Facebook Treads Carefully after Role in Protests

February 3, 2011  |  

(Washington Post) — In Egypt, the tried-and-true tool for opponents of President Hosni Mubarak in recent years has been Facebook. Most recently, it was on Facebook – which boasts 5 million users in Egypt, the most in the Arab world – where youthful outrage over the killing of a prominent activist spread, leading to the protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and Mubarak’s promise to step down this year.  But Facebook, which celebrates its seventh birthday Friday and has more than a half-billion users worldwide, is not eagerly embracing its role as the insurrectionists’ instrument of choice. Its strategy contrasts with rivals Google and Twitter, which actively helped opposition leaders communicate after the Egyptian government shut down Internet access.

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