Egypt has a very high number of users on Facebook that’s estimated at 33 million accounts. It’s a high number particularly when compared with the number of users in other countries in the Middle East.
Egyptian Telecommunications Minister Yasser ElKady said “Egypt will have its own Facebook very soon.”
The minister’s statement was made during a workshop organized by the Justice Ministry to announce that they finished preparing a cybercrime bill.
The bill was prepared between the telecommunications ministry and the justice ministry’s counter-terrorism department.
“Egypt must have its own Facebook so we, as an Egyptian government, can protect data and citizens and the stability of the state,” Kady said, adding that Egypt can be efficient in terms of social media networks on the international level.
Kady added that they also aim to prevent the use of social media networks as platforms to spread extremist ideology.
Some measures taken by lawyers and MPs have reflected a desire to have the state control social media networks in general and Facebook in particular.
For example, in 2015, Egyptian lawyer Mohammed Salem filed a lawsuit demanding to shut down Facebook because “foreign intelligence services have been using it as well as Twitter since the January 25 revolution to incite protests, violence and the distruction of public and private property.”