Anti Torture Page Top Suggestion in Egypt By Facebook As it Starts Suggesting Pages for New Members
In the late 90s Aljazeera set the stage of political debates that was never seen before since the inception of modern media in the Arab world . As Arab leaders and governments are often criticized, something that was not possible before as each countries population was depending on state run media or often censored private media.
In the 2010s facebook and social media from new comers like Millatfacebook to old players like Youtube and even older such as forums seems to become the weapon of choice for political change and activism.
Facebook today started offering new users in the signup walk through suggestion for pages for them to follow, these pages seems to be local to each country, which is different from Twitter suggestion as on Twitter they are mostly from the US.
In Egypt facebook is offering users a number of pages on top of them the facebook page of We are all Khaleed Saeed from Egypt who was beaten to death by the Egyptian police according to its admin.
The fanpage in Arabic boost 159,459 members with levels of engagements around 300 likes and 150 comments per status update. According to Egyptian newspeper Almasery Alyoum “Eyewitnesses say that police dragged Saeed from an Alexandria internet café and beat him to death in front of onlookers. Police, however, maintain that the victim died after choking on a package of marijuana that he had been attempting to conceal during his arrest.”
The page which its admins said that they aim to pressure the Egyptian government to end emergency laws and stop torture has managed to organize silent rallies across Egypt the biggest of them was in Alexandra the home town of Khaled and was lead by presidential hopeful Mohammed ElBaradei.
There are 3,581,340 people who said there country is Egypt on facebook, which means the fan page has reechoed around 2 % of Egypt’s facebook population. The page was dispatching status updates encouraging followers to rally and not stay silent with such messages as this one:
“Zeinab: I’m an 18 year old Egyptian-American who wants nothing more than to march down the streets of Cairo with you all, but I will support you from afar. Ohio – USA”
2 days ago Alexandria District Attorney Yasir Rafai has ordered that Mahmoud Salah Mahmoud and Awad Ismail Suliman, policemen from the Sidi Gabr Police Department detained for four days pending investigation into allegations that they had used excessive force against Khaled Saeed. In its blog post facebook said that suggested Pages are based on:
“posting engaging updates. The list of Pages is strictly determined by an algorithm, so none of the suggestions is sponsored and Page administrators can’t pay or ask to be included.”
In Jordan where I am from and currently live- the top suggested page is what it seems the unofficial page of King Abdullah II of Jordan the page boost around 30,658 members, there is no presence for the king’s wife Queen Rania page which boost around 237,861 members.