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Middle east

Iranian Web hosts clashes before presidential poll

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-06-08

Today on the Web: Net users are following the search for the disappeared AF 447 jet; the Iranian Web is a battleground for the presidential election candidates; Facebook welcomes Net users into its new office.


These images were broadcast online by the Brazilian air force. We see debris from Air France flight 447 filmed from a helicopter. Next smoke bombs are launched into the ocean to mark out the area where the Airbus 330 is thought to have crashed with 228 people on board.


The Brazilian air force regularly posts information online, allowing net users to monitor Atlantic Ocean searches. After recovering 2 bodies on Saturday, then three on Sunday, the air force confirmed in this press release, the extension of the search zone, which was previously 200,000 km2.


But the mystery surrounding this tragedy remains and net users are continuing to discuss the factors which might have led to the accident.

This blogger for example, mentions the last alert messages sent by the aircraft. A series of failures which he compares to the IT failures encountered by the Qantas QF72 flight in October 2008. Faults in the A330, which caused the disjunction of automatic pilot and a drop of 1,000 feet in just a few minutes. This amateur video was filmed after the emergency landing that the pilot managed successfully.


Meanwhile, condolence messages continue to flood in to the web. This site was created especially to allow net users to post their messages online. Words, photos & videos- all kinds of supports are used to console the families and pay homage to the victims.



Young people waving green scarves, young women with nails painted green and wearing matching headscarves. This photomontage broadcast on line shows the mobilisation of MirHossein Mossavi’s supporters.

A few days before the Iranian Presidential elections, the former Prime Minister and advisor to the ex-reformist President, Khatami, is credited with nearly 38% of votes in the first round. A recent poll that makes him the main adversary of President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

On line, Moussavi’s supporters are more active than ever. The candidate has thousands of Facebook fans. But to demonstrate their support, 100s of net users have gone further by colouring their Facebook profile photo in green. Green has become the symbol of a political commitment in favour of the most supported candidate by reformers.

Conscious of the web’s power in the campaign, in a country with nearly 23 million net users, Moussavi has even set up a YouTube channel. In this campaign video, the musical background is inspired by hits from the Diaspora’s exiled singers.

But in the Presidential race, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not sitting on his laurels. The candidate’s longstanding personal blog is available for consultation in Persian, English, Arabic and even French. He also has thousands of Facebook fans.

And Ahmadinejad is quick to use his most controversial declarations about Israel in his campaign videos, widely broadcast online. Here he appears on tour in Africa and Cuba, where he receives standing ovations. A film also showing an interview given by Franco-Iranian tennis player, Aravane Rezai, affirming she is proud of her President.


The US rock group ‘The Cold War Kids’ has just created an interactive video for their hit, ‘I've Seen Enough’, released in 2008. In one click, net users can change a musician’s instrument or even ask him to stop playing- a new type of interactive video.



Launched 2 years ago by scientists from around the world, the encyclopaedia of life is now open to net user’s contributions. This site has become a Wikipedia of biodiversity whose aim is to list all animal and plant species on earth. Many institutions, such as the National History Museum in London, pooled their data bases upon creation of the online encyclopaedia. Information supplied by net users will allow scientists to update this data, thus creating a veritable online observatory.




Have you ever wondered what the Facebook offices look like? The social network, which has recently moved offices, has opened its doors to net users. The guided tour was filmed by 2 members of the Facebook team on skateboards. Spacious premises, cutting edge IT equipment & relaxation area. The video is currently available on YouTube.

Date created : 2009-06-08