A US graduate student has helped free himself from an Egyptian jail, thanks to a one-word post from his cell phone.
James Karl Buck, a graduate student from the University of California-Berkeley, was in Egypt covering an anti-government protest in Mahalla when he and his translator, Mohammed Maree, were arrested on April 10.
On his way to the police station, he took out his cell phone and sent a message to his friends and contacts using the micro-blogging service Twitter; sending out one word – “Arrested”.
Within seconds, his colleagues in the US and his friends in Egypt – the same people who taught him the tool only a week earlier, were alerted to his arrest.
Twitter is a tool where you can only send 140 words to the public, friends and colleagues, with an active social-networking aspect.
He was eventually released, less than 24 hours after his arrest. He sent another message to his Twitter account, with another one-worded message – “Free”.