Project Freedom: Social Media's Role in the Release of Tarek Shalaby from Military Prison
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Project Freedom: Social Media's Role in the Release of Tarek Shalaby from Military Prison

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    Project Freedom: Social Media's Role in the Release of Tarek Shalaby from Military Prison Project Freedom: Social Media's Role in the Release of Tarek Shalaby from Military Prison Presentation Transcript

    • Project Freedom: Getting Tarek Shalaby out of Military Prison using Social Media as a catalyst
    • Presentation Agenda
      The Back Story:
      • Who the hell is Tarek Shalaby?
      • Why the hell was he in Jail?
      The Campaign to get Shalaby out of Prison:
      • Strategy
      • Vehicles
      • Results
      • Takeaways
    • The Back Story
    • Who the hell is Tarek Shalaby?
    • - Tarek Shalaby is a Political Activist / Citizen Journalist whoparticipated in the 18 day sit in that led to thetoppling of Egyptian Dictator Hosni Mubarak- In his spare time he is CreativeDirector / Partner @planet360- He often speaks out about issues related to theIsraeli occupation of Palestine- He is serious, passionate and dedicatedto helping liberate Egypt
    • Sometimes…
    • Why the hell was he in Military Prison?
    • - Shortly after the toppling of Dictator Hosni MubarakPalestine was slated to undertake its “3rd “Intifada”- Thousands of Egyptians had planned to mark the occasion and show their support by heading out to the Egyptian – Palestinian borders as a show of support and solidarity- Buses were rented to drive everyone out to the borders and a meeting point; Tahrir square was chosen- However the Military Rulers of the “New Egypt” which is still very much like “Old Egypt” had other plans……
    • They banned all private and public transportation from heading to the borders
    • And actually blocked all the roads heading towards Sinai
    • Several people attempted to go anyway….
    • Including Tarek Shalaby
    • And wound up…
    • Nowhere
    • For those a bit more practical; including myself
    • We organized a demonstration in front of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo
    • Shalaby fed up with the army and his trip to the middle of nowhere
    • Arrived at the demonstration as the demonstration was decreasing in numbers
    • And the Israeli, sorry Egyptian Army was increasing
    • At 4am on that fateful night I received the following text message from a mutual friend….
    • “I can’t reach Shalaby and looking at his tweets I think he’s been arrested”
    • I got up in a state of panic and looked at his twitter timeline clearly describing an ambush by the army and his subsequent arrest
    • “I can’t reach Shalaby and looking at his tweets I think he’s been arrested”
      As well as watched a video he took and uploaded from his cellphone of his arrest
    • And started a little campaign….
    • The Campaign
    • Step One – Get All the Details
      I contacted an eye-witness and got the exact story and then cross-checked it with his twitter timeline
    • Step Two – Spread the Info
      I then wrote up a quick blog post detailing everything that happened and tweeted out the link as well as giving out my cell phone number inviting anyone with information to contact me
    • Blog Post Snapshot: 4,000 Hits / One Day
    • Step Two – Spread the Info
      As we visited military prison and pressed the army for more information I continued tweeting all vital information received to keep people in the loop
    • Step Two – Spread the Info
      Furthermore many media outlets including Huffington Post, Al Jazeera & NY Times viewed the blog post and started spreading the story to a wider audience than I could ever reach on my own
    • Step Three – Keep the Pressure
      Along with several close friends we then started a Facebook page calling for the immediate release of Tarek Shalaby and started a hashtag #FreeShalaby
    • Step Three – Keep the Pressure
      We called for a demonstration which was posted on the facebook page as well as in many blogs (including mine)stating the specific rules of the demonstration & the inviting all Egyptians as well as members of the press
    • My blog post giving specific details and instructions as related to the demonstration
    • The demonstration filled the square and tens of media outlets covered the protest
    • Step Four – Tie into a Wider Cause
      In Parallel with Step Three we actually tied in the cause of getting Tarek Shalaby out of jail; which may be relevant to those that know him to a greater concern of Egyptians; Military trials for civilians which led to tremendous support and interest from a wide base of Egyptians
    • Step Five – Breakthrough
      We finally started getting concrete information on Shalaby’s trial date and after continued pressing Shalaby along with over 100 prisoners were set free
    • In 4 Days…..
    • Takeaways - Speed
      Getting the information out there in a short period of time is essential; the news cycle; particularly in Egypt is rapid and yesterday’s news is… yesterday’s news
    • Takeaways - Persistence
      Continual pushing of updates and information with regards to the cause is essential to keep people interested and in the loop; Social Media (particularly twitter) is vital
    • Takeaways – Attention Span
      Working really hard in terms of mobilizing people with regards to the cause quickly is essential because if this isn’t achieved quickly people will move onto something else
    • Takeaways – Social Media the Mobilizer
      In our case Social Media was the catalyst in terms of getting the information out there however without constant on the ground pressure nothing is achieved
    • The next day Shalaby was back to demonstrating….
    • After a little fun 