With the unruly sounds of protests in the background, the Egyptian man declared there were 50,000 demonstrators in the streets of Cairo.
“And the number is growing,” he said, raising his voice to be heard on the recording.
Unedited, raw, anonymous and emotional, Egyptian voices are trickling out through a new service that evades attempts by the authorities to suppress them by cutting Internet services.
There is still some cellphone service, so a new social-media link that marries Google, Twitter and SayNow, a voice-based social media platform, gives Egyptians three phone numbers to call and leave a message, which is then posted on the Internet as a recorded Twitter message. The messages are attwitter.com/speak2tweet and can also be heard by telephone.
The result is a story of a revolution unfolding in short bursts. Sometimes speaking for just several seconds, other times for more than a minute, the disembodied voices convey highly charged moments of excitement or calm declarations of what life is like inEgypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, as it seeks to remove its leader.
The messages rolled out as Egyptians seemed to be approaching a crucial point, with hundreds of thousands of people crammed into central Cairo on Tuesday, as protests continued to demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
- SFgate.com Google, Twitter turn Egyptians’ voices into tweets (sfgate.com)
- Google, Twitter and SayNow setup Speak2Tweet, voicemail to Twitter for offline Egyptians (downloadsquad.switched.com)