The web mobilizes support following the cholera outbreak in Haiti. An American congressman asks YouTube to withdraw videos containing Jihadist propaganda. And an online video aimed at fighting illiteracy.
CHOLERA OUTBREAK IN HAITI
Hundreds are dead and thousands of others sick following a cholera outbreak in central Haiti. And despite the authorities’ announcing the situation has stabilized, humanitarian groups are preparing for the catastrophic scenario of the disease spreading to Port-au-Prince where camps shelter hundreds of thousands of survivors of the earthquake that hit the country on the 12th January. The web reacts.
Numerous video accounts are available online bearing witness to the situation at the scene. This humanitarian worker filmed these images close to St-Marc hospital in central Haiti. He describes a chaotic situation, and says the authorities are totally overwhelmed by the number of sick people. He also explains the urgent need for goods of prime necessity for the Haitian people and drinking water in particular as since the beginning of the outbreak many no longer dare to drink for fear of becoming ill.
One web user has posted this video online, filmed in the St-Marc hospital. The images demonstrate the difficulties experienced by medical staff in coping with the flood of sick people. We see that many patients have to lie on the floor as there are not enough beds to go round.
As we see in these images, the situation has prompted Haitian presidential candidate Charles Henri Baker, to take to the streets and launch an urgent appeal for international aid to put an end to this devastating epidemic.
Meanwhile, numerous Twitter users in the country are giving updates on the situation in real time. The accounts belonging to Maeva Bambuck, Jerry Chandler and also Karl-Jean-Jeune, all doctors, have many photos and a lot of information on the outbreak as well as basic advice on hygiene to help slow down the spread of disease.
FIGHT AGAINST ONLINE JIHAD
Terrorist networks are becoming increasingly present online. They have discussion forums, publish an online magazine and broadcast thousands of propaganda videos on sharing sites. American congressman Anthony Weiner is concerned about the trend. He has asked YouTube to delete any videos posted by Anwar al-Awlaki from its site.
Nicknamed the « Bin Laden of the Internet » this US born Imam of Yemeni descent is responsible for propaganda for Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. He is allegedly linked to the shooting at Fort Hood US army base as well as a failed bombing attempt on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. There are hundreds of videos of him preaching available on the web. These clips in which he calls for a holy war are systematically translated into English.
These messages form part of Al Qaida’s new recruitment strategy that is geared towards sympathizers in the West. In this video, recently posted on the Internet, a spokesperson for the terrorist group encourages Muslims from France, the United Kingdom and the U. S. to carry out terrorist attacks.
Web users have been challenging this rise in power of cyber-Jihad groups for several years now trying to eradicate this type of content from the web. Members of this site trace online material linked to terrorist groups and pressure web hosts to delete them. This activist group notably alerted the authorities to the case of Jihad Jane, an American woman, real name Coleen LaRose, who was arrested in March for instigating a terrorist plot via the Internet.
MAP WORLD: THE CHINESE VERSION OF GOOGLE EARTH
Google Maps Chinese style. Beijing has just launched Map World its own online mapping service with satellite and 3D images. The initiative is notably aimed at limiting the broadcast of sensitive information on the Internet, and in particular anything relevant to national security, for example, where Google Maps gives users a clear view of an air force base north of Beijing, it is impossible to zoom in using the Chinese service. This new site casts doubt over the future of Google Maps in China where this type of service is increasingly monitored.
STOP MOTION MONTREAL
The Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival will take place from the 29th to the 31st of October. The National Film Board of Canada, the NFB is paying tribute to this style of film by broadcasting a series of stop motion films on its blog. This genre is currently very popular on the web.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
The objective if this short film made by the collective Kourtrajmé is to combat illiteracy in France and pay special attention to this handicap that affects over 3 million people in the country over the age of 18. The campaign hopes to get people talking about this problem in the run up to a Literacy awareness day planned in France on the 16th of November.