Egyptian baby named 'Facebook' as Libya attempts to block the Internet

An Egyptian baby has been named 'Facebook' to celebrate the role of the Internet in the struggles of Egypt's people against oppression.

It's a charming reminder that new life grows even after the hardest times. An Egyptian baby has been named 'Facebook' to celebrate the importance of the Web in the struggles of Egypt's people as its citizens cast off long-standing oppression.

The Internet proved an invaluable tool to ignite protest into revolution in Egypt in January. Social-media services such as  Facebook and Twitter were used by brave protestors to organise dissent, while services such as Flickr and YouTube allowed Egyptians to show what was happening at street level even when the government attempted to shut down the Internet.

TechCrunch quotes a report from Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram that Jamal Ibrahim chose the name to "express his gratitude about the victories the youth of 25 January have achieved".

In January, Egypt was the scene of a successful popular revolution that ousted long-standing dictator Hosni Mubarak. Police attempted to violently quell the protests while the government took the drastic step of cutting off the country's Internet and mobile phone networks to prevent protestors from organising, or spreading the word about the abuses taking place.

Google and Twitter then set up a special phone number to help Egyptians continue to tell the world what was happening despite the digital blockade.

The seed of protest has spread across the Middle East -- and is being met with escalating violence. Reports are emerging from Libya of horrific state aggression, where dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is clinging to power at the expense of more than 300 dead. Arab news channels are reporting that Libya has also blocked access to the Internet.

Earlier popular dissent to make use of social media tools includes the post-election upheaval in Iran in 2009.

Image credit: Richard Engel

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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