Twitter Inaccessible in Egypt Amid Ongoing Protests

Reports coming out of Egypt today indicate that Twitter has become inaccessible in the country amid civil unrest in the country. TechCruch cited Herdict reports today as they continue covering the protests in real time. Fourteen inaccessibility reports for Twitter in Egypt were filed on Herdict just today, with 16 total coming from the country overall.

According to the same article, protestors in Egypt are resorting to third-party clients to continue Tweeting despite the block, although telecom giant Vodafone claims that no active ban has occurred and that high traffic is to blame for the inaccessibility. CNET attempted to contact Twitter about the alleged block this morning, but the company redirected them to Herdict. In an interview with the author, Digital Democracy Co-Director Mark Berlinsky offered his opinion about the Twitter take-down in Egypt, saying:

“Hard to say whether or not it’s just getting overloaded though…(physically severing) Internet was done in Burma after a while but it usually leads to international uproar. What they generally do is slow down the signal to a crawl, as they did in Iran, which they can then say was infrastructure failure or any other made up excuse.”

Several verified sources in Egypt have been updating their accounts and suggest that the violence on the street continues. Mostafa Hussein, a physician in Cairo, suggested a dire medical response to victims of the protest, tweeting:

@Ssirgany: RT @moftasa: take injured to hospitals in a group of people docs areuseless with no equipment or pharmacies.

Moreover, more planned protests are in the works, as demonstrated by Rassd News Network’s tweet today:

Students of Cairo university about organizing demonstration tomorrow to participate in the wrath revolution

The Guardian UK reports that the nation’s citizens, inspired by recent domestic protests against the Tunisian government, have also taken to the streets today demanding that President Hosni Mubarak step down as president. Widespread poverty and high unemployment are also driving the protests with most of the blame placed on the corrupt government.

For more information, visit Herdict’s Country Report on Egypt.

About the Author: Qichen Zhang

Qichen is an undergraduate studying Social Studies at Harvard College. Besides Herdict, she blogs for the Berkman Center's OpenNet Initiative and Blogging Common. She can be reached at

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