British web users are calling for a complete boycott of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. An online campaign has been launched for the release of blogger Anas Maarawi, who was arrested in Syria. And a website compiles moving videos of US soldiers being reunited with their loved ones.
Appels Online campaign calls for News Corp boycott
The campaign urging firms to withdraw their advertising from the News of the World helped bring down the British tabloid, and now the online crusade against Rupert Murdoch’s media empire continues.
Over 8,000 web users have joined this Facebook page calling for a boycott of The Sun, The Times and all other publications belonging to News International, the British branch of the media conglomerate run by the Australian tycoon.
One web user has even registered the domain name Boycottmurdoch.com, with the intention of creating a site to bring together the many British people outraged by the methods used within News International. He accuses the group of, amongst other things, propagating a false image of the world and spinning an agenda to fit Murdoch’s business interests.
And over on Twitter, many web users have joined this thread and have cancelled their contracts with BskyB, a satellite broadcasting company which is partially owned by Murdoch.
And just as he is trying to increase his stake in the company to 100 %, web users appear intent on complicating things for him. Via the web site of non-profit organization 38 degrees, web users can send an email to their local MP asking them to oppose the project.
The NGO Avaaz has launched an online petition calling upon the government to deny the takeover bid. The document has already been signed by over 170 000 people and denounces Murdoch’s dominant position in UK media, which is seen as a threat to British democracy.
Blogger detained in Syria
According to Syrian cyber activists, blogger Anas Maarawi was arrested on July 1st in Damascus. The 29 year old computer specialist is the founder of Ardroid, an Arabic blog dedicated to Google’s Android operating system for mobile devices.
A Facebook group has been set up calling for his release. Over 2000 people have already joined, and share their fears for the blogger, as no information has been given about his arrest or his whereabouts.
And web users can receive updates on his situation via this blog, where they can also download these banners to display on their web sites or social network pages as a symbol of support for Anas Maarawi.
And unlike Amina, a female blogger who was reported missing but turned out to be a fictional character created by a 40 year old American man, a number of bloggers from the Arab world personally know Anas Maarawi.
Saudi web user, Saoud Alhoawi claims to have met him last year at a conference in Beirut in Lebanon. He says he does not understand why Anas Maarawi has been arrested and stresses that he is a new technology enthusiast and does not really take much interest in politics.
But the blogger did appear concerned about the situation in the country, rocked by the unprecedented opposition movement which erupted several months ago. Two days before he was arrested, he had taken part in a rally to pay tribute to victims of the violence across Syria.
E-mail’s carbon footprint
Sending an email also has its impact on the environment and according to a study carried out by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, the emails sent within a French company with a workforce of 100 people, generate 13 tons of carbon dioxide per year. But if the company reduced the amount of times they print out these emails by 10 %, then the figure would fall to 5 tons per year, which is equivalent to 5 return flights between Paris and New York.
A soldier surprises his girlfriend at a baseball match, and asks her to marry him … a student in tears as she is reunited with her brother for her graduation … the blog “Welcome Home” compiles dozens of videos of these moving moments, when US soldiers return home after months serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. The blog is enjoying huge success in the US.
Video of the day
Why makes things simple when you can make them complicated? Canadian photographer David Dvir wanted to take a photo of himself and so developed a Rube Goldberg machine made from objects found in his studio. After seven months work, Memory cards, camera lenses and flashes now clank together in a four minute chain reaction, before a button is pressed and the photo is taken.