No one can deny that services like Bambuser have played an important role in the Egyptian uprising, as tools used by citizen journalists and activists to broadcast scenes from the heart of Tahrir, and other cities around the country, as they are happening.
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While YouTube has of course seen countless videos shared with the world, Bambuser’s live-streaming feature has ensured that protesters were, and still are, able to broadcast events as they occur. In fact, the use of Bambuser by activists led to the government temporarily blocking the service in Egypt.
As protests around the country are raging on, with a global eye fixed firmly on Tahrir, where a second wave of protests are calling for an end to military rule in country, two of Bambuser’s co-founders are on their way to Cairo right now.
Måns Adler and Jonas Vig’s trip to Cairo includes the opportunity to shadow Egyptian activists and personally attend ongoing local workshops where they have been training participants in how to use Bambuser as a tool to monitor the upcoming parliamentary elections.
While the elections are slated for November 28, and the government is insisting that they will go on as planned, it is unclear whether or not this will be truly the case.
Either way, Egyptian activists have been busy preparing for the elections, and with a ban on international observers, Bambuser is one of the many essential tools they will be using to monitor the elections themselves. This is not the first time this has happened in Egypt, as Bambuser was used during last year’s elections, where over 10,000 unique videos were broadcast using the service.
Jonas Vig explains, “With no international observers present at the elections, technology will be instrumental in broadcasting how they’re organised and, hopefully, ensuring a fair and democratic process. In effect, by setting up these technology workshops all over the country, human rights activists are attempting to crowdsource transparency and the monitoring of the election.”
Speaking about how their upcoming visit to Cairo will affect Bambuser itself, Måns Adler said “We’ll take the lessons back with us so we can develop and improve the Bambuser software. We want to make it a better tool for activists around the world to use in situations like this.”
Bambuser has created a dedicated channel for events that continue to take place in Egypt, which you can find here, while Jonas and Måns will be updating this blog with their personal experiences while in Cairo.