How Social Media has become anti-social media for el-Sisi
The Dweller’s Guide To The Planet disqualified Egypt as a bad regime.
Social Media played a significant role in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that swept away Egypt’s long-standing leader, Hosni Mubarak, who had ruled the country from 1980. That was good.
Power was handed over to the Egyptian military who suspended the constitution. That wasn’t so good.
But only temporarily, so that was good again.
In 2012 the Muslim Brotherhood won a series of apparently fair elections and Mohamed Morsi became president. Morsi attempted to force through an extreme Islamic constitution whilst at the same time granting himself powers that even Mubarak hadn’t dreamt of. That was pretty bad.
On 3 July 2013, Morsi was deposed by a coup d’état led by the army (well, the Minister of Defence, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, anyway) and millions of Egyptians took to the streets in support of early elections. El-Sisi went on to become Egypt’s president by popular election in 2014. So that was good.
Unfortunately, it’s all been a bit depressing since then.
el-Sisi’s rule is entirely authoritarian (maybe you can’t entirely blame him given the recent history) there’s no real opposition allowed – either from the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood or the hopeful liberals who started the whole thing on the streets of Cairo, armed only with Twitter and Facebook 10 years ago.
Now, el-Sisi has passed a new law that allows the Orwellian sounding ‘Supreme Media Council’ to crack down (is ‘crack down’ a euphemism for beat up and hold without trial?) on Twitter and Facebook users who have more than 5000 followers.
el-Sisi boasts that Egypt has free speech, but the last time I checked on the definition of free speech, it was ‘the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint.’ The dictionary didn’t say anything about ‘be very careful what you say and never say it to more than 4999 people.’
Egypt’s New Definition of Free Speech
If you want to find out more about censorship in Egypt the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights is the place to start.
If you want to find out all you need to know about everywhere, buy The Dweller’s Guide To The Planet for $2.99 on Kindle