Senegalese net users become Presidential election observers. A Syrian cyber activist attests to the situation from inside the besieged city of Homs. And a Japanese man draws attention to himself on Twitter with clothespins.
Senegalese presidential election closely watched online
Voting began slightly behind schedule in the Dakar polling station Basile Niane chose to go to. The Senegalese blogger used Twitter to recount voting there this Sunday, a day on which the country was called to elect its President.
A vote that connected citizens have decided to monitor closely. They plan to use social networks to denounce any irregularity they observe. Sunu2012.sn, a site launched last November by local bloggers, calls on voters to act as observers on voting day; using cameras and publishing their comments online or by text message.
A request heeded by net users such as Mouhamadou Sarr, who asserts that it was possible to purchase voter’s cards near one polling station on the outskirts of Dakar.
The site, Sama Baat, launched by civil society organisations, set up an interactive map. A platform on which voters could also point out cases of fraud, as well as ones of violence during this high risk vote.
But many net users, such as Lotta Fall, simply decided to make known their opinion at the polls, to attempt to oust President, Abdoulaye Wade. And by publishing photos of their fingers marked with indelible ink, proving they have voted, many Senegalese people showed pride in accomplishing their citizen’s duty.
Homs: photos show daily life in a besieged town
Bachar al-Assad’s regime has been waging a murderous offensive on the city of Homs for four weeks and Mulham Al-Jundi, a cyber-activist and member of the Syrian National Council went to this rebel stronghold to bear witness to the harsh daily lives of its residents. An insight into a besieged city that he shares with net users via social networks.
Mulham Al-Jundi posted online several hundred photos on his Facebook page, depicting what life is currently like for residents of Homs. Pictures which show in particular the significant damage caused by incessant shelling on the city by troops loyal to the regime.
Photos which also offer a unique insight into the way inhabitants attempt to survive, giving the example of fires lit in the streets to cope with the lack of fuel for heating or the collection of waste that is piling up on pavements to avoid the spread of disease.
Al-Jundi also shows how simple apartments have been transformed into operating theatres, as state hospitals are mainly inaccessible for residents of the rebel held city. Field hospitals which try as they may to assist the many injured, despite the shortage of medicine.
However difficult to bear living conditions in Homs may be, the residents do not seem to lose hope, starting with the youngest. Several pictures show children continuing to play and smile. Images in sharp contrast to the repression which they are also victims of and which send the message to Bachar al-Assad that whatever he does, the dissent will continue as long as he maintains his stranglehold on power.
Information-rich reporting which is not risk-free. Al-Jundi was in fact shot in the leg on Friday while investigating in central Homs. The injury was not serious and he should be able to resume his work swiftly.
Fat cat art
Revisiting famous works of art by adding a fat ginger cat. This is the wacky idea hatched by the Russian site, Fatcatart.ru. Masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa and the Birth of Venus are offered a new lease of life when the main subject is replaced by a photo of the famous feline. An idea offering a zany take on the most famous pieces of art, with a humorous and absurd result.
Twitter experiment results in Japanese man covered in clothespins
“I will clip a clothespin to my body each time this message is re-tweeted”. This is how Sebuyama won the bet made by his employer, the Japanese site, Omocoro. The aim was to publish a message on Twitter which would be shared by at least 1,000 net users; failing which, he couldn’t go home. After all else failed, Sebuyama had his clothespin idea. It was a great success, as in under two hours, his message had been shared 1,800 times.
Video of the day
“I am the real Russian Eminem”. This is one of the phrases uttered by Mikhail Prokhorov, a millionaire businessman and candidate for the Russian Presidential elections to be held on March 4, in this rap video recorded during a show on a local TV station. A musical performance which has since been widely broadcast on share sites, where the video is a hit. It remains to be seen whether voters will be more prone to vote for him following this amusing display.