Egypt: After Twitter, Facebook Now Blocked

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

Egypt today blocked access to Facebook, as part of its clampdown on the transfer of information, following yesterday's protests. Also, yesterday, it blocked access to Twitter, jammed mobile communications in areas protesters were gathering in, and banned access to live video streaming site Bambuser.

The demonstrations, held simultaneously across different cities and towns, followed a call on Facebook for a Day of Anger in protest against unemployment, corruption and rising prices and call for economic reforms, among other grievances. News reports point that the Internet blockade was “pre-planned,” in order to “block those websites which activists use extensively to coordinate their efforts.”

Despite this, netizens were able to break the blockage, streaming thousands of tweets, images and video recordings showing thousands of people chanting anti-government slogans and calling for an end to corruption and the President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule.

The blocking of Facebook, which is estimated to have 5 million users in Egypt, drew outrage on Twitter, which netizens were able to access using proxy services, in a clear defiance of the government imposed ban.

Daila Ziada reports:

Ops! I can't access any more! Now Twitter and Facebook are blocked!

Lasto Adri confirms:

Facebook is now blocked in Egypt.

Ahmad Essam laments the death of freedom of expression: 

RIP freedom of expression.

An Egyptian foresees more protests:

لو قفلوا الفيس بوء كل الناس هاتنزل الشارع Jan25
If Facebook is blocked, all the people will be protesting on the streets

Wael Abbas exclaims:

RT @ Mubarak is Gaggaing Egypt! hear our screams world!!!

Gue3bara adds:

dear followers from all around the world the regime is blocking our internet please show solidarity with spreading out words

And Alaa Abd El Fattah notes:

النظام حسم سؤال مصر زي تونس ولا لأ بحجبه تويتر و فيس بوك
The regime has answered the question of whether Egypt is like Tunisia or not by blocking access to Twitter and Facebook.

He advices:

ok folks in Egypt start installing Tor now, your government decided Egypt is another tunisia indeed

And Ahmad Gharbeia follows suit:

Forward via SMS to your friends the short URL of the proxy service/software you use and know how to support

Walora adds:

@25Egypt ثورة تونس نجحت ليس فقط بالفيسبوك ولكن برسائل المحمول .. يجب على الجميع ارسال رسائل لكن من يعرفون .. أنشرها للجميع #Jan25

Tunisia's revolution succeeded not because of Facebook but because of the SMS messages. Everyone should send messages to all the people they know. Spread it now.

Wael Khalil confirms:

الرسائل والايميل والتواصل المباشر طريقنا – فيسبوك مش هو الاساس يا حكومة غبية – ياجماعة هاتولنا ناس بتفهم شوية
SMS, emails and direct contacts are our means. Facebook is not the basis, you stupid government! Oh please bring us people who have more common sense!

Mona ElTahawy asks:

Does think blocking will block people's rage against him?

and she continues:

r tools. most effective weapon vs is their courage. Can't block that. Yalla !

Makanoo agrees:

RT @: I guess blocking facebook and twitter will result get people more angry..

Meanwhile, Marwa Rakha sources and posts links to different proxies people can use to bypass the blockage.

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.


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