In this edition: Haiti’s presidential campaign in in full swing online. Web users react to Benedict XVIs comment on condom use. And Harry Potter’s greatest fan reveals himself on YouTube.
HAITI PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
With less than one week to go before voting day on Sunday 28th of November, the presidential campaign is in full swing in Haiti, despite the cholera outbreak that is ravaging the country. Over 4 and a half million Haitians are due to cast their vote to elect René Préval’s successor. They have 15 or so candidates to choose from, who are making great use of the web to get their messages across.
The presidential candidates understand all too well that the web is an important campaign tool. Charles Henri Baker in particular is using all the online resources available in his campaign. A Twitter thread, a Facebook page and also a YouTube channel have been created and depict him as the man who will be able to reform the country and it make it a fairer place.
The candidate Mirlande Manigat is circulating videos like these ones, in which she addresses voters directly and says the 2010 presidential is without a doubt the most important election ever in the country. She encourages her fellow citizens to turn out en masse to vote.
Musical clips have been another technique used to attract attention on the web. René Préval’s protégé, Jude Célestin, has been inundating sharing sites with videos that present him as the only candidate for change. His slogan: “together we can” is indeed very similar to Barack Obama’s “Yes we can”.
And this local artist has written a rap song to encourage fellow citizens to vote pragmatically. The track reminds Haitians that if they want change, they must elect the most competent candidate and not the person who makes the best promises.
POPE’S CONDOM COMMENTS
On Saturday evening Pope Benedict XVI opened the door on the subject of condoms. He condoned the use of condoms in exceptional circumstances, to reduce the risk of HIV infection. His comments were made in a new book based on a series of interviews. The book “Light of the World” is to be published on Tuesday, and has prompted huge reaction online.
The Pope’s comments have been hailed by numerous web users, notably on Twitter and YouTube. This video blogger says it is a modern and brave position, and will most certainly save lives. He thinks that Pope Benedict XVI is finally on the right track.
But some web users do not understand the conditions referred to by the Pope. This web user is sorry the Pope only spoke about male prostitutes when giving examples of the circumstances in which the Church will accept the use of condoms. He thinks the Pope should recommend everybody uses condoms regardless of their sexual practices.
In a post on the web site of british daily The Telegraph, this blogger says although it is a courageous papal decision, it comes far too late. He notes that the Church’s obstinacy in condoning the use of condoms has already caused severe damage.
Meanwhile, others like writer Paolo Coelho feel the subject of condoms is quite simply not within the Pope’s remit. The Brazilian author thinks the Pope should be concentrating on spiritual questions and let Catholic people decide whether or not they want to use condoms.
BIRTH OR NOT
In the United States, a woman and her husband have set up a web site claiming they have decided to let web users vote on whether the young woman should abort or keep their unborn child. On Monday, out of near to 480 000 people that have voted so far, 62 % said they were in favour of an abortion. Voting is open until the 7th of December, that’s 2 days before the legal abortion limit, but numerous bloggers suspect this is a scheme dreamt up by American anti-abortion activists. To be continued.
Google is moving into fashion. The web giant has launched “Boutiques.com” which it bought out a few months ago. This new search engine devoted to online shopping provides web users with highly advanced search criteria so they can personalize their virtual shopping experience. Each web user will then be able to open up their own shop which will stock everything that corresponds to their style. The user will then be able to finalize their purchase on the retail web site referenced by boutiques.com.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Here is the « World’s Biggest Harry Potter Fan ». At least this is how he describes himself and the resemblance is astonishing. In this video, he says he has read each of the books around one hundred times, he proudly shows off his collection of objects, ornaments and other souvenirs to web users. The fan admits that 3 rooms in his house are entirely devoted to the wizard.