Get Arrested, Get Checked for Virginity

UPDATE 12-27-2011:  The forced virginity tests have been now banned by an Egyptian court. Samira Ibrahim, one of the many women forced to undergo the humiliating examination, filed the case. This is a great victory for human rights.

Egyptian women protesting had to endure an entirely unique sort of humiliation — getting tested to see if they were virgins at the time of arrest. Lest you think that this was some kind of depraved way to get into women’s undergarments under legal pretenses, rest assured that this is not the case. After all, the senior general who wished not to be identified absolutely insisted that this was the case.

Continue reading → Get Arrested, Get Checked for Virginity

The Danger of an Internet Kill Switch

I feel that if we have learned anything from what happened in Egypt, it is that an all powerful Internet “Kill” switch, with the might to entirely shut the entire population off from accessing the internet, is a terrible thing and should not be brought into existence — assuming that it does not secretly already exist.

Continue reading → The Danger of an Internet Kill Switch

Will Bloggers Spread Egyptian News?

A government exists to serve the people it represents, not to oppress that people and to stifle any kind of information exchange that might benefit said people in any way. So it has been in Egypt where, after protesters got together and started angrily demanding that their president step down, the government started shutting down communication with the outside world — from making use of their own internet ‘kill’ switch, blocking access to the internet to normal citizens to completely shutting down mobile cell phone service.

Continue reading → Will Bloggers Spread Egyptian News?

Malcolm Gladwell is Still Right about Twitter Failing the Social Revolution

In my October 19, 2010 article — Malcolm Gladwell Crushes the Social Network Revolution — I argued this:

I’ve always been fascinated by the people on Twitter who have 25,000 followers and they’re following 25,000 people. We all know nobody is reading Tweets from 25,000 people a day and, in reverse, nobody is reading what you broadcast to 25,000 people. So the point becomes: So What? Everybody’s Tweeting, Nobody’s reading. That’s the definition of a modern, circular, death with no end except to begin again. We all assume everyone is reading every tidbit we share, but they aren’t — and yet they assume the same about us, and that we cannot live without their every savory update morsel, but we can; and so the fakery and the terribleness of Social Networking is known and felt but never confessed. We all just keep our heads down and keep clicking and pretending we are living memeingful lives while we search for a human reality that never was and never can be.

Malcolm Gladwell was right then, as he is now. The Revolution in Egypt will be won with bloody, civilian, hands on tanks and not pristine fingers pecking on cellphones.

Continue reading → Malcolm Gladwell is Still Right about Twitter Failing the Social Revolution