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Friday, April 25, 2008

Lifestreaming: Twitter Helps To Free A Student From Eygptian Prison

via CNN

Quite a story. A graduate student at Berkeley- James Buck- was in Eygpt covering some anti-government protests. He and his translator were nabbed and tossed in jail, and with a one word tweet ("arrested") his network lit up and started taking action to get him out. This may be one of the more powerful examples I've ever seen of how the networks we establish for ourselves online can benefit our lives.

Some excerpts from the story (but check the whole story for all the deets):

"Buck, a graduate student from the University of California-Berkeley, was in Mahalla, Egypt, covering an anti-government protest when he and his translator Mohammed Maree were arrested April 10.

On his way to the police station, Buck took out his cell phone and sent a message to his friends and contacts using the micro-blogging site Twitter.

The message only had one word. "Arrested."

Within seconds, colleagues in the United States and his blogger-friends in Egypt -- the same ones who had taught him the tool only a week earlier -- were alerted he was being held.

Buck's urgent message is proof of the value of Twitter, Stone said. Buck's entry set off a chain of events that led to his college hiring a lawyer on his behalf.

"James' case is particularly compelling to us because of the simplicity of his message -- one word, 'arrested' -- and the speed with which the whole scene played out," Stone said. "It highlights the simplicity and value of a real-time communication network that follows you wherever you go."

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