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The social network revolutions have yet to dethrone the kings. In the Arab world, monarchies may be the most stable alternative to ruthless dictators, military juntas, or simple chaos currently available.

In Tunisia, the self-immolation of street vendor Muhammad Bouazizi, protesting harassment by local authorities, led to demonstrations that toppled the regime. In Egypt, it was photos posted online of Khaled Said, who had been beaten to death by corrupt police officers. In both cases, Facebook pages drew attention to the cases, and Twitter posts helped organize protests.

Teachers and learners of English can now access a new resource to help build vocabulary and improve language skills thanks to the British Council’s latest Facebook app. Pic-Your-Wits is an interactive English vocabulary game with pixelated pictures for learners to guess the words and beat the clock. It is available on Facebook today for free.

Facebook has been hailed as a tool of revolution that has spread across the Middle East, the means by which young Tunisians, Egyptians and others spread their message and organize their rallies. But when they are not banning the world’s favorite social network, the region’s rulers are learning to use it, too.

The domino-like succession of civil unrest that has rocked repressive regimes in the Middle East has been called "the Jasmine Revolution." It might better be known as "the 140-character Rebellion," after the character limits of Twitter, which gave it voice.

The Indian Embassy here today launched its Facebook page to reach out to the community, which has among the highest penetration of internet among all the ethnic communities in the US.

Recent events in the Arab world have sparked renewed optimism with online social networks. Many in the West are now convinced that Internet technology can create something previously impossible under authoritarian states — a strong opposition that can seize power through either elections or street demonstrations.

As unlikely protests swept across Egypt on January 25, an administrator from the Facebook page that was helping to drive the uprisings emailed a top official of the social network, asking for help.

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