Crackdown on cyber-activists in Bahrain
The Bahraini authorities are cracking down on cyber activists. Rappers are backing the revolutions taking place in the Arab World. And a site on which celebrities can stop false rumours being spread about them online.
Crackdown on cyber-activists in Bahrain
After Bahrainís rulers, the Al Khalifa family imposed martial law and troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were brought in to quell the protest movement which had been going on for several weeks, the authorities are now cracking down on online opponents. Bloggers arrested, web sites blocked, and the Internet has even been used against the cyber activists themselves. Bahrainís rulers are doing their upmost to silence the online activists.
Mohamed Al-Maskati, better known under the pseudonym of "Emoodz" has been held in an unknown location since the 30th of March. The young man has been particularly active on his blog and social networks, where he discussed recent events in his country and in the Arab World. According to the organization "Reporters without Borders", Al-Maskati reportedly received threats via Twitter shortly before his arrest from a member of the royal family. Web users have been campaigning for his release ever since, by setting up a "Free emoodz" thread and this blog on the micro blogging site.
And like Al-Maskati, dozens of influential bloggers and campaigners for freedom of expression have been targeted by the authorities. The "Bahrain Center for Human Rights" explains just this on its web site and has published a list of names of the activists who have recently been jailed or are in hiding having fled police repression.
And a campaign aimed at discrediting anti-government activists is also currently taking place on social networks, like on this Facebook group which claims to be campaigning against misinformation in the media. It includes photos of bloggers and online opinion leaders who are described as traitors or dangerous radicals.
Rappers sing for revolutions in Arab world
Rappers are demonstrating their solidarity with the revolutions taking place in the Arab World. In this track, Tunisian artist El General, whose real name is Hamada Ben-Amor, challenged former president Ben Ali on social misery and youth unemployment. The piece was broadcast on the Internet, and resulted in him being briefly arrested at the beginning of January, when the protest movement against the former regime was at itsí strongest.
And musicians in Egypt are also making a stand and showing their support for these popular uprisings. For example, in this track "Against the government", rapper Ramy Donjewan denounces the violence of the repression which took place under Mubarak.
This Syrian singer preferred to remain anonymous. In this piece which has recently been uploaded, he accuses the authorities of feeding the fear of confessional divisions and he also criticizes the corruption and lack of political freedom. His comments could easily land him in jail.
Libyan musician Ibn Thabit, has been using this pseudonym and his music for years to campaign against the regime in Tripoli. And he recently composed this song to encourage the rebels currently fighting forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
The site ICorrect is all about setting the record straight so celebrities or public figures can correct false rumours or information that is written about them online. They can simply post their point of view or their version of events on the web site. Subscribers to the site pay 1 000 dollars per year, giving them a tool to stop false information about them circulating online.
Eagle webcam becomes online hit
Thousands of web users have been following an eagle's nest over the past few days to watch the eggs hatching live. A web cam has been pointing towards the Bald Eagle's nest over the past couple of weeks. It is perched in a tree in the US state of Iowa. The scheme is part of the Raptor Research project, which works for the protection of local birds of prey.
Video of the day
This video was made by a Russian web user who has used the popular Smartphone game Angry Birds, to outline the "Arab Spring". The blue birds represent Twitter and Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi are characterized as evil pigs under attack from thousands of birds. The animation is hoping to illustrate to what extent social networks have been useful in the revolutions.