2013 / 5 May

Twitter Use During 2011 ‘Twitter Revolution’

Khaled Said Facebook Profile Picture

How Egyptians used Twitter during the 2011 protests in Cairo through their tweets. This is not a complete list of tweets from the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, there are over 60,000 of them of which this compilation only begins to skim the surface. This is a timeline that attempts to create one story, much like the novel, Tweets from the Streets, an invaluable source I found out about only after I began my quest to compile tweets.

Social media and the so called “Twitter Revolution” were not a revolution, but a tool. As Nadia Idle and Alex Nunns write in Tweets From Tahrir“Revolutions do not come out of thin air, or even cyberspace. But the internet provided a tool that helped shape the form of the uprising, and it gave us some of the most riveting real-time coverage ever recorded.” With Twitter, the cost of becoming a speaker is essentially cut to having a mobile device and the direction of communication is multidirectional as tweets are used to communicate with and hear from any user – a helpful tool for both organizing and broadcasting a revolution.

  1. Since the Arab Spring began in December 2010, many pointed to social media in the forms of Facebook and Twitter as the cause of the revolution. Although social media is not so much the cause as it is a tool used to spread awareness of growing unrest, the page “We are all Khaled Said” exhibits the transition of events and people who did ignite the revolution into a platform to organize and share information from the ground.
  2. and onto the 2011 Egyptian Revolution – as seen from Twitter
  3. please!!! RT @3arabawy: people r setting themselves on fire. i suggest they burn down police stations and torture factories instead.
  4. I still haven’t decided from which place I will be tweeting live coverage on #jan25 , if u have a suggestion DM me
  5. #Jan25 Began the protests in Tahrir
  6. according to we are all Khaled Said : The security will allow the protest at Mustafa Mahmoud Square at one hour from now
  7. @3arabawy: AhramOnline witnesses march by at least 2000 protesters heading from 26 July st to Galaa st bit.ly/gn6Ss9 #Jan25
  8. Not only did activists and journalists live-tweet the revolution, but they share thousands of images and videos!
  9. Back home , guys I have seen two protests going to down town from Giza , from Agouza video and photos are coming
  10. I am uploading a video to Youtube from the Galaa protest #Jan25 I was moving and thus the image was moving with me
  11. Alexandria now Some ladies are throwing glasses and cooking pans from their home balconies on the police in the streets #Jan25 #Egypt
  12. RT @wilyawil: Tiananmen-like courage in #Cairo! Must see vid from today’s #jan25 protests in #egypt youtu.be/q1m4_q_HP5o [via…
  13. @shmpongo the photos and videos are incredible , what I saw was incredible , what I read from governorates is incredible , it is a new Egypt
  14. Thugs have started to destroy properties in Mahalla from an hour ago , they destroyed the train station #Egypt #Jan25 #Mahalla #6April
  15. according to Al Shorouk news : 4 thousand people protest coming from Shobra have now joined Al Tahrir Square, Cairo, with tents and loads…
  16. A guy from NDP on AlJazeera can’t understand who are all those people at #Jan25 protest. My answer its the Internet generation in #Egypte
  17. RT @bounz: Hassan Ahmad Ashraf is suffering from nose bleeding and he got 7 stitches in his head. He’s on his way to mo3taqal alsalam….
  18. RT @rassdwehda: Ambulances move in to Tahrir Square to move protestors suffering from
    tear gas hurled by security forces…
  19. Has anyone seen @TravellerW? He last tweeted 9 hours ago from Cairo 🙁 #Jan25
  20. RT @Zeinobia: FB status : tomorrow protests all over Egypt from 9 AM #Jan25
  21. Finally Al Badawi demands a new constitution for Egypt. This is his picture from Al Jazeera TV yfrog.com/h07qsenj
  22. Along with Tweeters, Al Jazeera proved an independent voice to be trusted in the mainstream media throughout the Middle East as Egyptian National television largely ignored or staged pro-Mubarak rallies on its network.
  23. Policemen r running from the protesters. Damages in the national party building. A complete media blind!!! Who’s behind this?! #jan25 #egypt
  24. The protests in Tahrir were acknowledged by many as a rare moment where women were treated with respect and as equals Egypt.
  25. Watch this video from Ismailia (#Egypt) bit.ly/ftalYS, Look how many women r protesting! #Jan25
  26. I have many more videos and lots of pictures too, but i am exhausted so i will continue tomorrow ..i need to recover from this amazing day
  27. From earlier #Egypt #Jan25 RT @Gsquare86 Video: Tahrir was on fire of hope for change in Egypt bit.ly/gyqxcS #jan25 #Mubarak
  28. To prevent food from reaching demonstrators police had nearby fast foods (felfela, tom w basal, etc) close; (a shopkeeper confirmed) #25jan
  29. There will be a march from Medan El Sa3a, Nasr City, to Medan El Tahrir starting at 12:00PM. #Jan25 #Egypt on.fb.me/ieynqh
  30. Soon after the protests began, the Egyptian government shutdown most forms of communications. this did not entirely stop protesters as word of proxy servers spread, but it does illustrate the importance that the revolution was not dependent on social media.
  31. A government that is scared from #Facebook and #Twitter should govern a city in Farmville but not a country like #Egypt #Jan25
  32. I blocked Twitter and Facebook so you could focus on your work, not run around the streets shouting. #jan25
  33. @RHelmii was arrested in bolaq uprising, but still has her phone, and thus twitter. She tweets from inside the police car. #jan25
  34. The Egyptian museum has just announced the addition of the Mubarak family to its collection.
  35. Many of the Tweeters from this timeline were featured in interviews after their tweets were found and followed by numerous international news agencies. This is an example of the multimodal architecture that resulted from social media.
  36. street war in action. On nuzha street with 200 people protecting the streets from drive-by shooters. It’s same all over Cairo #Jan25
  37. I survived 83 years, 6 assassination attempts, 2 major wars, and 2 major revolutions. What makes you think I won’t survive this? #Egypt
  38. New curfew hours are from 15:00 to 8:00 – a nation under house arrest for 17 hours a day. They’re trying to keep us hostage! #Egypt #Jan25
  39. @monasosh: Wael Ghonim from Alex, Marketing manager of Google Egypt & activist, no one can trace him since Friday #Jan25
  40. Wael Ghonim was not only a Google executive, but the face of the
    revolution and administrator of the “We are all Khaled Said” Facebook

