Bloggers in Burma discuss the country’s first elections in 20 years. Hollywood stars launch an online campaign to fight human trafficking. And experts in sex education use the web to reach the younger generation.
ELECTIONS IN BURMA
Burma voted in its first elections in 20 years on Sunday. The international community has described these elections as a masquerade. The foreign media and observers had indeed been banned by the military junta, which is also accused of launching attacks on the country’s internet network to restrict the flow of information.
And despite the slow connections and internet outages, these elections have been widely discussed on the Burmese web. This activist denounces the elections as a fake show of democracy aimed at improving the reputation of the ruling military. He has provided coverage of Election Day on his blog, with the publication of these photos in particular taken in the polling booths.
The Democratic Voice of Burma web site, which is run by dissident refugees in Norway, has posted this interactive map online to catalogue any irregularities or other incidents linked to the ballot. Numerous cases of fraud and harassment have been reported in particular.
Press Agency Mizzima, based in India, is broadcasting accounts from voters on its YouTube channel. This man was interviewed upon leaving a polling station in Rangoon, he preferred to give an anonymous account and says he had not been placed under pressure and was free to make his own decision.
These Burmese expatriates were also able to vote, but decided to boycott a ballot where the outcome was already decided. As we see in these videos, both in London and New York, the diaspora had mobilised to denounce an electoral farce.
FIGHTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING ONLINE
The United Nations office on Drugs and Crime has set up a fund to help victims of human trafficking. The initiative has the support of American actors Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher and aims to fight this type of online trafficking where women and children are forced into the sex industry.
Accounts from victims have been posted onto the « Demi and Ashton foundation » web site. Most of them are from minors like Tanya. This American girl says she was manipulated by an older man when she was 12, he began to beat her shortly afterwards and sell her for sex on a daily basis.
To raise money the foundation is notably holding an online auction with toys from Demi Moore’s collection.
And many organizations seeking to combat this modern form of slavery are trying to mobilize web users’ support and raise awareness. The organization Love 146 states that two children are sold into slavery every minute throughout the world.
The site has uploaded this video from a journalist at the New York Times. He met up with a young Cambodian girl who tells him of what she went through as a sex slave.
In this clip posted online by the organization Gem Girls we see women who have overcome their trauma. Their message is you will survive and they hope to encourage victims to get their lives back.
Sex education by the people for the people. This is the Sexxie.tv slogan. This doctor approved interactive program blends videos, online seminars, Facebook and Twitter accounts and hopes to act as a sexual health platform for teens and young adults. Founder, Dr Love, says the site is already proving to be successful. He is planning to set up new free services as well as an online information centre devoted to sexually transmitted diseases.
This could be something for compulsive social network users. A Romanian designer has created a personalized dress where your Facebook page is the design. You might get some actual out loud ‘like’s from passersby. This little fashion gem is made from cotton and plastic and costs 135 euros with a 1 to 3 week delivery period. It also shows that the Internet is now influencing fashion.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
At just 6 years old, Asher Bradshaw is already the King of the skate park at Venice Beach in Los Angeles. His father introduced him to this sport and this little skate board genius has only been doing this for 14 months. In this video, currently a hug hit on the web, we see little Asher carry out a number of acrobatic moves, good enough to make certain professionals jealous. 20