City of Brass

City of Brass

Mubarak, Facebook! and shukran

Shukran, from the youth of Misr (Cairo)

Today, Facebook goes public, and begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange at 11:00am Eastern time (the truly addicted stockwatchers may want to bookmark this). Amidst all the noise about IPOs and investments and whatnot today, I think it’s important to celebrate facebook for the social innovation it represents, something that makes it truly unique from the usual technology success stories. Though FB is going to do quite well today (it starts at $38 per share), the measure of Facebook as a company isn’t it’s stock price at the end of the day, it’s the legacy of the technology itself, and there’s no better metric for that than the social change catalyzed by Facebook in the Arab Spring.


As Wael Ghonim, one of the central figures in the Egyptian revolution, said on CNN:

I’m talking on behalf of Egypt. This revolution started online. This revolution started on Facebook. This revolution started in June 2010 when hundreds of thousands of Egyptians started collaborating content. We would post a video on Facebook that would be shared by 60,000 people on their walls within a few hours. I always said that if you want to liberate a society just give them the Internet.

Facebook was and remains integral to how the young Arab activists coordinated and communicated with each other – protest pages proliferated on Facebook, for example this Bahraini one with almost 100,000 likes, and one EGyptian man named his daughter “Facebook”. 60 minutes did a fascinating segment on how integral Facebook was to their revolution, because “it was the only video sharing platform available to Tunisians”


For its part, Facebook corporate policy is to avoid claiming explicit credit or involving itself in the political debate. This does insulate them to some degree from the consequences of their users’ actions – and makes it harder for other regimes to justify banning facebook outright.

Today is certainly a major milestone in Facebook’s corporate history – but there’s more to it than just another IPO. It’s a coming of age. Mubarak to Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of his hackers in Menlo Park!

Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.

Previous Posts

nationwide hate rallies planned at mosques Oct 9-10, Homeland Security conf call
This weekend, there is a planned, armed protest "in every country, at every mosque" by a group called the "Global Rally for Humanity". So far, the protests are falling short of global, but they do have 21 mosques, community centers and ...

posted 1:40:08pm Oct. 06, 2015 | read full post »

why don't they condemn?
Ever since 9-11, and well before it, this is the litany of accusation that ordinary Muslim Americans have had to endure: Muslims do not condemn - there is no million Muslim march against terrorism. Islam is an inherently violent ...

posted 1:47:45pm Oct. 02, 2015 | read full post »

a Republican, Muslim Mayor of St Louis?
Umar Lee is many things - a native ...

posted 1:09:57am Sep. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Abrahamic Convergence - inspiration, forgiveness, and tragedy
This week is a truly portentous one for Muslims, Jews, and Catholics. In one week, we have Yom Kippur, the Day of Arafat and Eid ul Adha, and Pope Francis' first visit to the United States. I like the term "Abrahamic Convergence" for this sort ...

posted 3:08:38pm Sep. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Anticipating Ashara: Reflections on Grief and the Remembrance of Imam Husain SA
This is a guest post by Durriya Badani. "Ek Husain na gam si va, koi gam na dikhave." ("May you know no other grief than the grief of Husain.") An exquisitely simple, yet deeply profound prayer for mumineen by Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin ...

posted 4:48:04pm Sep. 10, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.