Vote for pimp

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Malaysian demonstration for Egypt, featuring the popular hashtag written in Arabic

Vote for pimp or vote for the pimp (Arabic: انتخبوا العرص‎) is a slogan that became popular during Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's election campaign, after he seized power in the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état. The slogan opposed Sisi's campaign through mockery, and is based on a phrase coined during the British colonial period in Egypt.

The origin[edit]

The term (Arabic: العرص‎), translates in English to "the pimp," sometimes used as a nickname for Al-Sisi (pimp العرص or السيسي العرص ). Egyptians used the term during the British colonial era to describe a policeman who monitors prostitutes in their profession.[1] The expression evolved recently into a popular hashtag against the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi after he announced his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election.[2][3][4] The term has been used to refer to the general's supporters by some Egyptian activists since September 2013.[5]

The rise[edit]

Keyhole reported that the hashtag started circulating social media on the 26 of March 2014,[6] when General Sisi announced his candidacy for the presidency.[7]

According to the tracking website, Keyhole, the hashtag achieved more than 100 million uses within days of creation, and generated tens of thousands of messages on Twitter. Keyhole states that 23 percent of the hashtag's uses came from outside Egypt.[8]

As of 2 April 2014, almost one week after the campaign started, the number of uses surpassed 490 million.[9] On 7 April 2014, Aljazeera reported that the hashtag was broadly popular.[10]

Outside social media[edit]

Since the campaign started, a trend has been going on in Egypt to paint and write the hashtag onto walls and government property. Most notably government buses.[11] Moreover, the hashtag popularity encouraged some people who are computer illiterate to insult the coup's leader.[12] On 1 April 2014, 4 days after the hashtag has been trending, the Android play store published an App allowing users to follow on the topic updates and trends. The app received an overwhelming response from users, where 78 out of 81 who rated the App gave it 5 stars.[13] Two weeks later, some Americans used the alternative hashtag #Vote_for_the_pimp to protest against the Egyptian Finance Minister, who was in the U.S. after been invited by the United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC).[14][15]

On 26 May 2014, the day preceding the Egyptian presidential election, 2014, signs reading "Vote for the pimp" were seen hung across the country and some representations of the same slogan had been put into graffiti.[16][17][18] On the same day, it was reported that an image of the face of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had been stamped on a trash bin, with the popular "Vote for the pimp" slogan written in Arabic.[19] As of 28 May 2014, the last day in the elections, the turnout was the lowest possible with efforts to bring in more voters expressed by country officials and various state-linked media channels.[20] While some attribute the boycott to earlier calls by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, others see it as a reflection of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's unpopularity.[21][22]

Opposing the trend[edit]

After the trend went global, some popular Egyptian television presenters were reported asking the government to block Twitter as a counter measure. However, the move was not carried out.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Egypt Anti-Sisi hashtag sweeps Twitter". BBC. 30 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "'Vote For The Pimp' Hashtag Prompts Twitter Battle In Egypt". The Huffington Post. 30 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Egypt presidential election announced for May 26, 27; Abdel Fattah al-Sisi mocked as 'pimp' on social media". Yahoo News. 31 March 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-04-07. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Anti-Sisi hashtag goes viral". Middle East Monitor. 30 March 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Egypt Clamors for Military Leadership". The Wall Street Journal. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Real-time Tracker: #انتخبوا_العرص". Keyhole, Inc. 29 March 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Egypt's military chief Sisi quits to run for presidency". BBC. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Sisi mocked in Egypt internet campaign". Al Jazeera. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "آخر إحصائية لعدد مستخدمي و زائري هاشتاج انتخبوا العرص". Twitter. 2 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "استطلاع: 93 % يوافقون علي استخدام الهاشتاج المسيء للسيسي". Aljazeera. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "حملة متحركة على أتوبيسات النقل". Twitter. 29 March 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  12. ^ "Back that ass up: Egyptian man jailed for naming donkey after Sisi". Al Bawaba. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "اخبار انتخبوا العرص". Google Play Store. 1 April 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-04-08. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "#انتخبوا_العرص في مؤتمر وزير المالية المصري". YouTube. 12 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Code Pink disrupts Egyptian Minister of Finance' event at US Chamber of Commerce". DC Direct Action News. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "Live updates: Egypt votes in presidential election". Mada Masr. 26 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "Egyptians vote in 1st post-Morsi presidential polls". The Hindu Business Line. 26 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  18. ^ "Egyptians vote for president after years of turmoil". THE TIMES OF INDIA. 26 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "EGYPT-VOTE". Daily News Egypt. 26 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Egypt extends presidential election to help Sisi". Reuters. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "Al-Sisi Urges Large Voter Turnout in Egypt's Elections While Islamists Call for Boycott". Time. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Egypt election: Push for high voter turnout". Time. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "Egypt TV presenters tout Twitter ban over anti-Sisi hashtag". Al Arabiya Network. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014.