Global campaigns in solidarity with Syria
Global campaigns in solidarity with the Syrian opposition. Salman Rushdie wins his name fight with Facebook. And web users predicting the future…
Global campaigns in solidarity with Syria
A virtual sit in, in solidarity with the Syrian opposition… this is one of the latest online initiatives to draw attention to the popular uprising against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The campaign, organized by a group of Syrian activists, has received huge support at home and even more so abroad.
Dozens of videos have been posted on the site « syrian sit in » and on the dedicated YouTube channel, showing web users from all over the world voicing their solidarity with the Syrian people. The messages are generally read out in English or Arabic, with some people showing their face, whilst others cover theirs with a mask as they ask the international community to stand up to the regime and take action to end the intimidation and violence from loyalist forces.
A campaign of a similar nature was launched at the beginning of November, operation “Call Homs” as it was known invited people from the four corners of the globe to telephone random numbers within the embattled city of Homs, to tell the person on the other end of the phone that they are not alone and encourage them in the ongoing fight for freedom.
Mobilization for the people of Syria has been gaining ground all over the world over the past few weeks; numerous videos have been posted online recently showing rallies in Austria, Turkey, and also North America with protesters shouting slogans attacking Bashar al-Assad, demanding his immediate removal from power.
Salman Rushdie gets his identity back on Facebook
British writer Salman Rushdie has won the battle over his name with Facebook, but only after taking to Twitter to complain. Last week Facebook deactivated the account belonging to the “satanic verses” author, because it thought it was a fake. Salman Rushdie sent a photocopy of his passport to the administrators of Facebook, and his account was reactivated, but under the name “Ahmed Rushdie” as Ahmed appears before Salman, on his official documents. Facebook was enforcing its real name policy, even though the writer is known throughout the world by his middle name.
Infuriated by Facebook’s actions, Mr Rushdie took his problem public via Twitter, and addressed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg directly, asking him to give him back his name. His tweets were relayed by hundreds of web users and a few hours later, the social network backed down and allowed him to have Salman as his user name.
This story has revived debate on using you real name on social networks. It became a talking point in January when Chinese activist Zhao Jing who went under the pseudonym Michael Anti found his Facebook page had been deleted. Jillian York is just one of many bloggers who believe forcing web users to reveal their true identity puts them in potential danger, particularly activists’ blogging from authoritarian countries.
Will there be flying cars in cities before 2035? Will Barack Obama be re-elected for a second term in office? And will we be able to buy synthetic meat within the next 8 years? These are the types of questions posted on the site Prediction Book, where web users are invited to share their own predictions, distinguish between the things they think may occur, or will definitely occur in the future and compare their vision of the future with other web users.
Now trending on social networks
Up until now the letters NBA stood for North America’s National Basketball Association, but for many social networkers they now mean “No Basketball Anymore”. The 2011- 2012 basketball season may be facing cancellation because the players and owners cannot come to an agreement in the dispute over collective bargaining. The possibility of the season being wiped out has sparked an avalanche of commentary on social media platforms, with the majority of web users hoping an agreement will be found.
Video of the day
In this video entitled "Break ton neck" dancer Arthur Cadre shows off his amazing break dance skills. He is so flexible and agile that he can contort his body into all sorts of positions, with apparent ease…