Your Middle East
Last updated: 14 May, 2014

New digital community mobilises from street level to cover the Egyptian election

Open Elections Egypt aims to capitalise on the power of user generated content during the country's upcoming election.

In order to properly make use of Egypt’s vast bank of social media users, Google and Storyful are partnering to launch Open Elections Egypt, a real-time eyewitness community sourcing and verifying online content. The platform targets news organisations, journalists, bloggers, activists and others monitoring the controversial elections.  

In a blog post on Storyful’s website, Wais Bashir tells more about the idea, and connects it to the 2011 uprising against Mubarak.

Open Elections Egypt will be a multilingual destination

“As the revolution progressed, sources like HarassMap emerged, reporting and flagging incidents of sexual harassment against women. Mainstream media began using photos and videos taken by citizen journalists on the ground, with mobile phone footage a staple of prime-time television news reports worldwide. Formed at the time by a team of citizen journalists, the RNN news network is now the 6th most influential in the Arab World and has over a million fans on Facebook.

Open Elections Egypt will be a multilingual destination and a source of essential UGC (User Generated Content), delivered and discussed in real-time by a team of hand-picked local journalists, researchers, analysts, NGOs, activists, campaigners and bloggers.”

Dealing with fake media, misinformation and false accounts will be an important element of Open Elections Egypt, which follows other efforts such as the Egyptian platform Ana Mubasher.

“Evident from the early days of the uprising against the government in 2011, user-generated content served as one of the most important sources of news for people inside Egypt and abroad,” writes Wais Bashir.

It may very well do so again, he adds.

“Open Elections Egypt provides community supporting the discovery and verification of the user-generated content that may define this election.”