Twitter has been a lifeline for some of the protesters in Tahrir Square. I mentioned some of the Tweeters, or is it Twits?, I follow. This is an update on how they have weathered the past few days in Cairo. For both, yesterday was one of the most difficult with one arrested and one rescued by the army after being attacked by roaming vigilantes.
@Sandmonkey has become something of a celebrity online, both with his blog, Rantings of a Sandmonkey, which has been around since late 2004, various guest posts and articles and on Twitter. He also gets credit for bringing one of the flagship corruption cases to the English reading public. He published a graphic account of the police brutality case of Khaled Said . Said was sitting at an Internet cafe when he was accosted and beaten to death by two police officers. He has poked fun at protesters in the past for not being organized enough. The blogger’s pro American view has been instrumental in building an audience of people with vastly different backgrounds and views who might otherwise miss this important voice from Egypt.
SM, as he’s known to many, spent the last week on the streets, in relative safety. Yesterday he was arrested. The news travelled like wildfire over the ‘net and supporters from all over the world sought information about his welfare. The fact that he had just posted a fabulous article about the situation in his city and that his blog suddenly went offline had many people worrying that the Egyptian government had somehow managed to pull his blog. As it happened, the blog account had been suspended because it came under a hack attack, and the host had it back up today. The man himself was released from custody after only an hour. I encourage you to read his latest manifesto, titled “Egypt, right now!”.
@TravellerW, also known as Mo-ha-med also had a bad day yesterday, all documented on Twitter. His blog, The Traveller Within is also being updated with requests for assistance and information about the real situation in Cairo. From what I’ve managed to understand, and I may be wrong on the details, but it appears he was attacked on the streets of Cairo, not in Tahrir Square, because he was carrying a laptop. Vigilante’s are everywhere, and side by side with escaped convicts and anyone else taking advantage of the mayhem and lack of police protection. Mo-ha-med was rescued by the army, and made it home with a bleeding and aching head. No news on whether he got to keep the laptop.