Monday, May 08, 2006

Google-bombing for Alaa

A creative new method is being undertaken to free jailed Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel Fatah. A group of concerned blogger/activists is trying to start a global Google-bombing exercise. The goal? When someone googles the "Egypt," instead of getting a story about tourism or the British Museum, they will find the Free Alaa blog at the top of their screen.

This is the effect of Google bombing, a method of manipulating the Google rankings. How does one google-bomb exactly? Well, write the word Egypt somewhere on your blog and then link it to the official Free Alaa site ( When Google searches the internet for links, it will find that people interested in Egypt are linking to Alaa, so Google will move the Free Alaa blog up in the rankings for "Egypt". The more people that link the word Egypt to the Free Alaa blog, the further up that site will move in the Google rankings for the search term "Egypt."

So, please Google-bomb for Alaa. Link the text Egypt to the Free Alaa blog : (In html, your link will look like this:
egypt.) Then, after you've linked to Alaa, tell all your blogger friends to link to Alaa. No matter where you are in the world, you can use your blog as a tangible force for justice. So go ahead, start bombing.

And, incidentally, Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt and also Egypt

(from Sandmonkey)

Egyptian Blogger Alaa Abdel Fatah has been arrested alongside 10 others while demonstrating in support of the independence of the Judiciary in Egypt and the release of previous demonstrators who were detained 2 weeks earlier. The Police entrapped them, cordoning off their peaceful protest and then proceeded to handpick the demonstrators that they wanted to detain, beat them, and then arrested them. Al

Alaa and those arrested with him are now arrested for 15 days "pending investigation", which could be renewed indefinitely if the state so wishes. He and the men were sent to the infamous Torah Prison and the girls to the Qanatir prison for the duration. This makes them hardly safe, because stuff that goes on in Egyptian prisons on the hands of the jailors: beatings,
sexual assaults, torture of all kinds.

Currently there are about 48 detained, 6 of them are bloggers, and 3 of them are women. The best known is Alaa, which makes him the posterboy of this campaign - but getting them
out is equally as important. Egypt has fewer than 830 bloggers all in all, 60 of whom are political and less than 30 are politically active. Now 6 of those are in jail - 20% of all politically active Egyptian bloggers - and amongst them one of Egypt's most highly profiled one.


Alaa's site:

Interview with Alaa on Global Voices

Badges for your blog

categories: internet activism_

technorati tags: , , ,

Mary,u're doing a great job..thank you!!
How about actually doing something useful, like trying to contact foreign governments and work them into pressuring the Egyptian gov't.

Even if you are able to con google into flooding your site with egypt traffic, what makes you think their government will give a rat's ass? This all sounds like an advertising scam.

Did you even think about how you are using Google's service (blogger) to carry out this "masterplan"? Openly bragging about violating their terms and conditions is a very easy way to get your site shut down.

Google didn't get to where it is today by allowing joe-schmo's like you to play kid hackers whenever they thought it was cool.

My advice - stick to what you know.
Foulla - thanks!
Aoun - You bring up so many points, it is hard to know where to begin. I guess what I can say is the I believe this campaign will have an effect, not on the Egyptian government, but on the media. The google-bombing campaign will make the detention of Alaa newsworthy. If the story of Alaa reaches the traditional media, that might shame the Egyptian government into releasing him. In addition, I think Google can take care of itself. While they don't have the power to "shut us down" (what we are doing is not illegal) they can take another action to limit the effect of our google-bombing. What I am interested in is ways to use new media tools (wiki's, blogs, Google, Technorati) for political activism. If google-bombing doesn't work because Google counter-acts our action, then we will try something else. The internet can change the world. Who broke the Monica Lewinsky story, which changed the Clinton presidency? A blog. Just because it's digital, doesn't mean it isn't real.
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