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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 : 2010-02-04

When gang war is rife on the web

In this edition : American gangs reveal themselves on the web. With voting day approaching, the presidential campaign in Costa Rica mobilizes the net, and threatened with extinction, the world’s ugliest fish could be saved by net users.


The American police call it net-banging, or when gang war is rife on the web. In fact nowadays, gang members are using the net to communicate or to provoke rival gangs. Activities monitored very closely by the police services.
These two members of a Miami gang were arrested in this way in 2008 after having posted this video on the Internet. We see them threatening the local police with heavy weapons. This resulted in them being sentenced respectively for one year and six years in prison for possession of illegal weapons.
Gangs are using the web more and more. Their members put photos of their tattoos online to show that they are part of a gang, They also upload pictures of their street graffiti which marks their territory.
Many have profiles on social networks, they use the platform notably to recruit new members. Who, in general are young web users, initially attracted by the hip hop music on offer on these pages.
Some go as far as to boast about their exploits in videos posted online. Electronic traces which could backfire on them. In the Los Angeles area, around 50 or so gang members have recently been arrested with incriminating evidence found on the Internet.
With the presidential and legislative elections, due to take place on Sunday the 7th of February, just days away, the Costa Rican web is at boiling point. The candidates are using this home stretch to mobilise electors, while part of the local blogosphere expresses it’s doubts over the presidential candidates. So for the main candidates, the campaign continues online. Internet sites, social networks, video campaigns on sharing websites, the four favorites in the presidential race have made great use of the different resources the web offers.
But on the fringes of the official campaign, many web users are using the occasion to criticize, often with humour, the different candidates. The site “el basureo” says that none of the candidates are really up to the job and has created a machine to solve this problem. It’s a machine which mixes up the characteristics and political programs of the different candidates to get the best result possible.
Others transform the official campaign slogans like in this clip whihc is a parody of the video of candidate Luis Fishman. The images are the same, just the slogan has been changed from « the lesser evil is better » to « the lesser evil is the most stupid ».
The web site « la Erre TV » invites those web users who have grown tired of the candidates to stand themselves for the election. In this parody, the video gives numerous pieces of advice on how to launch your own political career. And if citizens have no political desires, the site appeals to them to vote for a really different candidate : a monkey.
Finally, some have chosen to laugh at the financial difficulties presidential hopeful Otton Solis encountered during his campaign. Due to lack of funds, he had to call upon the generosity of his supporters in order to continue the race. This video is encouraging him to organise a Telethon, baptized “TeleOtton” to raise money.
On the initiative of Leonardo Di Caprio, several American celebrities have launched a web campaign in support of a proposed clean energy bill currently being considered by the senate. In this video, a whole host of Hollywood stars invite web users to put pressure on their elected representatives to vote in favour of this bill which aims to create green jobs.
It is without a doubt the ugliest creature on the planet, the blobfish is an invertebrate fish in danger of extinction, and it’s recent popularity on the web could indeed be it’s saviour. Funny videos and photomontages have been multiplying on the web for some time now. An online shop, selling T-shirts and baseball caps has even been devoted to it.
This kayaker still cannot believe it. He was leisurely fishing, in the company of several geese, when one of them, obviously annoyed by the kayakers intrusion on their territory, decides all of a sudden to kill him….




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