Online reports of the floods in Thailand. Greek web users campaigning against the government’s new austerity measures. And Russian president Dmitry Medvedev playing badminton with Vladimir Putin…
Floods in Thailand
The worst flooding in 50 years continues in Thailand, and despite the authorities’ efforts flood waters are now entering parts of the capital Bangkok. This dramatic situation is being closely followed by web users, providing much online commentary.
Google has launched a page specifically for the current crisis in Thailand. It hosts interactive maps which provide a reliable picture of the situation in the country. They display, amongst other things, the areas worst hit by the flooding and also the various welcome centers set up by the government to provide shelter for the many victims.
The site « is my house flooded » is also providing flood updates. You just have to type in a post code to find out about the level of flooding in that particular part of Thailand.
A number of Twitter threads have been set up so that people in Thailand can share their personal experiences of the flooding and send out appeals for help. Micro bloggers can also use #bkkflood ou #thaiflood, to follow events in real time and coordinate relief efforts for flood victims.
A lot of amateur footage has been doing the rounds on sharing sites, illustrating the extent of the flooding that has plagued Thailand for several weeks now. Spectacular images filmed in rural areas and also in the industrial areas around Bangkok, they show how, in some cases, water levels have risen to several meters, literally submerging entire neighbourhoods in various cities across the country.
Greeks launch campaign against austerity measures
One week after a 48 hour general strike paralyzed the entire country, the people of Greece are preparing fresh demonstrations against the austerity policies adopted by the Greek government.
An online campaign has been launched calling on households to hang banners from their windows or balconies on Friday reading “Oxi” which means “No” in Greek. A symbolic date as the 28th of October is a national holiday and commemorates Greece’s refusal in 1940 to bend to demands of former Italian dictator Mussolini.
Web users say the campaign was triggered by an incident at a football match in Athens on Sunday in which fans held up a banner accusing the country’s political class of corruption. The referee stopped the match to demand fans take down the banner, but they refused.
And this episode has inspired cyber activists to organize further protests against the government’s austerity bill. And so the word ‘No’ has started to emerge on social media sites in all kinds of shapes and formats.
Blogger Kartesios explains why he is taking part in the campaign. He says as a Greek citizen he has had enough of the whole of Europe blaming him for the current crisis in his country. He says although the people of Greece are partially responsible, it’s the abuses of the political and financial system more than anything else that have led Greece into this mess.
Occupy the Internet movement
Supporters of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement against the global financial system which began in New York over a month ago have decided to show their solidarity with the street protesters by setting up “Occupy the Internet”. The “Free Art and Technology” collective has designed a series of Gif animations based on the movement’s various slogans which bloggers can incorporate onto their sites. This alternative way of protesting is intended as a complimentary initiative to the movement currently taking place on the streets of Manhattan.
Now trending on social networks
One of the most popular trending terms on social networks in South Africa at the moment is "Ask Helen Zille". Leader of the country’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, Helen Zille is forever communicating via Twitter, and every day she uses the micro blogging site to reply to questions from South Africans. To poke fun at the politician who appears to have an answer for everything, web users have been inundating the former journalist with all sorts of ridiculous question, and fortunately she has taken this teasing all in good humour.
Video of the day
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev uploaded this video to the Kremlin’s blog on Monday, in which we see him playing a bit of badminton with his Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The aim of the video is to encourage the country’s school children to play sports, something the President says is key to staying in good health. The concept is reminiscent of the regular sporting demonstration organized by Vladimir Putin, who the people of Russia have already seen skiing and also trying out his judo moves.