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



Latest update : 2012-01-11

Reactions to Bashar al-Assad’s speech

Syrian web users react to Bashar al-Assad’s latest speech. Fred Karger becomes America’s first openly gay Republican presidential candidate. And Sweden recognizes file sharing as a religion.

Reactions to Bashar al-Assad’s speech

Foreign conspiracy theories and promises of reforms … Bahraini activist Maryam Alkhawaja feels Bashar al-Assad’s speech contained nothing new. Many web users followed the Syrian president’s televised address and have come to the same conclusion.

This Facebook group, which has played a pivotal role in the 10 month old Syrian uprising, has uploaded a photomontage depicting Bashar al-Assad as Muammar Gaddafi, to illustrate how the Syrian president’s comments and promises have already been heard somewhere before…

Cyber activists have been taking to social networks to report on how the speech has been received by the people of Syria. Many have been waving their shoes to display their contempt for the current president; this man even stuck his shoe to the television during the broadcast.

This child from the city of Idlib covered Bashar al-Assad’s face with a toilet plunger. And a rally was organized in Deraa to coincide with the president’s speech, demonstrators held a huge banner referring to him as a liar.

And finally, with Bashar al-Assad once again denying the violent crackdown policy on protests across the country, cyber activists continue to broadcast videos online to prove the contrary. These images were uploaded on Monday and appear to show army tanks opening fire in a residential neighbourhood of Homs.


Fred Karger: GOP’s first openly gay presidential candidate

With the Republican Nomination race in full swing ahead of November’s United States presidential election, one candidate is gradually starting to make a make name for himself. His name is Fred Karger and he is the country’s first openly-gay Republican presidential candidate.

Most of Karger’s campaigning has been taking place via the web. His campaign team has posted this video on his official website, clearly emphasizing his moderate side. We learn, amongst other things, that Karger, contrary to his competitors for the Republican nomination, supports abortion rights and campaigns for the legalization of same sex marriage. He says he wants to convince those conservative voters concerned over the radicalization of the Republican Party in recent years to give him their vote.

This video was made by blogger Dan Freund and features Karger talking about how he wants to change the Republican mindset, and in his eyes the only way to do this is from within the Republican Party.

And although Karger is using all available online tools, and social media platforms in particular, to get his message across, in the online popularity stakes he is still lagging behind his major Republican competitors. His Facebook page has a little over 5 700 supporters, whilst the favourite in the polls, Mitt Romney, boasts near to 1,3 million Facebook friends. Fred Karger’s Twitter account has a little over 3 000 followers, whilst Romney and also Rick Santorum have dozens, or even hundreds of thousands of web users signed up to their accounts.

 Sweden recognizes file-sharing as a religion

"Information is holy and copying is a sacrament". This is the precept of the Church of Kopimism, which was recently formally recognized by the Swedish government. It preaches the open distribution of knowledge to all, and the right to file share. With its new status as a religious organization the “Church” can now accept donations. It currently has 3 000 members in ten or so countries and is set to grow with the support, in particular, of The Pirate Party, a political party, also founded in Sweden.


Now trending on social networks

Minhee Cho went out for dinner to a Papa John’s pizza restaurant last week. And imagine the New Yorker’s surprise when she checked her receipt and noticed the cashier had typed in “lady chinky eyes” as her name. She posted the receipt in question on her Twitter account the next day, hyperlinking the pizza chain’s account. The message was then relayed by hundreds of web users condemning this racist slur. The company issued an apology via social media platforms, specifying the employee responsible had since been dismissed.


Video of the day

The four members of Canadian group "Walk off the Earth" and British singer Sarah Blackwood recently set themselves the unlikely challenge of all playing the same guitar, at the same time. This amazing performance is enjoying huge success on sharing sites, and since the video was uploaded last week, it has already been viewed over 4,5 million times.



By Electron Libre



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