Syria has been in a bad place for a long time, but it just got a lot worse yesterday. The country's Internet was cut off, and now information can not get in or leave the war torn country. It's key that the voice of the people get out to inform the world of what's really going on. Google and Twitter have teamed up once again to make this a reality.
Google announced today on its official Google+ page that its Speak2Tweet service is back for Syrians who need to get messages out of the country. The service works by allowing people to call a phone number and leave a voice mail. That voice mail is converted into a Tweet that anybody can view.
A little less than two years ago, when Internet access was cut off in Egypt, we worked with Twitter to launch Speak2Tweet, giving the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection.
In the last day, Internet access has been completely cut off in Syria. Unfortunately we are hearing reports that mobile phones and landlines aren’t working properly either. But those who might be lucky enough to have a voice connection can still use Speak2Tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+90 212 339 1447 or +30 21 1 198 2716 or +39 06 62207294 or +1 650 419 4196), and the service will tweet the message. No Internet connection is required, and people can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.
As Google noted, it appears that some cell and phone lines are also down across the country as well. That could definitely hurt the amount of messages that can get out, but there's already been quite a few messages posted to the service in the last 15 hours. Some of the messages are obviously prank calls, but a few are legitimate calls for help from a people caught up in a war they didn't ask for.