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Internet Censorship in Egypt Essay

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As recent events have shown, The Internet has played a vital role in various social movements across the Middle East. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming the new soapboxes for people to stand upon and speak their mind. As with all opinions though, there are people who disagree with them, and want to discuss the opposing side or stop them altogether. A corrupt government or other leaders in power can try to use Censorship to stop an opinion from being heard. This is the case of a recent situation in Egypt where the Internet was turned off for two months. While the Egyptian government thought that turning off the internet would stop protests about its political policy, it only fueled the fire after which the government was then overthrown. But what is censorship in both a literal context and an anthropological context? What are the types of internet censorship other than a complete shutdown and how many people actually use the internet in Egypt?
Merriam Webster Defines Censorship as the following:
“To examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable ; also: to suppress or delete as objectionable
This means, if one considers an object questionable by their own social standards they try to suppress that object by deletion, redaction or transfiguration. This does not however, explain in what social context the decision was made. Across the globe different cultures and societies have different definitions for what is “Acceptable.” Because anthropology is “the study of human beings … in relation to physical character, environmental and social relations, and culture” , seeing how people live will give great insight to what might be consid...


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... protesters took to the streets. The act of censoring Facebook shows that it holds great cultural capital among Egypt’s people. In general, the government was forced to turn to radical displacement rather than soft critical censure.
Overall the protests succeeded in President Mohammed Hosni Mubarek’s resignation but even before the government was overthrown, a 2008 comment from Wael Nawara, an avid blogger and vice chairman of Egypt's El Ghad opposition party speaks true about the situation and what it became. "I think the time for censorship is gone," he says. "The government realizes this but they are trying until the last minute to slow the wheels of change. Forces of technology, changing cultures, changing modes of communication... This is a phenomenon that no government or alliance of governments can block. This is evolution and no one can stop evolution."



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