In this edition: In Thailand, the opposition continues its online mobilisation; the Venezuelan blogosphere expresses fears over Government plans to control the Internet; and a video teaching web users to be wary of profile photos on social networks.
THAILAND: POLITICAL CRISIS
On Tuesday the Thai government extended a security law in preparation for anti-government protests planned in Bangkok this weekend. The “Red shirts” rallying continues on the web.
The opposition has been organizing mass demonstrations for near to two weeks and videos of these rallies are circulating online. They want the Prime Minister to resign. The red-shirts even gathered human blood which they threw, notably, at the Prime Ministers home, as we can see here.
The opposition has called for a further demonstration on Saturday. Messages are being relayed on Twitter and sites are calling for web users to change their profile picture as a symbol of support for the movement.
This web user is considering the possible outcomes. He thinks the red shirts have gained credibility with their peaceful demonstrations. But he adds that if the opposition is successful, and the government is dissolved and their party comes into power, then the current ruling party’s yellow shirts could also in turn start protesting. It’s a vicious circle.
WEB CONTROL IN VENEZUELA?
There has been lively reaction on the local blogosphere to this recent statement made by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. His comments follow the publication of false information about the death of a Minister on news website “Noticiero Digital”. Many web users think that the Head of State is trying to impose web censorship.
The group « Todos en red » meaning,” everybody online”, has posted this document online which underlines the basic importance of the access to Internet. He thinks that instead of trying to impose censorship, the president should acknowledge the web as an essential tool in the country’s development.
« Reporters without Borders » has posted this press release on their web site. It denounces attempts made by the Venezuelan authorities to control a space that has until now escaped its control. And the NGO does not believe that applying restrictions will be a solution for stopping false news appearing on the web.
Despite all this, some do not appear to be too worried about the web’s future in Venezuela. This Chavez supporter states here that it’s improbable the President will censor the local web. He says the government makes great use of this tool for communication purposes and it would be a grave error on their part to impose restrictions, they would be shooting themselves in the foot.
This other pro-Chavez blogger explains that some people’s fears of censorship are unjustified. He feels that all the president has done is to remind people of the basic principles of democracy: that the Internet should be supervised and what is published on it should comply with the constitution.
Share your opinions on American foreign policy. The White House has launched Opinion Space, an Internet site where web users from all over the world can share their opinions on White House policies on international affairs. Hillary Clinton describes it as “A huge forum for international dialogue”, but it has yet to attract the masses.
Russell Davies was concerned about the rhythm at which we communicate, so he set up a kind of mega slow Twitter, called Dawdlr, which asks the question: “what are you doing? You know, more generally,”. The idea is to get web users to take the time and write their answers on post cards. The site has received near to 200 messages since 2007, all available to view online. But don’t be in a rush to see your card appear on the screen, as he only updates it twice a year.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Be wary of your contacts profile pictures on social networks because they do not necessarily bear a true resemblance. In any case, this is how you will feel once you have seen this video which advises web users on how to make their pictures as good as possible. This short video clip is in fact an online marketing campaign by a digital camera manufacturer.