At first there was confusion among Facebook users when the poll's link was first posted to the Supreme Council of the Armed Force's (SCAF) page as it led to an external website that demanded their username and password. Many users thought that the page had been hacked. This led the page's adminstrators to quickly remove the link and announce on the page's wall that the poll would be transferred to the official Facebook page itself, which had not been hacked.
The new poll posted on the Facebook page noted that this was just a survey about potential presidential candidates, those who had either declared their candidacy or names that were suggested by the public in the media. The post made it clear that the survey had nothing to do with the presidential elections themselves, and that Egypt's next president would be chosen by ballot-box voting. The poll will run for a whole month from 19/6/2011 to 19/7/2011, and during that time new names will be added if they announce their candidacy and others removed if they withdraw from the race.
The military council issued a statement with that clarification again in communique no.63 a few hours after posting the poll.
The poll named 15 candidates, listed alphabetically in Arabic : Ahmed Shafik , Ayman Nour , Bothania Kamel , Hamdeen Sabhi , Abdel Allah El Ashal, Abdel Manam Abu El Fatouh, Omar Soliman, Amr Moussa , Kamel El Ganzory, Magdy Ahmed Hussein, Magdy Hatata, Mohamed ElBaradei , Mohamed Salim El Awa, Mortada Mansour and Hisham El Bastawisi.
Facebook users are reporting technical difficulties on the page, which some are attributing to increased traffic, while others expressed their concerns about privacy issues as this Facebook poll application requests access to their personal information. Due to the technical difficulties, at the time of reporting Ahram Online was not able to determine how many votes each candidate had received so far.
SCAF's official Facebook page has 1,167,395 followers, making it one of the most popular Egyptian pages on Facebook. This is the second poll posted on SCAF's page. The first poll, posted earlier this month, was about the decision to lift the curfew.
Similarly, the 'We are all Khaled Said' Facebook page also conducted a poll to find out about its followers' preferred presidential candidates. The Khaled Said page was modified less than 24 hours later to include only the most popular names, following requests by the page's followers. Voters can now choose between Ahmed Shafik , Hazem Saleh Abu Ismail, Hamdeen Sabhy , Abdel Manam Abu El-Fatouh, Amr Moussa, Mohamed ElBaradei and Mohamed Salim El Awa. The poll also offers voters two other options, for those have not yet decided and those whose favorite candidate is not included.
Mohamed ElBaradie is currently leading other candidates in this poll.
The 'We are all Khaled Said' Facebook page has 1,435,236 followers and is considered one of the most important and influential Egyptian and Arabic Facebook pages.
There are an estimated 7 million Egyptians on Facebook. According to recent statements by the ruling military council, presidential elections will be held in December 2011.