I am in NYC for Social Media Week, a mash-up of policy wonks, geeks, industry leaders and activists.
Some of Rich's old media colleagues get it. The New York Times reports that Facebook is “the social networking tool of choice for human rights activists in Egypt.”
The Times further reports:
While it is almost impossible to isolate the impact of social media tools from the general swirl of events that set off the popular uprisings across the Middle East, there is little doubt that they provided a new means for ordinary people to connect with human rights advocates trying to amass support against police abuse, torture and the Mubarak government’s permanent emergency laws allowing people to be jailed without charges.
Egyptian authorities tried to cut off all Internet access. They tried to cut off all text messaging. They tried to cut off any way for their country's citizens to access the rest of the world. Unfortunately, that initiative did not succeed. There were satellite ISPs that went up. There were proxies that went up. So folks were able to get their message out, no matter what.
Flickr has over 10,000 images direct from Egyptian cities where all these protests are happening. YouTube has used their CitizenTube channel really, really effectively to curate all the information from real people that’s coming from the ground, and it’s helping drive the news story.