Google and Twitter give Egyptians a voice on the net

Darren Allan
Darren Allan -

The trouble in Egypt continues, with the ruling regime having cut citizens off from the Internet.

This began late last Thursday night, when all the major ISPs closed down their networks to Internet traffic by order of the government. And then yesterday, the remaining functioning ISP also shut its doors.

The Egyptian government has forced through this astonishing move to stifle the momentum and organisation of protests against the President.

However, Google and Twitter have got together with a plan to allow those who can’t access the Internet to still get out a tweet or two.

Google has posted on its official blog page that a “speak-to-tweet” service is now up and running. All folks have to do is call one of three international phone numbers – +16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855 – and they can leave a voicemail.

This will be translated into text and posted up on Twitter with the hashtag #egypt. It’s possible to listen to the messages on the same numbers, or by visiting twitter.com/speak2tweet.

Google concludes: “We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone there.”

A million-person-march is being marshalled in the country this morning. Tahrir Square in Cairo, where protesters are currently gathering, is now trending on Twitter. One tweet noted: “Young, old, religious, secular, rich, poor are all present at Tahrir Square. Numbers growing by minute.”

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