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The "Instrumental" Role of Social Media in Egypt


Internet access was fully restored in Egypt Wednesday after a one-week blackout attempted to thwart anti-government protesters.

Despite the blackout, Media Editor of Business Insider, Glynnis MacNicol, told that one of the biggest players throughout this crisis has been social technology.

"It's phenomenal how [social media is] affecting how Egyptians are behaving with each other and how the world is processing this entire event," MacNicol told Washington Unplugged. "We're getting on-the-ground, live information 24-hours a day."

Innovation by Silicon Valley's brightest has kept people on the ground in Egypt connected to the outside world throughout the crisis. MacNicol points to a Google-Twitter partnership that set up international phone numbers people can call and leave a voicemail that will then automatically be tweeted. This meant when mobile networks were down, people could call from landlines and still reach their Internet audience.

This is not the first time social media has empowered people in crisis. Twitter was first recognized as a weapon in the fight for democracy during the 2009 Iranian election uprising.

Watch the full interview above.

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