Egypt is about to have that question answered on Tuesday, as a nationwide day of protest organized on Facebook, Twitter and other sites will spring into action.
Organizers of the event, dubbed a "day of revolution," have been inspired by the recent overthrow of Tunisia's president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, following WikiLeaks disclosures on his extravagant lifestyle.
The cyber-fueled uprising of citizens across the Middle East and North Africa has been made that much more potent by a string of self-immolation protests. Time's Abigail Hauslohner explains:
Large anti-government demonstrations broke out in Jordan, Yemen and Algeria, while more men -- particularly in Egypt and Algeria -- have joined the ranks of self-immolators inspired by Mohammed Bouazizi, the Tunisian whose suicide sparked that country's revolution.So far, approximately 85,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they plan to take part in Tuesday's demonstrations in Egypt. Meanwhile, residents of Tunisia say they will take to the streets as a show of solidarity with the Egyptian protests, the Guardian reported.
The power and efficiency with which social networking sites can be used to harness political anger on a mass scale was shown during the wave of protests against the Iranian government in the aftermath of the 2009 elections.
As was the case in Iran, Egyptian authorities have labeled Tuesday's protests illegal. So how many people will turn up in protest of the Mubarak government? We're about to find out.
More Surge Desk coverage:
BlackBerry Blackout in Middle East
Mohamed Ghannouchi: What WikiLeaks Tells Us About Ben Ali's Successor in Tunisia
Follow Surge Desk on Twitter.