Student ‘Twitters’ His Way Out Of Egyptian Jail
James Karl Buck helped free himself from an Egyptian jail with a one-word blog post from his cell phone.
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 that he was being held.
Twitter is a social-networking blog site that allows users to send status updates, or “tweets,” from cell phones, instant messaging services and Facebook in less than 140 characters.
Hossam el-Hamalawy, a Cairo-based blogger at UC-Berkeley, was one of the people who got word of Buck’s arrest.