Egyptian web users are keen to play an active role in the country’s reconstruction. A Chinese scholar launches an online crusade against child trafficking. And Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is named Russia’s top blogger.
Egyptian cyber activists involved in transition
« Egypt has changed ». This is the message posted on Twitter by Google executive Wael Ghonim, who has become an icon of the Egyptian revolution, after eight cyber activists met with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to discuss democratic reform.
The minutes of this meeting, would have been unthinkable during the Mubarak era, have been posted on this Facebook group which was highly involved in the uprising. Written up by Wael Ghonim and blogger Amr Salama, they report, notably, that the army has promised to hand power back to the people and organize a referendum over amendments to the constitution, within two months.
The amendments are already at the heart of debate on this other Facebook group, called “The New Egypt”, which boasts over 100 000 members. Social networks played a crucial role in this revolution, and web users are determined to have their say in the country’s future.
And online initiatives are multiplying. Twitter users are posting their suggestions on how to build a better Egypt, and on Facebook, this page is calling upon citizens to return to work in order to put the economy back on track.
Finally, many web users are also saying they want to see an end to corruption. A call centre has been set up so that citizens can report any abuses and the number is circulating on social networks. Blogger Mahmoud Salem has posted a collaborative document online cataloguing the Mubarak regime’s assets. Objective: seize the assets and put them towards building a better Egypt.
Microblog fights child trafficking in China
The Peng family are finally all together again. Three years after he was kidnapped in Shenzen, in southern China, Peng Wenle, now six years old, has been reunited with his parents. The Internet played an important role in this emotional reunion.
It was thanks to his micro blog, that the father managed to track down his son. A student posted a photo on the blog reporting that a little boy who looked a lot like the missing child was living in his village. A DNA test then confirmed the relationship and little Wenle could finally return home.
The affair has placed the spotlight on child abduction, and how the one child policy worsens the scourge. The authorities do little to combat the problem so it’s often up to the families to take action. This forum contains hundreds of missing children reports posted online by desperate parents.
Whilst some of the kidnapped children are sold to families, others are forced into begging by gangs. And scholar Yu Jianrong set up this micro blog to fight this trafficking; users are asked to post photos of children they see begging in the streets. Over 200 000 people across the country support this initiative.
The scale of this mobilization has prompted the Chinese government to launch a new campaign against child abduction. On the Internet, the police in Xiamen, in the south east of the country, have been describing recent actions carried out to check the identity of child beggars.
According to blogger Xu Yaoxing, the campaign could have secondary effects. He is particularly concerned that begging, which is not actually an illegal act, will start to be repressed little by little.
Medvedev is Russia’s top blogger
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev won two awards last week at the 2011 Runet ceremony that rewards the country’s best Internet sites. The Kremlin’s Twitter and LiveJournal accounts won best blogs written in the Russian language, and the President was also named the best blogger among state officials. The results were not particularly surprising seeing as the Runet awards are organized by a government agency, the Federal Agency on Press and mass communications. It should be noted that Medvedev does have over 194 000 followers on his Twitter account.
La Maison de la danse has recently launched a site called « Numeridanse.tv » an international video library for all types of dance. This thematic web TV broadcasts entire pieces, choreographed sequences, as well as documentaries and hundreds of images which can be accessed by web users free of charge. The aim of the project is to both improve the visibility of the featured artists and also reach a different audience.
Video of the day
If you haven’t already heard of tall painting then this video will introduce you to the technique which consists of painting without brushes by pouring tins of paint onto objects… This simple concept was invented by New York artist Holton Rower and should be extremely popular with modern art fans.