And so it begins: “I’m really not sure I want my search engine involved in government overthrows,” says Glenn Beck, who did exactly what we pointed out might be the side effect of Wael Ghonim’s activism – that people would start ganging up on Google because of its employee’s side projects. “I’m not leading any boycott,” he said eventually. “I hate boycotts: you do with your time, your money, and your information what you want. For me personally, I’m not feeling real comfortable about the current direction of Google, the more I find out.” He then goes into that kooky conspiracy theorist thing that he does. Shoot us now. source
thenoobyorker said: Alright but come on shortformie, can’t Google use Wael Ghonim to boost their appeal in that region? Couldn’t they manipulate what happened in Egypt to boost their public points (especially after that net neutrality 180 they pulled)?
» We say: First off – that was a pretty straight retelling of that news story, so I wasn’t really trying to throw my judgment on that. I think it’s important to make it clear that I don’t favor Wael losing his job over this. But anyway, of course they could. Google has a mostly-solid record on freedom of information, and Ghonim’s situation was certainly worthy of what Google has represented in the past. But let’s say it was Microsoft, or if Ghonim worked as a journalist — would his employer be nearly as forgiving? And conversely, what if Ghonim was going to speak at a Tea Party Express event – or worse, something like the BNP? Corporations face a lot of risk from employees into activism, and Google is far better about it than most companies. Mark my words. Barring a movie deal (since, y’know, his story is iconic now), Ghonim will probably go back to his job.
They did not know anything about this and actually when I took the time off and I went to Cairo, they did not know I was going to the protest. But when everything became public, I talked with the company and they suggested that I take a leave of absence and I also suggested that to them and I think it was a good decision for that. Google has nothing to do with this.Wael Ghonim • Talking about the now-unbreakable tie between his activism and his employment with Google. This is not the kind of thing that people like to see in the workforce – employees tied to public companies taking an active role in the political process, and as a result, tying the company’s name to the issue. “It’s one of those things that companies don’t want to touch with a ten foot pole,” one public-relations executive in the tech industry said about the matter. As far as Ghonim’s situation goes, he took a leave of absence with the company and is happy to return at some point. Well, that is, ”if I’m not fired.” source (via • follow)
I promise every Egyptian that I will go back to my normal life & not be involved in any politics once Egyptians fulfill their dreamsWael Ghonim (via newsflick)
I want to tell every mother and every father of the people who died, I am so sorry, I swear to God it’s not our mistake. It’s the mistake of the people who are in charge of the country and don’t want to leave their positions.Egyptian protest figurehead Wael Ghonim • Talking on Egyptian television about the people who were injured and killed while he was held in captivity for days. Ghonim’s statements, which were very teary-eyed and heart-wrenching, have proven inspiring to protesters today, who are reportedly showing renewed vigor on the streets this morning. “I’ve been following since it started, but after last night I realized I couldn’t stay away any more,” says Ahmed Osman, who was inspired to join the protests in Cairo based on Ghonim’s statements. “Our demands are simple, and they haven’t been met.” source (via • follow)