Web users in Tunisia launch a spam attack on Barack Obama. The tensions between citizens and police in China. And a web documentary looking at the housing problems in Manila in the Philippines.
Tunisians launch spam-attack on Obama’s Facebook page
Thousands of Tunisian web users have launched an all-out assault on Barack Obama’s Facebook page, and posted over 150 000 messages. They are hoping to use humour to convey their solidarity with the “Occupy” Movement in the United States which has been harshly repressed in a number of cities, like here in Oakland, California.
The so called “virtual surprise attack” pokes fun at the American president placing him in the position of the dictators caught up in the Arab Spring. The messages have been widely relayed on social networks, and incorporate the same slogans used during the revolution, with a few small changes; the name Ben Ali for example has been replaced by Obama.
There are all sorts of posts and comments which imply the roles have been reversed. Those taking part in the spam attack say it is now Tunisia’s turn to show their solidarity with protesters in the United States. Tunisia has just witnessed its first ever free elections whilst in the US demonstrators have been hurt in clashes with police.
But as Afef Abrougui highlights, Tunisian web users are also using this opportunity to criticize American foreign policy towards the popular uprisings in the Arab World, saying the US waiting too long before officially backing them.
And the White House is not the only target. Web users have also been bombarding the Facebook pages of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and also the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Tensions between citizens and police in China
Tensions between citizens and police in China ! Over the past few days clashes have broken out between activists and security forces during spontaneous demonstrations in various cities across the county. Some of the confrontations have turned extremely violent, as reported via the web.
Violence erupted in the town of Liangzhu in central China this weekend after Wang Yinpeng, the local chief of police, killed at least 5 pedestrians in a road accident. Residents of Liangzhu were concerned the authorities would try and hush up the affair, and rioting soon erupted. Violent clashes with law enforcement officials ensued. Riot police had been deployed en masse to investigate the road accident and try and quell the protests.
Shortly after the incident, comments from local web users started emerging on social networks, and on Chinese Twitter equivalent, Weibo, in particular. Many are critical of the authorities’ handling of the affair and web users are demanding the police officer responsible be given exemplary punishment; he was apparently drunk when he crashed the car.
This amateur footage bears witness to another recent event: last week’s riots in the city of Huzhou in eastern China where hundreds of business owners clashed with riot police after a row over taxation.
The confrontations turned violent and web users did their best to share reports of the clashes online before the authorities began censoring. They have been blocking certain words like “tax” and “protests” in a bid to stop the protests spreading to other parts of the country.
Web documentary focuses on housing problems in Manila
Jean-Matthieu Gautier is a journalist and photographer for the NGO “Enfants du Mékong” and he went to the Philippines to meet people affected by the housing problems in Manila. He is sharing his experiences in a web documentary called Manila Moneyla which is available to view on the site “Lavie.fr”. With the help of slideshows, audio clips, animations and pieces of video footage he takes web users to various neighbourhoods of Manila and gives them an insight into the day to day lives of the 20 million people living there, some of them in deplorable conditions.
Now trending on social networks
The late British singer Amy Winehouse has been trending heavily on social networks ever since the release of her posthumous album was announced for the 5th of December, just several months after she died at the age of 27. The new album is called “Lioness: Hidden Treasures” and will include some reworked versions of her well known hits, and also some previously unrecorded material. Part of the profits of this album will be donated to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, a charitable trust set up to help children in difficulty.
Video of the day
This short and simple video was produced and uploaded online by environmental organization Greenpeace. It’s part of the organization’s current campaign on illegal fishing and over fishing in the European waters. This particular clip points the finger at Spain for not doing enough to solve this problem when it has the largest fishing fleet in Europe and receives the most EU subsidies.