Facebook might have almost fully penetrated core markets such as the U.S. and Europe, two regions in which the world’s largest social network’s growth is slowing. But there’s still plenty of room to grow in the MENA regions: the Middle East and North Africa countries.
Looks like the Internet’s oldest profession is putting some clothes on in Egypt. Courts in the country have ruled that porn websites are illegal.
The smartphone has been at the center of the Occupy Wall Street movement, just as it has played a pivotal role in the Arab Spring. And while the cameras in phones have recorded some of the movement’s most searing images, a growing number of apps are helping protest participants communicate and coordinate with one another.
When a Middle Eastern country is in the thick of an uprising, it’s almost expected that challenged governments will shut shut down the Internet to hinder protesters from communicating.
Software architects like to shorthand the spaghetti of interconnected networks that make up the Internet as “the cloud” — an amorphous entity, somewhere distant, that you don’t need to fuss over.
China appears to be trying to limit public knowledge of the unrest in Egypt. Over the weekend, Chinese Twitter-like services run by Sina, Tencent and Sohu blocked the word “Egypt” from being used in microblogging messages passed around by users.
Freedom of expression and internet access go hand in hand. By shutting down the internet, the Egyptian government has sparked a wider battle about communications, technology, and free speech that goes beyond issues of concern among the country’s protesters.