The events in Egypt have shown that social networking is now regarded as a human right by our State Department. I suppose it should be. But it’s a little disappointing when when they act disgusted by people losing their ability to tweet after funding the guy who has been locking them in prison for thirty years.
Twitter and Facebook never need to hire PR flacks–the American media are happy to endlessly focus discussion on them. Sure, these tools were used to help organize in Egypt, but I tend to side with Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker article dispelling the “Twitter Effect” during the massive protests in Iran over their disputed election. I don’t see them as being necessary in Egypt either.
Pundits tend to forget that somehow people have manage to organize, take to the streets and overthrow governments for ages without the aid of iPhones. Egyptians didn’t need to “like” democracy on Facebook or tweet their outrage. It wasn’t hard to find the location and time of the event when people were pouring through the streets. It was time to put down the phone and join them.