Supporters of the Syrian regime run an online campaign against foreign press. Vietnamese net users express rage against their Chinese neighbour. And a literature fan will summarise James Joyce’s Ulysses via Twitter.
Syrian regime unleashes online propaganda campaign
While opponents to Bachar al-Assad’s regime seem determined to pursue their all-out efforts despite violent repression, supporters of the Syrian President are stepping up their online propaganda campaign. The aim being to discredit international media and their coverage of the situation on the ground.
Several short animations, made by supporters of Al Assad targeting foreign press have appeared online in recent days. Here we see a man trampling the logo of the Al Jazeera news channel, which remains stuck to the sole of his foot like a piece of discarded chewing gum. A logo which ends up in the bin, on top of those already present of the BBC and France 24, as well as photos of Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy.
And it is mainly the Qatar channel which seems to fuelling the rage of the regime’s supporters online. A further two other videos currently circulating on share sites are proof of this. One shows the super hero, ‘Iron Man’, in the Al-Jazeera studios, planting a Syrian flag in the ground. The other shows the channel’s logo being flattened by a hammer representing Syria.
Meanwhile the regime’s opponents are also making use of the web to dishearten the troops and citizens who have remained loyal to President Al-Assad. In particular they are broadcasting images which are difficult to authenticate of soldiers who have seemingly abandoned their squadrons to join the protests. These videos apparently show a high ranked soldier, a sergeant and a member of the air force declaring they will no longer serve the ruling powers.
Social media websites stir Vietnam-China tensions
For the second week running, hundreds of Vietnamese have protested in the streets this Sunday, like here in Saigon, to express hostility to their Chinese neighbour. Following a series of collisions in the China Sea, tensions are increasing between Beijing and Hanoi, who both lay claim to the Paracels and Spratleys Islands; thought to be rich in hydrocarbons.
The negative feeling towards China, which occupied Vietnam for a thousand years, is widespread in the country. The territorial struggle has therefore created a surge of patriotism, with net users turning towards the social networks to express their rage against their powerful neighbour. Mobilisation which can mainly be seen on this Facebook group, which now boasts over 100,000 members. An almost unheard of movement in a country whose authorities do not usually allow demonstrations and maintain strict control over the internet. They seem willing nevertheless to allow this popular rebellion to express negative feeling about China.
Tensions which are synonymous with a wave of cyber-attacks. Recently, Vietnamese hackers published this message on official Chinese sites in which they claim sovereignty over the contested islands. Hundreds of Vietnamese sites were then sabotaged by Chinese pirates in revenge attacks.
And while many bloggers have called upon their government to stand up to China, the difficult task for Hanoi will be meeting the expectations of the Vietnamese people without overly irritating Beijing, whose navy has just announced the forthcoming commissioning of its first aircraft carrier.
Redesigning US bank notes and replacing the traditional portraits of former Presidents which adorn them with the heads of music stars and film characters. This is the idea hatched by US artist, James Charles who is showcasing his work online christened, ‘American Iconomics’. Original creations which are bursting with detail and which pay tribute, amongst others to, Yoda, Spok, Justin Bieber, Ronald McDonald and Mister T. Fans may acquire one of these creations by shelling out between 600 to 1,000 dollars per revised and corrected note. 26
"Ulysses" meets Twitter
On the occasion of Bloomsday, an Irish festival, celebrating the writer, James Joyce on June 16 each year, a US fan has launched a hair brained scheme online: to summarise via Twitter and its short 140 character messages, Ulysses, a work of 265,000 words in its paper version. An initiative christened, ‘Ulysses Meets Twitter 2011’, in which volunteers are invited to participate.
Video of the day
Trickline is a sport similar to tightrope walking which involves carrying out various moves on an elastic rope as we can see in this demonstration video. A discipline which requires perfect mastery of your body and movements and which offers a particularly breath-taking show.