“If there was no social networks, this would never have been sparked”-Wael Ghonim

Wordle of a interview of Ghonim by Steve Garfield

In an interview about the Egyptian revolution on 60 Minutes tonight, Wael Ghonim told Harry Smith that “if there was no social networks, it would have never been sparked. Because the whole thing before the revolution was the most critical thing. Without Facebook, without Twitter, without Google, without YouTube, this would have never happened.”

Block the whole Internet, you’re gonna really frustrate people. One of the strategic mistakes of this regime was blocking Facebook. One of the reasons why they are no longer in power now is that they blocked Facebook. Why? Because they have told four million people that they are scared like hell from the revolution by blocking Facebook. They forced everyone who’s just, you know, waiting to read the news on Facebook, they forced them to go to the street to be part of this.

Ghonim, who has called the galvanic events that swept Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak out of power “Revolution 2.0,” spoke eloquently about the role of social networking in Egypt. “If there was no social networks, this would never have been sparked. Without Facebook, without Twitter, without YouTube, this would never have happened.”

Shortly after the 60 Minutes interview aired on the East Coast of the United States, Ghonim posted another tweet:

.bbpBox36944183608475650 {background:url(http://a1.twimg.com/profile_background_images/170023094/wae_clearl.jpg) #32cef9;padding:20px;} p.bbpTweet{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata{display:block;width:100%;clear:both;margin-top:8px;padding-top:12px;height:40px;border-top:1px solid #fff;border-top:1px solid #e6e6e6} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author{line-height:19px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author img{float:left;margin:0 7px 0 0px;width:38px;height:38px} p.bbpTweet a:hover{text-decoration:underline}p.bbpTweet span.timestamp{font-size:12px;display:block}

My message to the dictators of the world: You should at least freak out. Block Facebook and cancel Fridays. #Jan25 #SidiBouzid #WhatsNextless than a minute ago via web

What happens next in Egypt is not clear. As Anthony Shadid wrote this week, it’s uncharted ground. What is clear is that history has been made, and in Wael Ghonim’s eyes, “this was an Internet Revolution.”

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