Coming up

Don't miss




The World This Week - 01 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more


Coverage of Gaza in the Israeli media

Read more


1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

Read more


The World This Week - 01 August 2014

Read more


Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more


Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more


A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more


Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.



Latest update : 2011-11-15

Innovative Syrian opposition in Damascus

The Syrian opposition in Damascus. An Egyptian blogger sparks controversy by posting a naked photograph of herself online. And a woman from Lille in France is knitting the news…

Innovative Syrian opposition in Damascus

According to Syrian cyber activists, this video was filmed on the 6th November at an anti-Syrian government demonstration in Qaboun on the outskirts of Damascus. The rally was dispersed when security forces opened fire on protesters. There is a strong presence of security forces across the streets off the city and this footage illustrates just how difficult it has become for Syrian opponents to stage protests.

In light of the ongoing repression, activists in the Syrian capital have been turning to alternative means of voicing opposition to the Bashar al-Assad regime, like painting graffiti in the middle of the night or writing slogans on balloons before releasing them into the sky.

As we can see in this amateur video footage, the public fountain in the Midan neighbourhood appeared to turn red last month after activists poured colouring into the water as a reminder that many activists have paid with their blood for defying the Syrian President.

In September a group of protesters wrote slogans on table tennis balls, which were then released into the streets of the al-Muhajirin district in north Damascus. Originals ideas such as this are just as much about rallying people to the cause as they are about publicly defying the security forces.

This video was posted online two weeks ago, and apparently shows how activists had set up loud speakers in the Budget Ministry’s entrance hall and proceeded to play anti-regime chants in the public building.


Female Egyptian blogger stirs controversy with nude photo

Egyptian blogger Aliaa Elmahdy decided to express her beliefs by posting a naked photograph of herself online, amongst other shots of men and women in the nude. The feminist and activist said she wanted to break taboos and defend her rights as a woman.

The picture has sparked an avalanche of comments on social media platforms. Although many support her and hail her bravery, others are criticizing the message the picture conveys, saying it is inappropriate and provocative. Some fear it will radicalize Muslim public opinion and is harmful to the Egyptian revolutionaries’ reputation.

But for Aliaa Elmahdy, this photo is about continuing to fight against all forms of violence in Egyptian society. She had joined the Tahrir Square protesters and now she is continuing her campaign for women’s rights via social media platforms, paying particular attention to sexual harassment.

Aliaa Elmahdy is also behind the Facebook page “Men should wear the veil”, which advocates equality between men and women, right up to how they are expected to dress. The page displays photos of men wearing the hijab and has drawn support from Egyptian and also Tunisian web users who are concerned over the recent election victory of the Islamist Ennahda party in Tunisia. It is again a highly controversial initiative but it has succeeded in stimulating online debate.


Knitting the news

The DSK affair, the death of Steve Jobs, the Rugby World Cup, Anna has a bit of fun with current affairs by knitting the people making the headlines. Her blog is called the « Délit Maille » in reference to British daily « The Daily mail » and has drawn thousands of web users over the past few months. Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkosy, Lady Gaga, Pippa Middleton …, the blogger from Lille in France has already knitted around 60 public figures.


Now trending on social networks

Two men went on trial in London on Monday charged with the murder of Stephen Lawrence, a black teenager who was stabbed to death by a gang of white youths in a London suburb in 1993. At the time, the racially motivated killing shocked and outraged an entire nation, and continues to do so; the case has been trending heavily on social networks. Many web users have been saying they hope the trial will finally shed some light on the affair and that 18 years on, justice will finally be done for Stephen Lawrence and his family.

Video of the day

Gwen Schroeder took part in the 2011 New York marathon on the 6th of November, and she took hundreds of photos during the 42 kilometer run through the American city using a camera she had attached to her head. She then did some nifty editing, as we can see here, and posted it on her blog, so web users could experience the New York marathon, from the comfort of their own homes.


By Electron Libre



2014-07-31 protest

Fake Twitter accounts spread Chinese propaganda

In this edition: Chinese propagandists use fake Twitter accounts to promote Beijing's policies; Turkish women posting selfies to protest comments made by the Deputy PM; and a...

Read more

2014-07-30 prisons

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

In this edition: celebrities commenting on the conflict in Gaza; US web users campaigning for the release of a man serving life without parole; and a mountain bike champ speeding...

Read more

2014-07-29 Ghana

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

In this edition: online mobilization for Iraqi Christians; Ghanaian web users campaign for greater economic justice; and skateboarding around an abandoned Los Angeles…

Read more

2014-07-26 USA

NSA targets 'Tor' network users

It's the latest twist in the NSA surveillance controversy: according to a story featured on German website Tagesshau, written by experts Lena Kampf, Jacob Appelbaum and John...

Read more

2014-07-28 Argentina

Web users call for peace in Gaza

In this edition: web users call for peace in Gaza; an online campaign to save a polar bear in Argentina; and Parkour around Paris.

Read more