Twitter and Google give Egypt a voice

I’m sure that just like me, you were appalled at the news that the internet had been effectively turned off by ‘the powers that be’ in Egypt. I believe that the internet is a fantastic resource that should be available for all and that no-one should have the authority to deprive it from anyone else.

But as you can clearly see, the net was all but cut off at by 6am on 28th January to try and prevent the mounting protests in the country.

 

The sudden internet traffic drop

Of course this approach hasn’t worked an protests are ongoing in the capital of Cairo, and rightly so in my opinion.

But what about the people who need to use the internet, who need to get a message out to let loved ones know they are ok. Who want to communicate with others on the web completely innocently. Who want to express their freedom of speech. These people have been disconnected completely unfairly, but two of the webs giant’s may just have the answer.

Google and Twitter have teamed up to create voice tweets. The service works over the phone, was set up over the weekend and is live right now.

All people in Egypt have to do is phone a special phone line set up by Google and leave their voice message. This will then be posted on Twitter with the tag #egypt . Users on the website can then click the link or phone the same number to hear the message left by people within Egypt.

It’s not an ideal system, but it bypasses the current internet cut-off and more importantly gives a voice back to those stuck in the middle of the crisis.

You can view the tweets coming through live on the Speak2Tweet twitter page (which appears to be working for other countries too, could be something Google and Twitter branch into long term!).

I think it’s a great piece of work by the two companies and I hope it helps bring the internet back to those who have cruelly had it taken away.

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