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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.



Latest update : 2009-11-19

Net users cautious about the Influenza A vaccine

Today on the Net, the Influenza A vaccine causes online debate, while in Italy, the anti-Silvio Berlusconi campaign gets organised on the web. And Olympic champions launch challenges to net users.

Influenza A vaccine

round the world, influenza A and seasonal flu vaccine campaigns have been launched. The vaccines will first be given to hospital staff and priority groups. In the US and Hong Kong, interactive maps have been set up online to allow citizens to find their nearest vaccine clinic.

But many people are mistrusting of this mass vaccination. Some play down the importance of the situation, while others fear the side effects. This American woman suffered a rare neurologic disorder, which according to her, was caused by the vaccine.

This doctor questions the efficiency of the drug and worries in particular about the presence of mercury, used as a preservative.

Another component causing concern is squalene. This shark liver oil, an additive which stimulates the production of antibodies, could have unwanted effects on the immune system. Some vaccines contain the substance and in this video a doctor emphasises how easy it is to detect as it gives the drug a cloudy aspect.

In France, where people are very reticent about receiving the vaccine, these two net users use music and humour to denounce supposed complicity between the health authorities and the pharmaceutical industry.

“Anti-Berlusconi day" campaing

Anti-Berlusconi activists are using the web to bring down the Italian Prime Minister. Outraged by Berlusconi’s attempts to escape justice, many net users have embarked on an online campaign against him.
It all started with the creation of a Facebook group in October, when the Italian Supreme Court judged a law guaranteeing Berlusconi immunity as unconstitutional. The initiative aims to demand his resignation. Over 280,000 people have now joined the group.

Saturday December five has been chosen as ‘No Berlusconi day’. On Twitter, word of mouth has been highly efficient, blogs have broadcast the campaign and dozens of videos have appeared to encourage net users to take part.

An official blog has emerged, providing information about the mobilisation and sites broadcasting it. The call has been translated into eleven languages, including Swedish and Turkish.

A site which includes shocking videos, such as this one.

The group which claims to be apolitical has received the support of several celebrities, such as Beppe Grillo, an actor committed to fighting corruption. But above all, the operation aims to be a citizen movement.

Olympic challenges

Here is the latest campaign from the International Olympic committee. It calls on net users to meet the challenges launched by well known sportsmen and women from around the world, but not necessarily in their discipline of choice. Attempt, for example to beat the swimming champion, Michael Phelps in this golf competition or do more cart wheels than pole vaulter, Yelena Isinbayeva.



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