Floating around the Internet of late has been the photo above of what looks to be an Egyptian man amidst the anti-Mubarak protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square holding up what appears to be a pro-Facebook sign.
A sign like that lends a little weight to the idea that, whatever tactical role that social technologies might have played in the Egyptian uprising, they've captured the hearts and minds of Egyptians. Alec Ross, the U.S. State Department's senior advisor on innovation, found vindication in the photo. "14:58 ... 14:59 ...," tweeted Ross this morning. "Cyberskeptics, your 15 minutes are up."
Powerful stuff, perhaps. But with the sheer volume of photos, tweets, blog posts and more we're seeing about Egypt, provenience is often an afterthought. And perhaps I'm the only one who had the though, but that block lettering looks awfully well done.
So to, um, just put on our skeptical pants for a moment, let's ask, is the Facebook-in-Egypt sign for real? Or is this a joke on Malcolm Gladwell? It's the real deal, or at least all signs point in that direction.
As to what the sign itself actually reads, the Arabic-trained Aaron Banks translates it as, "Thank you...youth [of] Egypt," then the Facebook reference, and then "Steadfast we will not go."