BARCELONA, Spain – Google is “very, very proud” of cyberactivist Wael Ghonim, a young executive at the company who emerged as a leading voice of the Egyptian uprising, company boss Eric Schmidt said Tuesday.
Ghonim, Google?s head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, administered a Facebook page that helped spark the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
The 30-year-old also appeared in an emotional television interview shortly after he was released from police custody after 12 days in custody which is credited with re-energising the movement just as it seemed to be losing steam.
“We are very very proud of what Wael Ghonim was able to do in Egypt,” Schmidt said at the mobile phone industry’s annual get-together in Barcelona.
“They were able to use a set of technologies that included Facebook, Twitter and number of others to really express the voice of the people. And that is a good example of transparency. And we wish them very much the best. I have talked to him. We are very very proud of what he has done.”
In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, Ghonim said the protests which led to Mubarak’s ouster would not have happened without online social networks.
“If there was no social networks it would have never been sparked,” he said.
“Because the whole thing before the revolution was the most critical thing. Without Facebook, without Twitter, without Google, without You Tube, this would have never happened.”
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