Although there are countless political Facebook groups in Egypt, many of which flare up and fall into disuse in a matter of days, the one with the most dynamic debates is that of the April 6 Youth Movement, a group of 70,000 mostly young and educated Egyptians, most of whom had never been involved with politics before joining the group. The movement is less than a year old; it formed more or less spontaneously on Facebook last spring around an effort to stage a general nationwide strike. Members coalesce around a few issues — free speech, economic stagnation and government nepotism — and they share their ideas for improving Egypt. But they do more than just chat: they have tried to organize street protests to free jailed journalists, and this month, hundreds of young people from the April 6 group participated in demonstrations about Gaza, some of which were coordinated on Facebook, and at least eight members of the group were detained by police.

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