The midterm election battle rages on the US web ; Thai bloggers mobilise to defend freedom of expression ; and a site offers users a video time machine.
USA: MIDTERM ELECTIONS
On November 2, 2010, US voters will be called to the polls. These mid-tem elections aim to reshuffle the House of Representatives, a third of the Senate and to elect a number of State Governors. On line, the battle rages.
Campaign teams are fighting a YouTube video clip battle. Here is the latest one, posted by the Republican Party. 57 seconds in which Republican candidates are portrayed as heroes, while Barack Obama plays the role of the man who failed. Even several candidates from the Tea-Party movement including Christine O’Donnell make an appearance.
The Tea Party, which has taken over from Republican candidates in Delaware and Alaska, could play the gatecrashers. This blogger recalls that according to the New York Times, the White House seemingly plans to carry out a national campaign against this movement by stigmatising its extremist side. News later denied by the government, which believes that the Tea Party could end up preventing Republican victories.
In this video, Barack Obama refers to them as opponents, without naming them explicitly. The President uses other terms such as, ‘The other side’ and denounces the emergence of an obscure movement within the Republican Party.
Proof then, that the Democrats are concerned by the rapid rise of this extreme right movement, for which Sarah Palin declares her love in this clip, broadcast on her YouTube channel. Having decided to take advantage of the Tea Party’s success, she asserts it to be the future of US politics.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THAILAND
The Thai blogosphere is rallying to defend freedom of expression following the arrest of the head of Prachathai, an independent news site. Chiranuch Premchaipoen, known under the pseudonym, Jiew, was taken in for questioning last Friday at Bangkok airport while travelling home after an international conference on online freedom of expression in Hungary.
Accused of treason for comments left by net users on her website, Jiew was released with a warning. But she is still the subject of legal proceedings and risks up to fifty years in prison. Net users were quick to launch a support campaign for Jiew. This blog is leading a fundraising initiative to pay her legal fees.
The journalist had already been arrested in the past for the same reasons. In this video, broadcast online, she explains that despite these problems with the police, she never once considered closing her site. She declares her conviction that right to information is one of the vital cornerstones of democracy.
A freedom that for some seems threatened. This blogger recalls that since a state of emergency was imposed in several provinces following this year’s political problems, the government has had hundreds of websites blocked without approval from the judicial authorities.
And several human rights organisations have also spoken out about this censorship. Reporters without Borders is accusing Thailand of using the law on internet crime to silence criticism on the web.
YOUTUBE TIME MACHINE
Time travel using Youtube videos is the innovation offered by this new site, created by a team of US net users. After choosing a year and a theme such as sport or music, nostalgic net users are offered a series of videos to help them rediscover a bygone era.
TABLE FOR ONE
‘Table for One’ is a photo blog dedicated to those who eat alone in restaurants around the world. Some read the paper which eating lunch, while others take advantage of the time to soul search. A blog which is presented as an ode to the solitude caused by modern day society.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Dot is the smallest cartoon animation ever created using stop-motion, also known as image by image. A project designed by the Aardmann animation studio, which was also behind Wallace and Gromit, and which recounts the adventures of a young girl, trying to get home no matter what it takes.