Forget Facebook And Twitter: Libyan Protestors Aided By Dating Site

In what might be the most surprising piece of evidence to emerge from the current Libya uprising, is how male protestors posed as women on a Muslim dating website called ‘Mawada’, in order to sow the first seeds of the movement towards democracy.

In light of recent tragic events in Libya, the events that allowed protestors to use a dating site to circumvent the country’s strict ant-protest laws almost read like a comical spy story by comparison.

Given the social media movement that has helped fuel the ‘Jasmine Revolution’ that has powered across the Middle East in recent months, most suspected Twitter or Facebook to be the main online tools of change of Libya. Instead, it was a seemingly innocent dating site that helped spark moves towards democracy and resulted in much of Libya now being occupied by anti-government supporters.

According to an ABC news story, protestors keen on overthrowing the government created a number of fake profiles on Mawada in order to connect with one another and avoid arousing the suspicion of authorities talking to each other in love versed codes from profile names that included "Girl of the Desert" and "Melody of Torture."

The article gives a bit more depth of how the code worked:

The five Ls in the phrase "I LLLLLove you," for example, meant they had five people with them. If a supporter wrote, ""My lady, how I want to climb this wall of silence. I want to tell the story of a million hurts. ... But I am lost in a labyrinth. … Maybe we can meet on Yahoo messenger," it told the writer to migrate the chat to Yahoo Messenger so as not to raise the suspicion of the monitors...”

[Via ABC News]