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To avoid detection by Libyan secret police, who monitor Facebook and Twitter, Mahmoudi, the leader of the Ekhtalef "Difference" Movement, used what's considered the Match. The Libyan businessman turned opposition leader said he was never politically active before, but as he watched revolutions topple governments in neighboring countries, he knew he needed to act. So he created a Mawada profile called "Where Is Miriam?
The conservative site doesn't allow men to communicate with other men, so other revolutionaries posed as women to contact him, assuming aliases like "Sweet Butterfly," "Opener of the Mountain," "Girl of the Desert" and "Melody of Torture. To complete their profiles, they answered the site's boilerplate questions, such as "How much of your face do you cover?
On the site, the revolutionaries used poetry laced with revolutionary references to gauge support and make initial contact.
Then they had detailed follow-up conversations via text message and Yahoo Messenger. The phrase "May your day be full of Jasmine," for example, is a coded reference to what's been called the Jasmine Revolution sweeping the region, Mahmoudi told ABC News. He said the response, "And the same to you. I hope you will call me" meant they were ready to begin.
They also communicated in code the of their comrades supporting the revolution. If a supporter wrote, ""My lady, how I want to climb this wall of silence.
I want to tell the story of a million hurts. But I am lost in a labyrinth. In other parts of the Middle East, traditional social media played key a role in revolutionary efforts -- a family in Egypt even named their child "Facebook" to recognize the site's contribution. But cyber activists familiar with the region say Web 2. They're very afraid. Activists in Tunisia and Egypt adopted social media on a mass scale, but "for all intents and purposes, in Libya, there isn't much cyber activism going on," Wedaddy said.
So as the revolutionary spirit gripped the Libya dating site, Libyans overseas rushed in to fill the online void. Libyans inside the country may have ed video and pictures to the Internet, but it was Libyan exiles who spread information through social media, according to Wedaddy. That information spread by mainstream media may have helped push Libyan citizens to the street, he said.
They are a buffer layer that is spreading information about Libya," he said. The Libyan-born, U. The year-old blogger said he has dual British and Libyan citizenship and is fluent in both Arabic and English. The Libyan expat said he has an interest in Web technology and Web de and wanted to help spread information for Libyans outside and inside the country. His site aggregates Libyan radio, video and images ed from the region, news reports and social media updates. To help non-Arabic-speakers follow the events, he translates video dialogue, photo captions and other crucial online text.
As Libyans found Facebook blocked inside their country, he posted information about how to bypass online Firewalls. When they lost access to the Internet altogether, he posted information from the open Internet group Telecomix, which directed Libyans to use dial-up Internet and Google's "speak to tweet" service to communicate.
Given the unrest in his home country, he said he felt compelled to speak up on the Internet for the people in Libya who can't. I can hopefully reach both audiences. When Mahmoudi created his pretend profile on Mawada, he figured 50, supporters would be enough to take to the streets.
But using various aliases on the dating site, he said he ended up with"admirers" by the time Libya's Internet crashed last Saturday. LOG IN. We'll notify you here with news about.
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