The sweet nothings Omar Mahmoudi exchanged on the Muslim dating site Mawada were not intended for his one true love.
According to ABC News, when Mahmoudi typed in “May your day be full of Jasmine” that was a coded reference to the Jasmine Revolution enveloping the Middle East. “I want love” meant “I want liberty” and a message with four Ls, for instance, “I LLLLove you” meant you could bring four people to a meeting.
As social media networks were shut down, dating sites such as Mawada played an important part in linking those seeking to topple Moammar Gadhafi.
Revolutionaries used poetry laced with revolutionary phrases to gauge the level of commitment to an uprising from an unknown fellow Libyan. They could then exchange phone numbers and call or IM to avoid government scrutiny.
Mahmoudi hoped to get 50,000 supporters to the streets. Instead, with various aliases on the dating site, he had 171,323 admirers by the time Libya’s internet crashed.