When I first read about flash mobs back in 2003 I was amused. But hidden in the article was a question of whether this technology could be used for protests. Seattle's anti-globalization protests were one of the first to use it. I'm sure lots of repressive governments saw the potential at the same time and started preparing. NY Times 2003 flash mob article
But the biggest show of using social networks to protest a dictatorship is still going on in Egypt.
Wael Ghonim, a Google marketing man, just got out of an Egyptian jail after 10 days of blindfolded imprisonment. He admitted to being one of the people who set up the Facebook page protesting the death of Khaled Said, who was beaten to death by Egptian police while in custody. No wonder Egypt has shut down Facebook and Twitter.
There is a new type of leader emerging. Reluctant, perhaps, but still powerful. Let's see how this works out.
Video of Wael Ghonim discussing the protests:
Watch him here addressing the crowds. Not much of a rabble-rouser but he brought the crowd together. To what end?