Wael Ghonim on 60 Minutes

John Moe Feb 14, 2011

The Google executive who disappeared in Egypt, was incarcerated by the government, and reemerged as a revolutionary leader gave an interview to Harry Smith on 60 Minutes last night. He said that if there were no online social networks, this revolution would have never happened.

Block the whole Internet, you’re gonna really frustrate people. One of the strategic mistakes of this regime was blocking Facebook. One of the reasons why they are no longer in power now is that they blocked Facebook. Why? Because they have told four million people that they are scared like hell from the revolution by blocking Facebook. They forced everyone who’s just, you know, waiting to read the news on Facebook, they forced them to go to the street to be part of this.

Granted, he’s a Google executive so is more prone to believe in the power of online than your average person, but when you look at the trajectory of what happened in Egypt, it’s hard to dispute.

It becomes really interesting, of course, to see what happens next as protests begin to gather in the rest of the middle east. Governments can block sites, of course, but when that happened in Syria, people just used proxy servers in other countries.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.