To “like” or “not to like”

“Egypt protests” —- 11 people like this.

Tahrir Square cleanup –23 people like this.

“What the world is saying about Egypt”—230 people like this

“Mubarak Leaves at Last”— 505 people likes this

Doesn’t this appear disconcerting to Ethiopians residing home that facebook is going to be banned? I believe it is alright if you ‘liked’ any of the pictures, comments, or news about the Egyptian revolution as long as you keep it on facebook. But must we fear that something terrible (banning) is coming to Ethiopians who are fond of facebook?  Are we witnessing an abrupt shift in liking and sharing links amongst our facebook friends?

Yes, I know since Tunisians overthrow their president and inspired Egyptians to oust Hosni Mubarak, many facebook friends of mine have posted their reactions on their facebook pages and most of them hit available”, like” button  for appreciation . But that’s how it appears to readers and I do not think these will make people in power to shut facebook in Ethiopia. They should know how insensitive facebook’s like button is. Even if it is sensitive as people fear and post the menace of facebook to authority’s power people might have liked that specific link to seek information about a page/company/product on Facebook not to have an Egyptian type of facebook social media initiated revolution .Beside this one must ‘like’ a certain page or ‘become a ‘fan’ if he/she wants to get more information, if he or she doesn’t, I’m afraid one can’t know more. By the way though I understand privacy when it comes to private information, but why must public information be hidden behind a ‘like’ button? Facebook should consider this point seriously and let us know some information without hitting the “like” button.

I know, this fear of facebook interdiction is a reasonable panic for many reasons and if the speculations and fears of my fellow Ethiopians come to be true I can only describe the act as an insult to the only available opportunity of Ethiopians interaction regarding some issues. Before they decide to prescript out facebook people in power should consider these points –   What if companies want to be able to put commercials on facebook? What if Ethiopian students want to hook up with their equals in some parts of the world for scholarship or any other business reasons through facebook? After all, all people on facebook are not political activities. If they decided to shut down the social network it is downright despicable. Why? Because for a platform that thrives on positive social interaction amongst Ethiopians living in or outside Ethiopia that would make things desperate.

“Like” online but not dare enough to “like” offline

Ethiopians usually the diasporic blogs and facebook pages emphasize the symbols of the nation state –maps, flags, symbolic geographic features, or indigenous plants and animals. Often the

Facebook posts of exile emphasize the links to homeland, Ethiopia. But last three or four weeks

a day-to-day facebook posts focus on the new Egyptian revolution and no one dislikes this event   Imagine the fuss when someone publicly ‘dislikes’ your  comment on a certain  news item regarding Egyptian revolution .I am sure  facebook would turn into a battle ground as a blogs and pal talk had been with burly comments.

As some of you know platforms, like blogs and pal talk are battle grounds for politics. Why?  Because they allow you to maintain anonymity. It is the lack of anonymity that restricts social networking platforms like Facebook to give some rude comments on friends. Thus, these days’ facebook comments of some Ethiopians cannot truly ever represent Ethiopians feeling on the Egyptians revolution.  In Ethiopia, no one may be brave enough to publicly ‘like’ strong opinions regarding Egyptians which are reflected online, but the anonymity afforded by the some platform encourages people opinions.

I know, I may be exaggerating, but this most certainly seems a step in using facebook proper way. Ironically, I am posting this with an apprehension of being accused of something, but feel free to “like” this one!

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