Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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”

Advertisement

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!

Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.



Previous Posts

Obvious: The Iraq War created ISIS
This is something that is so obvious, it is in danger of never being said, in which case those who led us into war will try to ...

posted 1:48:22am Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Eid at the State Department
I am honored to be invited to celebrate Eid al Fitr at the State Department again this year. And I am relieved that this time, it's actually taking place after Ramadan, which means I can actually attend for the first time! :) I am looking ...

posted 11:01:00am Jul. 21, 2015 | read full post »

The Empire State goes green for Eid
As is tradition, the Empire State Building - the most beautiful skyscraper in the world - was illuminated in green to mark Eid al Fitr. Of course, in 2015, this is announced via the official twitter account ...

posted 1:21:00am Jul. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls roundup
Here is a link to all the posts in the Ramadan Pearls series I did during Ramadan: Criterion Non-existence Mystery Angels Objective Expectant Reed Veils Lend Good I hope you enjoyed these nuggets of wisdom as much as ...

posted 3:01:31pm Jul. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Eid Mubarak!
By the Fatimid calendar, today is Eid al Fitr, 1436! I've explained my position on the calendar vs. moonsighting debate in detail - and this year there is a lot more divergence on the date than usual. Crescentwatch nicely ...

posted 7:53:00am Jul. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.