Growing cyber repression in Bahrain. American web users are mobilizing support for Missouri tornado victims. And WWF is running an online campaign against furniture made from exotic wood…
Ongoing cyber-repression in Bahrain
The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights is concerned over freedom of expression in the country and has said that after destroying the Pearl roundabout monument in Manama two months ago, which had become the symbolic heart of Bahrain’s protest movement, the authorities are now trying to silence cyber activists.
The organization denounces the blocking of numerous opposition sites and the arrests or monitoring of ten or so cyber activists, including the blogger Ali Abdulemam, who is considered to be one of the country’s web pioneers. He has been accused of wanting to overthrow the government and is currently being tried in absentia.
Supporters of the regime meanwhile are making great use of social networks to denounce violent acts committed by so called peaceful demonstrators, and have uploaded videos to back up their accusations. Others are focusing on the denominational aspect of this protest movement, which has mobilized a majority Shiite population against their Sunni rulers.
And Twitter users are trying to identify protesters. Photos of demonstrators, who are described as traitors, have been posted on this account in particular, which encourages employers to take disciplinary action.
And the security services also appear to be using Facebook to track down opposition members. A civil servant’s page was recently shown on State television as evidence of his involvement in the uprising. As a result, many web users have cleaned up their profiles and over the past few weeks, there has been a drastic drop in the number of members of the Facebook page devoted to the protest movement.
Online mobilization to help Missouri tornado victims
A tornado quite literally destroyed the US town of Joplin, in south west Missouri last Sunday, killing over 100 people. A large proportion of the relief efforts are being organized via the web.
As is often the case in this kind of emergency situation, social networks are highly involved in relief efforts. Numerous Facebook pages like these ones were set up almost immediately to bring aid to victims. Web users are being asked to show their solidarity with those who have lost everything by donating food and clothing to various organizations. And those who are waiting for news from loved ones living in Joplin can post messages for them.
And the state of Missouri is posting regular updates on the situation in Joplin on micro blogging site Twitter, and is also appealing for donations. Residents of the devastated town can use this account to find out where free hot meals are being served.
The Red Cross is asking for financial donations via its web site. The money will be used to provide shelter, food and psychological support to victims of the tornado. The organization has also set up a page so that people can either let their family know they are safe and sound, or post missing persons reports.
Photo and video accounts of the damage caused by this deadly tornado continue to pour onto sharing sites. Apocalyptic footage which gives an insight into what residents of Joplin may have witnessed.
We Want Furniture
The World Wildlife Fund, the WWF, has launched a new online campaign in France to raise consumer awareness on the environmental damage caused by the manufacture of certain wooden furniture. The organization has set up a fake online shop called “We Want Furniture”, showing hard hitting videos of the different stages involved in making the furniture in question : from the felling to the transport and also the destruction of flora and fauna…
The Pancake Project
As its name suggests, the Pancake Project is a blog devoted to the famous American pancake. It hosts dozens of shots of original looking pancakes, in all sorts of shapes and colours, created by pan cake loving web users. This fun site is a source of inspiration if you’re looking to brighten up your meals.
Video of the day
Abraham Lincoln versus Chuck Norris in a rap contest … this wacky idea was dreamt up by two young Americans Lloyd Ahlquist and Nice Peter who have made this funny music video, which has had near to 12 million views on YouTube. The creative duo has uploaded other similar clips, with Sarah Palin vs Lady Gaga, or Beethoven vs Justin Bieber. Web users can also make suggestions for other unlikely clashes.