Microsoft's AI-Powered Bing Google's ChatGPT Rival Hogwarts Legacy Review Ozempic vs. Obesity Best Super Bowl Ads 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid Review OnePlus 11 Phone Review Super Bowl: How to Watch
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

Egyptians tweet by phone call as Twitter and Google team up to defy blockade

Google and Twitter are combating the Egyptian Internet blackout with a service that lets people in Egypt tweet by calling a phone number, and leaving a voicemail message.

People in Egypt can tweet once more by calling a phone number, set up by Google and Twitter to combat the Internet blackout in Egypt, the Guardian reports.

When you call the number you leave a message, which is hosted by SayNow (a company recently acquired by Google), and tweeted from the account speak2tweet, along with the #egypt hashtag. You can leave your own messages, or listen to messages left by other people by calling one of three numbers, which we'll post at the bottom of this story.

We think it's heartening to see several companies working together like this, and this simple service could make a huge difference to keeping the flow of news coming reliably out of Egypt.

Out being the operative word, of course -- as the nation is still under Internet lockdown, people within the country won't be able to see what the rest of the world is tweeting, and with Internet and mobile networks shut down, communication there is still very restricted.

Writing in a blog post Ujjwal Singh, co-founder of SayNow, and AbdelKarim Mardini, Google's product manager for the Middle East and North Africa, said, "We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time."

Egypt has been under lockdown for several days now, since protests against the government started on 25 January. Since then, at least seven people have died and more than 1,000 have been arrested as protesters clash with government forces.

At around 10.30pm on 27 January, Egypt's ISPs, including Link Egypt, Vodafone Raya, Sebone, Telecom Egypt and Etisalat were simultaneously disconnected.

Those numbers to call are +16504194196, +390662207294 or +97316199855.

Image credit: Al Jazeera English on Flickr.