Friday, March 3, 2017

#Dictator #Biya still has Internet shut off for English #Cameroon

Dictators hate Social Media because it exposes them to the world.

When Uganda's dictator blocked social media in February and May 2016, we unblocked ourselves. He had left the internet open and social media is just a part of the internet.

This Paul Biya has done something that some of us feared. He has completely blocked the internet and even some of us who have mobile numbers for our friends in the English parts of Cameroon are not getting our SMS replied to.

Some of you might not know or remember how the Arab Spring was fueled via Social Media.  This is why African dictators hate social media because they could be next.

Please do not forget about Cameroon.  With the internet being shut off, they are suffering in silence.

Wael Ghonim, the Google executive and Egyptian activist who played a key role in the popular uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, was on Wednesday lauded as "a hero" by his boss, Eric Schmidt.

However, the young marketing manager described himself as "just another guy in the movement" that brought down the long-serving Egyptian president in January.

Ghonim became a hero of the Egyptian anti-government uprising after setting up a highly influential Facebook page which quickly became the focus for protests in the country. The father-of-two, who is now on an "extended sabbatical" from Google, was arrested by Mubarak's forces and later broke down on national TV when shown pictures of dead protesters.

"I don't claim to be a leader. I don't think I am a leader anyway. I was just another guy in the movement," he told Google's Big Tent conference in London on Wednesday.

Ghonim also played down talk that the Egyptian uprising was a "Facebook revolution".

"No one argues that this is an internet-sparked revolution," he said, adding that the internet was just a tool for "mobilising" protesters. "The internet's role was very critical on the 25th, maybe the 27th, but got less and less important because it's role was to expose what was happening."

Egypt implemented a countrywide internet blackout in the dying days of the Mubarak regime aimed at curbing communication between protesters.

Ghonim said it actually had the opposite effect. "The blackout was a regime mistake, because people just went to the streets to find out what was happening," he said. "If you try and hide something it's going to get harder and harder and harder."

He added: "I will do my best to help my country. I'll always be optimistic, even when I'm frustrated. The new democracy is not built on being pessimistic.

"We just got rid of a nightmare, there are more we have to deal with, but the challenge is to drive the country towards a wave of optimism and keep fighting for the same reasons that brought us to 25 January."

THE GUARDIAN Arab spring: Google's Wael Ghonim on the fall of Mubarak

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