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Uzbekistan: Prime Minister Collects Facebook Friends

Perhaps this belongs to the department of "if you can't beat them, join them" -- the prime minister of Uzbekistan seems to have a Facebook page. (It could be a spoofed page, but it appears authentic.)

On Facebook, Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev (if it's really him) doesn't just have an automatically-generated public figure page or a fan page that somebody made -- it's his individual page. He has 1,787 friends.

Although Uzbekistan has been trying to control the Internet to prevent any imitation of the Arab Spring, the number of web users has doubled to more than 7.7 million in the last year. The government has even encouraged an ersatz Facebook social network called Muloqot that promises data-scraping by the secret police instead of just by a private company.

From the Facebook page, you can see that Mirziyoyev is inspired by Nicolas Sarkozy, Lee Myung-bak, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and last but not least -- or maybe last and therefore least? -- Islam Karimov.

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Uzbekistan: Prime Minister Collects Facebook Friends

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