Jan. 26, 2011 at 4:03 PM ET
Egypt appears to be blocking Facebook Wednesday, a day after the government may have done the same with Twitter, as protests and violence escalated against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak.
"We are aware of reports of disruption to service but have not seen any major changes in traffic from Egypt," said Andrew Noyes, Facebook's manager of public policy communications.
On Twitter, the short-messaging blog where posts are limited to 140 characters, access from Egypt was difficult as reported by Herdict.org, a project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University that monitors Web accessbility worldwide.
Twitter's own global communications tweeted at about 1:30 p.m. PT that "Egypt continues to block Twitter & has greatly diminished traffic. However, some users are using apps/proxies to successfully tweet."
The social networking sites "have been a key means of communications for the protesters. Egyptians complained Facebook and Twitter were subsequently blocked but the government denied it," according to an Associated Press report.
"Demands posted on Facebook included the resignation of Mubarak and Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, the dissolution of parliament and formation of a national unity government."
Facebook has more than 500 million members worldwide, and "Egypt still leads the Arab world in numbers of Facebook subscribers, with 5 million members and has the largest number of users of Facebook’s Arabic interface (2.2 million Facebook Arabic users in Egypt, versus 1.8 million in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)," according to Spot On PR.
Noyes declined to specify the exact number of Egyptians who use the site.
Egypt's social networking shut-out has echoes of Iran 2-1/2 years ago, when in the wake of the presidential election and protests, the government there worked to block network and dial-up access to Facebook and Twitter.