Facebook pages disappear before Egypt’s parliamentary election

Egypt is a country where political activism has been made very difficult since emergency laws were put in place in 1981, thus forming a credible and popular opposition is not easy to say the least. However one area that people are still able to have a public platform is on the Internet and especially sites such as Facebook, although we posted earlier today how Facebook is being banned in certain countries.

In the run-up to the coming Egyptian parliamentary election this Sunday it appears that 2 popular opposition Facebook pages have been mysteriously removed. Marwa Awad in a Reuters report on Yahoo News, tells how web activists involved with the missing Facebook pages feel that it’s down to the Egyptian government, although they have no substantial evidence of this.

An activist for one of the pages told Reuters, “It is strange that the two biggest Facebook pages in Egypt and the Arab world are all of a sudden deleted.” One of the pages, “We are all Khaled Said” has 330,000 users and the other, “Mohamed ElBaradei,” has 298,000 users. However the first of these two sites has now been re-instated after an email was sent from Facebook to say “After reviewing your situation, we have reinstated the page, and you should now be able to see it online.” This followed action from Egyptians living overseas who urged Facebook to reinstate the page.

In recent years Facebook campaigns have been notable in organizing protests but in the last few weeks the Egyptian government has closed down 12 TV stations and opposition critics to the government have been forced off-air. Officials for the Egyptian government have not commented as today is a public holiday in Egypt.

For more on this go to yahoo.com. It does seem likely to us that the disappearance of these Facebook pages has come at the request of the Egyptian government but what do you think? Maybe you’re an Egyptian and want to air your views about this? We’d like to have your thoughts so please do send us your comments.