  41. Just got off the phone from @monasosh: all internet is cut. But everyone is excited, fearless and ready for tomorrow. #Egypt #jan25
  42. And a lovely revolution to you too, sir. Live from Cairo – we are back and excited like we’ve never been before! #Egypt #jan25
  43. Authoritarian Regimes, watch Mubarak and learn from the master. His regime doesn’t fuck around. #jan25
  44. People are dying in Tahrir. Ambulance vehicles are not allowed in whereas thugs are by the army. Share
  45. 2 from Mobarak’s thugs were wounded, they were carried by our ppl to be treated here, their hand were tied #Jan25
  46. My friend called me from frontline, another protester is shot dead right infront of her #Jan25
  47. Notable Tweeters from Egypt were looked to by everyone from fellow Egyptians to the West and news agencies to broadcast the latest news from the revolution.
  48. Thugs & brainwashed kids throwin rocks at us from bridge, a man is defending us there, he & others starting 2 chant “down wt mubarak” #Jan25
  49. I got a tweet from @RamyYaacoub that @Sandmonkey was definitely arrested. Also his dad called his phone & state security answered.
  50. Twitter was also a source of security for many protesters who could share their status and check up on and give updates on the conditions of other friends and fellow protesters.
  51. Update on @TravellerW : He’s spending the night at a strangers house, But does not have his ID (Army took it from him) & broke his Iphone
  52. RT @Ssirgany: Anyone heard anything from @TravellerW last night? Last thing was his tweet about head injury.
  53. The scene from Tahrir Square on February 4, 2011 from @Monasosh
  54. The Tahrir crowds are not Muslim Brotherhood, they are from all walks of life. Don’t let anyone tell you different. #jan25
  55. Took me 1.5 hours to get into Tahrir from Asr ElNil. Army tightening its grip- i smell discord between th army & demonstrators #egypt #jan25
  56. Ezz & Adly under arrest, Mubarak, Gamal, Safwat ElSherif all resigned from the leadership of the NDP. And the beat goes on.. #jan25
  57. just came from tahrir. the crowds aren’t dwindling. it’s becoming Tahrir Festival city. The energy is not abetting. #jan25
  58. Blogger’s release ‘reignites’ Egypt: Google executive Wael Ghonim speaks after release from Egyptian custody, sp… aje.me/euSW9d
  59. @Ghonim ya Wael, millions of young Arabs across the Arab world waiting to hear from you. #Jan25
  60. An officer just called me to tell me: I escaped from the service after ElAdly asked us to fire live bullets randomly on protesters. #Jan25
  61. #Jan25 #Egypt Ministry of Interior texting us: “From now on, we will only behave according to honesty, sincerity, & the rule of law”.
  62. Dear egyptian police, our only contact from now on is through my lawyer. You two have fun now 🙂 #jan25
  63. Absence of #Mubarak at military counsel meeting means homeboy is out. -Direct quote from fmr #Egypt army office calling into AJE #Jan25
  64. Ppl are chanting ” here are the liars” while pointing at ppl looking at us from the TV building #Jan25
  65. Ppl sitting infront of army tanks to prevent them from moving further in #Jan25 yfrog.com/h78z4lj
  66. “Important statement” coming soon from office of #Egypt president, state TV reports. on.cnn.com/ekI4HK
  67. Egypt, the Middle East, the World will never be the same. From #Tahrir square – CONGRATULATIONS, FREE #EGYPT! #jan25
  68. Peopke jumping up and down. Everyone hugging. We did it. I wanna cry from happiness. #jan25
  69. Now let’s remove his fuckin name from everything. I don’t wanna hear the word mubarak ever again #jan25
  70. The People have spoken. The State obeyed. From now on, this is how it’s going to be around here! 😉 #Egypt #Jan25 #Legitimacy
  71. and as Tweets from Tahrir concludes:
  72. You people are hypocrites! You talk about democracy, but you won’t let me run for president? Where’s the freedom?! #VoteHosni #Egypt

Special Thanks To:


Nunns, Alex, Nadia Idle, and Ahdaf Soueif. Tweets from Tahrir: Egypt’s Revolution as It Unfolded, in the Words of the People Who Made It. New York: OR, 2011. Print.

Gerbaudo, Paolo. Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism. London: Pluto, 2012. Print.

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