Listen to Voicemails to the World from the Egyptian Protesters SayNow, Speak2Tweet, Twitter, Google Build Text to Tweet Tech for Egypt Protesters
With no internet service, protesters are getting messages of determination and desperation out to the world through voice to tweet tech. Listen here.
On Monday night, the last operational internet service provider in Egypt, Noor Group, shut down, leaving the millions of democracy protesters without social networks, working ATMs, or easy access to the outside world. But they are still getting their message out.
We reported on one dial-up internet provider offering free service to Egyptians. Now there's a new way for Egyptians to use the still-working phone lines to tell their story on the internet. A Google subsidiary, SayNow, has hacked some of their own tech to offer a service that tweets out audio files of voicemails left by Egyptians and automatically hashtags them #egypt.
Anyone can leave a voicemail with the service, that will then be posted on Twitter. Spread the word. To call-to-tweet, call one of these international phone numbers +16504194196, +390662207294, or +97316199855.
SayNow instantly tweets the message using the hashtag of the country you're calling from. Yesterday the service also added the more activist hashtag #jan25, but that has since stopped. Maybe Google realized just providing the service is a pretty bold move that might rustle some autocratic feathers in Egypt and elsewhere the search giant does business.
Interestingly, Google acquired SayNow just last week, so kudos to them for turning their new technology to a good cause for a first trial in the spotlight.
Listen to voicemails from a nation in transition at Speak2Tweet's Twitter stream.
The calls themselves are chilling, even to someone who doesn't speak Arabic. There's a desperate energy traveling from the streets of Cairo, each message that reaches the outside world through twitter sounds like a tiny triumph.
Alive in Egypt is translating the messages here. Some samples:
“I need ! to be ! a free man ! and better Life ! for my kids ! Please help us . . . all the world.” (link)\n
I’m a doctor from Demitta. I’m living the happiest moments in my life. I feel I’m alive! I drive my car in my city feeling very happy! I don’t meet police officers and I’m not stopped in police ambushes. I also want to say my opinion. That man (Mubarak) is trapped. He doesn’t know how to leave or stay. He’s scared that if he leaves, he will later be arrested and sentenced, like other corrupt politicians. (link)
I’m an Egyptian and I ask the help of every human being on the face of Earth. Not only us should hold this tyrant accountable. The whole world should. He is killing human beings. And we’re all human beings. All of us on this Earth are human beings. And he is killing us all. (link)\n