The Listening Post

Egypt: Mohamed Ali and the return of the protesters

Viral videos revealing rampant corruption trigger protests in Egypt. Plus, Canadian far-right outlet Rebel Media.

On The Listening Post this week: Weeks of viral videos revealing rampant corruption within the army and the government trigger protests in Egypt. Plus, a Canadian far-right outlet and its power to radicalise via YouTube.

Covering the return of Egypt’s protesters

Compared with the days of Tahrir Square, the numbers seem insignificant; a few hundred protesters scattered across Egypt calling for an end to Abdel Fattah el-Sisi‘s rule.

But those demonstrators were the first visible signs of political unrest there in six years.

The protests were called for by a former military contractor, Mohamed Ali. He has been posting videos online telling tales of rampant corruption and implicating the president himself.

Ali’s videos have spurred other Egyptians to post their own stories of corruption, including military personnel, which has analysts theorising the real threat to the president may come from within.

Despite this, Egyptian media outlets, known for doing the government’s bidding, initially tried to ignore the story – now, they are trying to make it go away.


Amr Khalifa – analyst and political columnist 

Hussein Baoumi – Egypt researcher, Amnesty International

Professor Dalia Fahmy – associate professor of Political Science, Long Island University

Ibrahim Halawi – teaching fellow in International Relations, Royal Holloway, University of London

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Tariq Nafi about the hate directed at 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg in the news and online.

The right perspective? YouTube, radicalisation and Rebel Media

Muslim invaders; feminists out to destroy our way of life; a coming white genocide – these are among the online obsessions of the far-right.

They have been weaponised and monetised by some skilful provocateurs on YouTube, producing viral content that is capable of not only radicalising the views of those who watch it, but of driving some to acts of violence.

Among the best-known practitioners of the art are The Rebel Media, a small Canadian outlet whose contributors have included names like Hopkins, Robinson, and Gorka – people known for peddling some toxic tropes at home and happy to be granted an outlet offshore.

The Listening Post‘s Flo Philips goes down the far-right rabbit hole and into the YouTube outlets radicalising their viewers.


Michael Coren – columnist and broadcaster

Jonathan Goldsbie – editor, Canadaland

Amira Elghawaby – board member, Canadian Anti-Hate Network

Jared Holt – investigative reporter, Right Wing Watch

Caleb Cain – former Rebel Media viewer

Correction, November 15, 2019: 
Since our video report on Rebel News was first published, we have updated it to correct the following fact:
We had stated that the Ottawa Police had filed a criminal complaint against Rebel News. In fact, a complaint had been received by the Ottawa Police.