Egyptians question Mohamed ElBaradei’s ability to lead the country. A sex scandal in Indonesia has sparked controversy on the local web. And the invisible man takes up skateboarding.
ElBaradei: Hero or Villain?
Since returning to Egypt on Thursday 27th of January, Mohamed ElBaradei, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has been trying to return to the political scene and establish himself as a credible alternative to Hosni Mubarak, in power for 30 years. This challenge to the ruling party does however remain a subject of online debate.
As Sharif Kouddous explains on Twitter, citizens are divided over ElBaradei. He says that although the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner is generally well thought of, many Egyptians wonder whether he would actually be able to lead a country. He also says that for many people, ElBaradei spent too long abroad and is not in touch with the protestors.
Others are posting much stronger criticism, like Twitter user “I am the Star child” who describes ElBaradei as a clown trying to steal the people’s revolution. “Evil Lolly” expresses a similar sentiment and says here that he is a power hungry opportunist.
Andrew McCarthy, an American expert on terrorism, writes on his web site "National Review" that if the former Director General of the IAEA became president; it would be nothing short of a disaster for Egypt and for the stability of the region. He recalls that ElBaradei is supported by the Muslim Brotherhood, and would have hostile relations with Israel, and could if elected, threaten relations between the two countries.
In view of this criticism, ElBaradei’s supporters have also decided to take action. Several groups have been set on Facebook, supporting his candidacy and presenting him as the only person capable of bringing the country out of crisis. Thousands of ElBaradei supporters have joined these groups.
Rock gone bad: Indonesian sex scandal
Indonesian pop star Ariel, whose real name is Nazril Irham was sentenced to three and half years in prison on Monday for his involvement in sex tapes with two other local celebrities. Two short films were broadcast online in spring 2010 without his knowledge. They were watched by millions of web users and sparked a sensational scandal in Indonesia which has the highest Muslim population in the world.
The scandal was such that the authorities took immediate action. Police raids were carried out in schools to ensure that pupils had not downloaded the videos on to their mobile phones.
And although the measure would technically be impossible to put into place, the Minister of Communication Titaful Sembiring has banned all pornographic sites.
The singer’s sentence has revived this debate that continues to divide society. The Islamic Defenders Front, a hardline Islamic group, feels this sentence is far too lenient. In an article published on its website, the organization accuses the authorities of not doing enough to combat pornography and its harmful effects on society.
Young web users meanwhile are extensively campaigning on social networks, calling for the singer to be freed. They denounce the court ruling and the judgment under the controversial 2008 pornography law. They feel this legislation is an infringement of individual freedom.
You too can be a DJ!
It is now possible to be a DJ on YouTube. “YouTube Disco” was launched in December and you can use it to view and more importantly mix your favourite video clips. You just have to drag the chosen videos into the “Drop Box” column and then click on a track to start it; you can then use the fade out to go from one track to another. And perhaps this fun application will unleash the hidden David Guetta in you.
Wikileaks Breakup: Openleaks online
Openleaks is online. Created by former Wikileaks members, this new site also specializes in leaking confidential documents. But it differs to Julian Assange’s site as the Openleaks team promises transparency every step of the way, notably as far as budget is concerned. The organization will not directly post any information: Following the example set by Wikileaks during Cable gate, Openleaks will act more as an intermediary body between anonymous sources and the media who will undertake the processing of information.
Video of the day
The invisible man is a skateboarder … well this is what this video leads us to believe. It’s called “Greend” and is currently doing the rounds on sharing sites. In the video we only see the shoes, the board and the shadow of an unusual skater, meaning we can focus on the amazing technique. This original piece was created by Nanda Fernandez-Brédillard and Lucas Mancione.