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Egypt: Omar Soliman Facebook Army

Although the Egyptian presidential elections race has not officially started yet, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces had created a poll on their Facebook page to see how much support each of the expected candidates is having on the ground now. Recently, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Amsry Al-Youm noticed a huge and fishy changes in the candidates positions in the poll.

It reported:

Suleiman occupied 7th place with 3 percent of votes 12 days after the voting first began, while Mohamed ElBaradei was the frontrunner with 30 percent of the votes. However, as voting neared the official deadline on 19 July, the proportion of votes cast for Ayman Nour and Suleiman increased dramatically, and Suleiman ended at 4th place when the poll officially ended.
Since the time the poll officially ended, however, the proportion of votes for Suleiman has continued to increase. He is now ranked in first place, at 21 percent of total votes cast.

According to the newspaper's investigations they found out that a group of 10 to 15 youths, between the ages of 15 and 18 years, were hired by a lady who is said to be close to Soliman, and they were paid to sign up for Facebook and vote for him.

Many users on Twitter commented on the report. Mohamed Fouda wondered if Soliman might use the same technique in the real elections.

@MoH_Fouda: #SCAF ignored the new scandal of Omar Soliman forging the results of #SCAF presidential poll on facebook. Will he forge the real elections

Omayma Said also wondered:

@Ummah_: Why should Omar Soliman supporters pay money for a useless e-vote? I supposed they would save that for a real vote !

Amr Rodriguez also wrote about the money wasted on this vote:

@AmrRodriguez: المجلس خسر سبعين ألف جنيه فى تلميع صورة عمر سليمان على الفيس بوك وفى الآخر مسح استطلاع الرأي

@AmrRodriguez: The Supreme Council wasted LE 70,000 in polishing Omar Soliman's image via this Facebook vote, and at the end they deleted it.

Mohamed ElGohary mocked the “The Guy behind Omar Soliman” internet meme.

@ircpresident: الست إللي ورا عمر سليمان

@ircpresident: The Lady behind Omar Soliman

In an early interview with ABC New Channel, Omar Soliman – who was Mubarak's vice president then – told Christiane Amanpour that the Egyptian people are not ready yet for democracy. And after this incident, Habia Helmy altered Soliman's quote a bit.

@habibaa010010: عمر سليمان غير مؤهل للديمقراطية

@habibaa010010: Omar Soliman is not ready yet for democracy

And Zeinobia saluted one of the investigative journalists behind this report

@Zeinobia: One of the investigative journalists behind the Omar Soliman e-campaign expose is @Ahmed_Ragab

And finally, Mohamed El-Shaer (@voodito), who agrees with the final result of the newspaper's report [Ar], but had some comments on parts of it.

قالت المصرى اليوم أنها من خلال الIP الخاص بالمستخدمين العملوا تصويت للواء عمر سليمان قدرت توصل لمكانهم وحددت مكانهم بدقة بأحد مقاهي مدينة نصر,, نظرياً مفيش حد يقدر يجيب الIP بتاع المستخدمين دول لأنهم مقدروش يتعاملوا معاهم بأى طريقة على النت حتى لو عرف الأكونت بتاعة على الفيس بوك مش هيخليهم يعرفوا الIP

Al-Masry Al-Youm said that it was able to find the exact location of those who used to vote for Omar Soliman via their IP Address, which turned out to be in one of the Coffee Shops in Nasr City. Theoretically, no one can know the IP address of Facebook users, because there isn't any direct connection between them online. And even if they knew their Facebook account, it's not enough to get their IP address.

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