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China: online campaign for artist Ai Weiwei
Online campaigning in China for the artist Ai Weiwei. The video of a judge beating his daughter sparks controversy in the United States. And a Photoshop contest for a good cause.
China: online campaign for artist Ai Weiwei
Thousands of Chinese web users have been sending in money to the artist and activist Ai Weiwei raising over 5 million yuan, around 600 000 euros, in just a few days. This represents a third of what the authorities are demanding from Ai Weiwei before the 15th of November. He was arrested in April and detained for three months before eventually being released; he is accused of tax evasion.
He claims the allegations are retaliation for his support of online calls for a Chinese Jasmine Revolution at the beginning of the year. He has remained out of the public eye since his release, but has made statements on social networks, condemning the tax bill, saying the authorities are using it as a way to silence him.
But many of the artist and activist’s supporters have decided to help him pay the tax bill. They have sent in donations electronically, via bank transfers, some have even made paper airplanes out of bank notes and thrown them into the courtyard of his studio, many including a message of support.
One of his colleagues, Liu Yanpin, says she is completely overwhelmed. On Monday morning she had 776 transfers waiting to be cashed at the post office.
The state run daily newspaper the Global Times, said this could be considered illegal fundraising. But Ai Weiwei has said that he will be paying back all of his supporters whatever the outcome of the tax evasion allegations, which he is intending to challenge.
Video of Texas judge beating daughter sparks online controversy
This video is at the center of controversy in the United States at the moment. It shows a man and his wife disciplining their 16 year old daughter, and we can clearly see she is beaten with a belt. The footage is from 2004 and was released online by the victim at the end of October of this year. What makes the story even more shocking is that the father is none other than Judge William Adams, a family law Judge for the State of Texas.
Hillary Adams has explained in a short message posted on the community site Reddit why she has decided to go public with this video which was filmed 7 years ago. She says she was pushed to breaking point after being harassed by her father on the telephone, and decided to upload the violent footage onto the Internet to show the world what her father was really like. She says she does not regret her decision.
And the video had spread across the web like wildfire; it has already been viewed over five and a half million times. The images have been met with strong reactions from web users; many have been expressing their incomprehension and disgust on social networks.
A number of Facebook pages have been set up demanding Judge Adams be punished. This one is demanding he face criminal charges, and this one which has drawn near to 35 000 social networkers is urging voters to not re-elect a man capable of such a violent tirade.
And although apparently too much time has passed to press state charges against the judge, he has become the latest target for informal hacker group Anonymous. In this video message, they promise to avenge the victim and make William Adams pay for his violence.
Photoshop contest for a good cause
A member of community site Reddit uploaded this photo around 10 days ago. It shows his daughter sitting with her arm around her best friend. There’s a message with the photo which explains the little boy has been diagnosed with leukemia, and asks web users if they can help cheer up the children by photoshopping the background. There has been a huge response to the request, online artists, inspired by the cause, have been sending in all sorts of drawings and montages.
Now trending on social networks
Ever since the version 8 was released online on Monday, the famous Internet browser Firefox has become one of the most popular trending terms on social networks. One of the new features is the addition of Twitter to the search bar, which will make it easier for social networkers to find other Twitterers or particular key words. Judging by the huge amount of posts from web users, this new version of Firefox was much anticipated and is proving very popular.
Video of the day
Jub is not just any old dog … as we can see in this clip put together by his owners, our four legged friend can balance all sorts of objects on his nose and his head. Food, clothes, ornaments, and even a cat! Nothing seems to faze him…