If the Egyptian revolution was inspired and organized on Facebook, maybe the post-revolution is destined to run its course on Twitter.
Wael Ghonim, the former Google executive who launched We are all Khalid Said, the Facebook page that acted as a clearinghouse for the uprising, has fallen under opprobrium for recent comments and a lot of the criticism is being expressed via the Twitter hashtag #unfollowedghonimbecause.
seized by the security services of the country at the height of the protests and interrogated incommunicado for over a week before he was released. That experience rejuvenated protests in Cairo and other cities around the country. He has since assumed a high-profile in post-revolution Egypt.It wasn't just Ghonim's setting up the Facebook page that made him something of a hero to Egyptians. He was also
According to Foreign Policy's Passport blog, Ghonim has recently encouraged his fellow citizens to ease off on political change in order to stabilize the country economically.
"Economy should be the priority for the revolutionaries," Ghonim said in a translation, "because it is the safety valve which will guarantee the continuation of the revolution and the cleansing of Egypt from corruption."
This incensed a number of Egyptians, including whoever is behind @ghonimwithballs, who tweeted, "How about this: Unfollow @Ghonim, then fire a tweet with #UnfollowedGhonimBecause. Let your voice be heard."
Many have, including @amirakhalil46, who tweeted, "i #UnfollowedGhonimBecause he's a sell-out. Falling for the 'economic stability' manipulative tactic!! Forgetting what #Jan25 is all about."
Criticism seemed to center on prioritizing economics over political progress but he was also indicted for not speaking out strongly against the Army's post-revolution abuses.
Revolutions, when they are clear of their immediate goals of dismantling the existing power structure, have a great deal of settling out to do. You can see it in Tunisia as well, where censorship has returned. You already saw it in Egypt with the sentencing by the military of a blogger.
The backlash against Ghonim may be another brick in the wall or it may merely be one of the post-revolutionary obstacles all revitalized states have to negotiate. As Passport noted, "Few of the big Egyptian Twitterati, however, joined in, and the hastag devolved into crude personal attacks and bad jokes."