Egyptian cyber activist Wael Ghonim, who shot to international fame after being arrested at the beginning of the Egyptian revolution, is facing criticism from the very same Egyptians who earlier championed for his release.
In a series of tweets today, Ghonim urged the protesters to put their country's economic prosperity ahead of their revolutionary agenda.
He wrote [ar]:
In a follow up tweet, he explained [ar]:
He further added [ar]:
Ghonim concludes [ar]:
This series of tweets was faced with a backlash from Egyptian tweeps, and others from the region, who criticised Ghonim of not speaking up against the Army Council and its actions against protesters, despite the influence he carries, with his almost 156,000 followers on Twitter. The tweets can be found under the hashtag #UnfollowedGhonimBecause
Ghonim shone after his release from prison, when it was discovered that he was the administrator of the ‘We Are All Khaled Saeed’ page on Facebook, which sparked the Egyptian revolution on January 25, 2011. Saeed is a young Egyptian man from Alexandria who was killed after being beaten up by the police. Like Mohammed Bou Azizi of Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia, his murder angered Egyptians and made them rally around the ‘We Are All Khaled Saeed’ group, which along with others, started to plot for a Tunisia-like revolution in Egypt.
Comments on Ghonim's stance came from Egypt and beyond.
Nourhan Ramadan says [ar]:
Arab Spring adds:
#UnfollowedGhonimBecause he seems to care about ‘economy’ more human rights. He doesn't know economy prospers when u have human rights
And Karem Said explains:
i #UnfollowedGhonimBecause he has no vision for a revolutionary transformation of politics and the economy beyond promoting ICTs #egypt
Karima Momen continues:
I #UnfollowedGhonimBecause when i heard about the book. u've been the whole time imprisoned. what do u actually have to say in it!
Amira Khalil is more direct in her criticism and says:
i #UnfollowedGhonimBecause he's a sell-out. Falling for the “economic stability” manipulative tactic!! Forgetting what #Jan25 is all about.
Mohammed Al Daaysi from Bahrain tweets:
#UnfollowedGhonimBecause he became power/fame drunk – really unattractive considering he was just PART of the egyptian revolution.
Kuwaiti Mona Kareem adds:
nothing personal about #UnfollowedGhonimBecause and no one saying unpatriotic. It's just he's famous & he should speak against the army
And Israeli Elizabeth Tsurkov continues:
I #UnfollowedGhonimBecause his tweets are incredibly corny & foster myths like “revolution 2.0″. Still have respect for what the guy did.
Others did not share this point of view.
Sherif El Saadani adds [ar]:
And Haisam Yehia concludes:
I find it so ironic that @Ghonim tweet of the day is: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation & 5 minutes to ruin it”. Today of all days.
Chirpinator shares a more comprehensive list of Twitter reactions here.