond compromise
January 14, 2011
- 8:30 - On the streets, everything on fire. 10,000s of people protesting
- Headed to the Ministry of the Interior
- Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia
January 15, 2011
- Interim Government - Transition to Democracy
ONLY 28 DAYS FROM SMALL PROTEST TO TAKEDOWN OF GOVERNMENT
The whole Arab world was watching
Egypt - underground Internet activists were ready to go
- President Hosni Mubarak
- "But essential to the western world"
- Police States
- Could do whatever they wanted
- "Systematic torture of men, women, and children."
- Blogs rarely censored, but still not too safe
- 5 million Facebook users in Egypt
- Young computer programmer tortured and murdered because of his work exposing the government online
- Muslim Brotherhood: normal opposition
- Mubarak failed to see that new factions were protesting
- Thought that because the Internet had no structure and leadership, it was not a threat
Planning of January 25, 2011 protest
- 6-7 people decided the place and time two weeks before
- Wanted to send a message through Facebook and through taxi drivers
- Taxi drivers like to gossip and they decided to use that
- Word spread very quickly
- People started to stop hiding their identity online
- These people got support
- Knew that the police were monitoring ALL online communication
- Announce decoy areas - trick police away from the big crowds
January 25, 2011 - public holiday in honor of police
- Thrir Square - 40,000 Egyptians
- "We will sacrifice our lives for our nation."
- Everyone protested as one. Not Islamic. Egyptian.
- Peaceful protest.
- Riot police sent in
- Water Cannon, Tier Gas
- People stayed out all night, despite the police
- Dawn police cleared the square
Politicians - US
- Obama gave so much support to Mubarak
- Hilary Clinton says that everything is alright
- Focuses on the government and not the democracy
- Egyptians not felt contempt for Obama
Friday, January 29, 2011
- Support from online groups
- Police plan to kill
- Government turned off ALL internet service
Occupy Tahrir Square
- Although technology was cut off, plan was already in place
- Head to poor suburbs of Cairo and tell the poor what is going on
- Since people couldn't just look online, people went outside to look and gathered
- 10,000 people marching to Tharir Square
- needed to cross the Nile River over just one main route
- Police instructed to kill
- After 2 hours of unarmed fighting, cross the bridge and continue to protest
- 6pm, police leave
- Attack Headquarter of regime
- Army moves in but is too late
200,000 people "own" the square
- The biggest sign of their freedom
- Promises that he will protect Egypt
- Obamaa "He has a responsibility to take meaning to these words."
- United States quietly encouraged Mubarak to step aside
- Didn't listen
- Used technology to try to impress the Egyptian people
- Texts, etc
All main cities across the country were in revolt.
- The Egyptian army was ready to attack - the most powerful institution in Egyptian society
- Who's side was the Egyptian Army going to take?
February 1, 2011
- Obama: "A new direction needs to be taken in Egypt."
- Mubarak's back is against the wall
- Lost support of US and Egyptian people
February 2, 2011 - Battle of the Camels
- 100s of armed men came to Tahrir Square
- Vandals stole, robbed, and terrorized the people in the streets.
- Stones, Camels, Snipers
- Everything in Egypt
- The army just sat and watched
- 16 army officers said that they were firmly on the side of the protesters
February 11, 2011
- "Mubarak is abandoning his position as president of the republic."
Uprising spreads to Libia, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen
- Rulers learned, "if you aren't tough enough and ruthless enough, you can be toppled."
The internet becomes the only link to the outside world for countries that are battling against the Arab worlds most brutal tyrants.