McCain: Mark Zuckerberg is the most popular man in the Middle East

McCain: Mark Zuckerberg is the most popular man in the Middle East

Summary: John McCain is apparently a big fan of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, or at least he says that the Middle East adores him.


John McCain, the senior United States Senator from Arizona, has reportedly called Facebook creator and CEO Mark Zuckerberg the most popular man in the Middle East. During a discussion at the Brookings Institution, McCain praised social networks in general for helping protesters organize in countries like Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.

"The No. 1 hero in Tunisia is a guy named Mark Zuckerberg," McCain said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "This social networking cannot be underestimated in how all of these events, really the driving force in how all of this transformed and took place," McCain also said according to Fox News. The Senator then told a story from a young man he met in Egypt, who held up his BlackBerry and said, "I can get 200,000 people in the square in two hours."

McCain believes this is just the beginning. "Egypt is the heart and soul of the Arab world," he said. "What happens in Egypt will be vital to what happens in the rest of the region."

I'm not sure about the "most popular man" statement, but I do believe that these "Facebook revolutions" are giving Zuckerberg's image a big boost. With all this positive press around social networks helping topple governments in third world countries, Zuckerberg can forget about how Hollywood portrayed him in The Social Network.

Topics: Government, Networking, BlackBerry

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • And, through all of this, we Americans might just figure out that Arabs are

    really cool people, no need to bomb them!!
    • Who says that's how us Americans think Donnieboy?

      But then again maybe through all of this those "Arabs" might just figure out that we Americans are pretty cool people, no need to bomb us or our children.

      You know, you say some pretty assine stuff.
      Will Farrell
  • An important note: Americans now have a much better opinion of Arabs.

    Hopefully through social networking, we will also end the destructive misunderstandings.
    • Don't try to sound all understanding or hip

      its not working.
      Will Farrell
  • iRevolution

    "Facebook revolutions" my a$$.

    Egyptians, Tunisian etc. have no work or money and live under corruption where those in power HAVE money. This is particular bad under high oil prices and hence high food prices.

    I think it was Tunisia where one man burned himself in the middle of the street, which was followed by his funeral protest, then a crackdown, then a wave of protests that took down Ben Ali.

    Once Ben Ali fell, Egyptians saw they had the power to eject Mubarak. When Clinton & Blair stopped their undermining talk, and Obama came out saying Mubarak must go now, that gelled the army against him. The key there, is they SAW Tunisians did it and took their lead. They saw he had no influence among world leaders too, ie. disempowering.

    Libya will fall too. They just need to offer money to defecting pilots - don't bomb Libyans, defect, take your plane with you and join the opposition and collect $5k for your trouble.

    They need to get hold of radio equipment to transmit the message as to how army can safety defect to the opposition, the message IMHO, should be "join us, against Gadaffi and become heroes".

    Radio not Facebook, because Internet is too easily disrupted and only a few people have it anyway. Facebook is trivial to block.

    He's one man, when his son does the hand shaking, he's trying to create mob mentality, where no one raises an objection because they fear everyone else will turn on them. Yet there is no loyalty there.

    They can turn that mob, they need a radio transmitter, a little common sense and they can talk the bulk of the army around, more than enough to clean up the rest.

    Just make it clear that defecting army units are heros of the resistance.

    Gadaffi has no money now, that army will not be paid forever, their children will have to live among a hostile populace. That needs to be made clear to them.

    Just my opinion.
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