In an ironic twist of fate, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has threatened military force against thousands of student protesters through one of the very mediums used to liberate the country in 2011: Twitter. “Security forces will deal with the utmost decisiveness to law enforcement and the protection of state enterprises,” tweeted the official account, through a string of 1984-ish updates. “Presidency confirms that these destructive practices that have nothing to do with the principles of the revolution and not to any illegal practices in the peaceful expression.” (Google Chrome translation from Arabic).
Deadly clashes have erupted across the country, as protesters demand greater adherence to democratic principles from their newly elected leaders. Instead of being a faithful steward of democracy as Egypt transitions from authoritarian rule, Morsi has made disturbing grabs for executive power by declaring that courts cannot overturn his decisions, and cracking down on protesters with excessive force.
A hallmark of the Arab Spring, Egypt’s coup was hailed as part of the “Twitter Revolution.” While there is some debate about the impact of social media within the country itself after the government tried to block Internet access, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube became an extraordinary rally cry for citizens around the world to spread messages and show solidarity.
Now, in its fragile state, Morsi appears to have co-opted the tools of democracy to announce swift force against protestors. We’ve screen-grabbed the full stream of his tweets below: