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Social media reactions as Mubarak steps down

Voices from Tahrir Square, Cairo – “I am Egyptian … proud to be Egyptian.”

I have been monitoring Egypt protests since January 27, curating tweets and photos and even placing a special category called “Egypt Protest” here.

Finally tonight….Mubarak steps down. Cheers break out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square as the announcement is read on television that President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down.

Now things get really interesting as the post-Mubarak struggle for power begins. Power to the People.

On CNN, Wolf Blitzer was interviewing an elated Wael Ghonim, the Google executive and demonstration leader whose arrest and captivity galvanized the uprising. Blitzer asked, “first Tunisia, now Egypt, what’s next?” Ghonim said “ask Facebook.”

The demonstrations that began on January 25 were fueled by social media, and Ghonim said “I want to meet Mark Zuckerberg one day and thank him, actually.”

Ghonim added, “this revolution started online. This revolution started on Facebook.” Ghonim said without social media–supporters sharing videos and messages on their Facebook walls–the revolution in Egypt could never have moved so fast. “I always said, if you want to liberate a society, just give them the internet.”

Ghonim told Blitzer it was the empowering nature of the internet and social media that gave protesters the ability to overcome the Egyptian government’s ability to control the media, which he says worked effectively for decades. Ghonim says he will write a book about it all, called Revolution 2.0.

I am happy for you Egypt. The work towards regime change, and democracy is just beginning. It is so easy to get caught up in euphoria but note of caution may be in order: a military coup is not the same thing as democracy.

Just the same, congrats Egypt for 18 days of hard work !!!!

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