Free Minds & Free Markets

Reason TV: Tweeting Around Egypt's Web Blackout - Meet John Scott-Railton

The Egyptian government may have blocked Egyptians' access to the Internet, but it couldn't block the Internet itself. Thanks to the likes of John Scott-Railton, voices of countless Egyptian protesters continue to wend through the web.

Once the government imposed muzzling began, the 27-year-old UCLA graduate student reached out to friends in Egypt by telephone, gathered updates, and posted them to his Twitter account @Jan25voices, named after the day the protests began.

Nearly 700 tweets later, Scott-Railton (who up until last week was a Twitter newbie) soon found himself in the midst of the Middle East revolt. In one week he has attracted 6,700 followers and counting and his audio clips of Egyptian voices have been played more than 3.5 million times. caught up with Scott-Railton at his UCLA office.

Approximately 5 minutes.

Interview by Paul Detrick. Shot by Zach Weissmueller. Edited by Detrick.

Go to for downloadable versions of this and all our videos, and subscribe to's YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new content is posted. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Suki||

    Good afternoon reason!

  • ||

    Anybody know how much noise, clutter and disinformation is being fed into the Twitter pipeline? How reliable are the tweets? Are pro-Mubarek propagandists tweeting? What about anti-Mubarek propagandists? How much of the chatter may be trusted as newsworthy and factual?

  • ||


  • Paul||


    It appears on the internet. Proceed with caution. However, who cares? The revolution in Egypt was not fueled by twitter.

    As one journalist on the ground in Egypt said: Don't forget, the large crowds were actually pretty successful at the old fashioned methods of communication: Talking to eachother on the street.

  • ||

    "Shot by Zach Weissmueller."

    Please tone down the vitrol.

  • Paul||

    It's the cycle of violence!

  • ||

    John Scott-Railton

    Every time they list three names for someone, it's some murderer. So who did he kill?

  • ||

    Maybe Scott is his maiden name.

  • ||

    Maybe he's a hyphenate. He looks like he could be British.

  • ||

    I was wondering that too.

  • ||

    *sigh* If only we could shut down the internet here...

    Oh, wait, I can TOTALLY fuckin' do that. Now, all I need is a good excuse.

    Say, would some of you "freedom"-loving types mind picketing somewhere, and fight back when SEIU thugs beat up on you? Thanks!

  • ||

    We'd get an exemption, though, right?

  • ||

    Wait, why would libertarians oppose the cessation of the internet?

    If not for government (DARPA) research and development funding using jackboot-extracted tax dollars, there wouldn't be an internet. There'd be a proprietary IBMnet or some such.

    In its most essential technical form, the internet is absolutely a collectivist expression. It is a cooperative consensus of a community of routers and networks. This is not the kind of free-market stuff that spins the libertarian propeller. You'd think Reason would be happy to see it go.

    Why the sudden lack of faith in the free market to restore connectivity? Private businesses are the only entities capable of solving any problems, right? They'd just solve this too.

    Geez, Reason, get out of the way and let the private sector handle it!

  • ||

    Shut the fuck up, Oral.

  • ||

    Ha ha. You don't have an answer.

  • ||

    OT, but a good story idea, Reason staff:

  • ||

    Similarly Google has setup a voicemail number for Egyptians to call and leave twitter messages.

  • chaussures air max tn||


  • nike running shoes||

    is good

  • tory burch||

    The Egyptian government may have blocked Egyptians' access to the Internet.But they are not stop the Internet itself, this is just a take temporary solution not effect a permanent cure method.

  • دليل||


  • nikedunkhighheels||

    do you want a pair of nikehighheels,if you want,you can enter

  • guorizi||

    I'm gonna share it in Facebook, this is really awesome

  • anhao||

    i think is good

  • yigongli||

    i need article

  • gungunhongc||

    gun gun hong chen

  • suzhouhe||

    su zhou he

  • huoyuanjia||

    huo yuan jia

  • sede||


  • bushi||


  • alipay||


  • dfeifjei||

    Get government replica uggs out of education and kids will get educated or fake uggs for sale not, as their parents desire. More of them will actually become educated without government than do now with it.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online