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Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet

An accessible guide to the enduring struggle between people and power in the digital age
Egypt's January 25 Revolution of 2011 was a dramatic demonstration of the role social media has come to play in radical activism. A key moment was the appearance of the Facebook page "We Are All Khaled Said," which linked activists across the country. But how useful are social media in radical politics? And how readily can they be turned against the activists?

Revolution in the Age of Social Media looks at the role of that seminal Facebook page and the conspiracy theories that swirled around its administrator, Wael Ghonim. Herrera reveals the immense power struggles that took place in virtual arenas, showing how social media can serve not only as a site of liberation, but also as a place where powerful forces—such the US State Department, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Egyptian military—vie for control over the hearts and minds of the young.

The Egyptian uprising, while in many ways a distinctly Arab event, is also a universal story of power and insurrection in the age of social media.


  • “Linda Herrera has written the best treatment of social media and contemporary politics that I have read. Her Revolution in the Age of Social Media avoids—indeed punctures—all of the clichés and inflated claims that tend to dominate this discussion. Herrera provides a tremendous historical case study of the use and importance of social media in the Egyptian revolution of 2011. As she lived in Egypt for years through the revolution, Herrera provides insights I have never seen elsewhere. She provides a nuanced yet clear vision. All treatments of social media and politics going forward will go through this book.”
  • “Thus far the most readable and exacting account of the interstitial spaces between the street and internet in the Egyptian uprising … no stone is left unturned as Herrera offers an unwavering deconstruction of everything—from the simple messianism of Wael Ghonim to the conspiratorial obsession of Tariq Ramadan. I have no doubt this book will be an instant classic.”
  • Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet, is expansive and curious.”


  • Eighteen Days

    Six years ago today, Hosni Mubarak resigned the presidency of Egypt, concluding three decades in power following sustained protests. Below we present an excerpt from Hazem Kandil's 2012 Soldiers, Spies, and Statesmen: Egypt's Road to Revolt that narrates the eighteen days of resistance that preceeded Mubarak's ouster. 

    Vice President Omar Suleiman announces Mubarak's departure. 

    The year 2011 was the year of the purported succession. Reports circulating around the country confirmed that Hosni Mubarak was planning to pass on the mantle to his son in September. With the father and the last of the ruling party’s old guard gone, there would be no court of appeal against the economic corruption and exploitation of Gamal Mubarak’s capitalist cronies. The day (January 25) was Police Day — a national holiday honoring that bloody morning in 1952 when the British killed dozens of Egyptian policemen because they refused to surrender their weapons and stood tall in defense of national dignity — a day that always highlighted the dark contrast between what the police used to be and what they had become.

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  • A Hacktivist Reading List: Aaron Swartz's recommended reading

    Aaron Swartz (1986–2013) was an American computer programmer, a writer, a political organizer, and an Internet hacktivist, devoted to a free and open internet. He was involved in the development of RSS, Creative Commons,, and Reddit. When he tried to 'liberate' data from an academic website, US authorities responded fiercely. He faced a fine of up to $1m and 35 years in jail. In 2013, he tragically took his own life. 

    The Boy Who Could Change the World is a newly-published collection of his writings; the life’s work of one of the most original minds of our time. In tribute to Swartz, this book is available to download for FREE—for one day only! We’ve also included other ebooks such as Inventing the Future, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, and The Wikileaks Files.

    Aaron Swartz read widely, posting annual lists of the books he enjoyed (and didn’t). Taken from The Boy Who Could Change the World, we bring you a hacktivist reading list – books that Swartz posted about from 2006-2011, presented here in his own words. 

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  • Psst! Downloading Isn't Stealing [for today]

    ATTENTION: The ebook giveaway is now over.

    Apologies for any difficulty you had downloading your ebooks. If you completed your order your ebook will be in your library and available for download at any time. If it's taking awhile to download, please wait a few hours and try again (please do not repeatedly attempt to download).

    For any outstanding issues please contact

    In January 2013, Aaron Swartz, under arrest and threatened with thirty-five years’ imprisonment, committed suicide. He was twenty-six. But in his short life he had changed the world: reshaping the Internet, questioning our assumptions about intellectual property, and creating some of the tools we use in our daily online lives. 

    In this recently published collection of his writingsThe Boy Who Could Change the WorldSwartz displays his passion for and in-depth knowledge of intellectual property, copyright, and the architecture of the Internet. The Boy Who Could Change the World contains the life’s work of one of the most original minds of our time, whose tragic suicide shook the world.

    In tribute to Aaron Swartzand to mark the publication of his writingswe've made the following ebooks available for FREE download for one day only! Unfortunately we don't have the North American rights to The Boy Who Could Change the World so this is book is NOT available for download in North America, but there are 5 other books to choose from!

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