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

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Latest update : 2012-02-08

South Korean man faces 7 years in prison for tweeting

A South Korean man faces seven years in prison for tweeting. Airlines are using viral videos to market themselves at little or no cost. And an animated video tracing the history of aviation.

South Korean man faces 7 years in prison for tweeting

South Korean photographer, Park Jeong-Guen is facing seven year in jail. His crime: retweeting content from the official North Korean government Twitter account. He stands accused of breaking the National Security Law by, amongst other things, reposting messages paying tribute to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, who died on the 17th of December last year.

The 24 year old has explained to prosecutors that he was being sarcastic, and his intention was to ridicule the North Korean regime. A member of the Socialist Party, a political party which openly and frequently criticizes Pyongyang, he had for example altered this propaganda poster, replacing the photo of a North Korean soldier with a picture of himself, and swapping the rifle with a bottle of whiskey.

Amnesty International has accused Seoul of "failing to understand sarcasm” and is calling for Park Jeong-Guen to be released. The Human Rights organization has said this case illustrates how the authorities use the National Security Law to limit freedom of speech in South Korea.

The law, which was passed in 1948, bans any acts that glorify North Korea. In recent years North Korea has made great use of the web and social networks to broadcast propaganda. And by virtue of the National Security Law, any such pages are automatically blocked in South Korea.

 

Airlines use viral videos to advertise

4,2 million views on video sharing sites … This video was filmed aboard an airbus belonging to Finnish company Finnair, it was posted online at the end of January and has since become a huge Internet hit. The videos features members of the crew doing a Bollywood style dance number as the plane is about to take off for New Delhi. An original and fun idea which became a fantastic viral campaign, and which cost Finnair next to nothing to produce.

Airlines seem to have understood all too well just what the Internet represents in terms of communication and marketing. More and more companies are trying to give passengers more than they bargained for in the hope these unforgettable cabin moments will be captured on film and then posted and relayed online. Such was the case with this pillow fight on board a Lufthansa flight last year or this impromptu performance by the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra on a KLM aircraft… Both videos were viewed tens of thousands of times; the airlines boosted their likeability factor tremendously, without spending a single cent.

But American company SouthWest Airlines is the currently the undisputed king of the viral campaign. Their ‘inflight entertainment” regularly sets the net on fire. Over the past few years passengers have been welcomed onboard by an Elvis Presley lookalike, or air stewardesses have given a musical performance of the safety demonstration… Often simple and straightforward ideas to implement, and they convey a positive image of the airline, building brand loyalty.

 

French fashion website la Redoute needs help from its customers

French online clothes catalogue “La Redoute” caused a storm on the Internet last month with this photo used to advertise its children’s range; in the background, there is a naked man! The company is now trying to transform this blunder into a marketing feature. In this video “La Redoute” launches a competition whereby web users will win prizes if they can spot any other anomalies in the photos featured on the website.

 

Now trending on social networks

File sharing platform BTJunkie shut down voluntarily on Monday, sparking strong reaction from web users the world over. The decision comes amid a growing crackdown by legal authorities on download sites like MegaUpload or The Pirate Bay. And although its likely web users will soon find alternatives, according to specialist site Torrent Freak, it is the end of an era. Founded in 2005, BTJunkie was in fact one of the top torrent sites, and claimed to have dozens of millions of users per month.

 

Video of the day

The Utah Valley University School of Aviation in the United States has created this magnificent 3D animation which retraces the major developments in the history of aviation. From Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketches to Charles Lindbergh becoming the first man to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, right up to space exploration. This stunning piece of work gives us an idea of how man conquered the skies.
 

By Electron Libre

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