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Google 'Speak to Tweet' keeps Egypt on Twitter

Egyptians by-pass internet shutdown with new Google service

Protesters in Egypt are turning to a new Google tool to enable them to keep tweeting, following the country's government-enforced internet blackout.

The new 'Speak to Tweet' service, which was launched on Monday night allows users to leave a message on an international number for it to be posted at the @speak2tweet Twitter page.

The page displays the country origin of the message and a link for you to listen to the voicemail in its entirety. Other third party sites are now transcribing and translating the messages.


The under-fire Egyptian government has reportedly blocked access to the internet, including social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, in order to contain reports of demonstrations and prevent organisers from planning more protests.

The new service, which partners with Google's newly-acquired speech recognition company SayNow, is one of the only ways for citizens to get the word out, with the authorities also closing down TV station Al Jazeera's Cairo offices.

So far over 800 messages have been posted to the @speak2tweet account, with most of them originating from the troubled African state.

The voice messages are being translated by volunteer site Alive in Egypt as the international online community rallies behind the democratic movement.