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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 : 2012-03-20

Syrian opposition pleads for international support

Online reactions to the fatal shooting at a school in Toulouse. The Syrian opposition strives to mobilize international public opinion. And « noynoying » becomes the new form of protest in the Philippines.

Now trending on social networks

Web users from all over the world have been flooding social media platforms with messages, expressing their shock and sadness over Monday morning’s fatal shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse, in south western France. The tragedy comes a week after three soldiers were shot dead with the same kind of firearm in the same part if France. Social networkers are talking of the climate of fear prevailing in the city, saying people will soon be too scared to leave their own homes.

 

Syrian opposition pleads for international support

This video is called "This is not a movie trailer, this is Syria" and was released on the Internet by opponents of the Bashar al-Assad regime. It takes on takes on the dramatic tone of a blockbuster and compiles accounts from local cyber activists and Western journalists, talking about the brutal repression across Syria over the past twelve months or so. The aim is to raise awareness about the Syrian crisis.

And to help achieve their goal, the people behind this video have decided to use the same Hollywood style adopted by the NGO Invisible Children for their documentary on Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony. Relayed and shared by numerous well-known figures, the film went viral.

David Kenner from Foreign Policy magazine has questioned this success on his blog. He wants to know why Joseph Kony, the fugitive leader of a weakening guerrilla group has stirred up more public outrage than the ruthless crackdown inflicted by forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad. Riyaad Minty, head of Social Media for Al Jazeera, says it all depends on how the story is told. He says people relate more easily to a well put together documentary than amateur footage filmed by Syrian cyber activists.

And all sorts of initiatives aimed at mobilizing international public opinion are multiplying on the web; Online petitions, donation appeals, awareness campaigns… This Facebook page for example is urging web users from all over the world to post a video, voicing their support of the Syrian revolution.

 

 

 

 

"Noynoying": a new form of protest in the Philippines

Last year, "planking" became a very trendy way of protesting during the student rallies against budget cuts in the Philippines; it involved lying face down in the middle of the road. But planking is now out, and “Noynoying” is in! It is in direct criticism of President ‘Noynoy’ Aquino, who many feel has done very little to combat rising fuel prices. “Noynoying” consist of uploading a photo of yourself doing absolutely nothing.

The new trend has drawn many enthusiasts, in a very short time. A "Noynoying" Facebook group has been set up and as we can see here hosts scores of shots like these ones, depicting Philippine men, women and children making fun of the president and his inaction over rising prices.

The authorities immediately tried to dismiss the criticism by posting this photo on Twitter depicting the Head of State behind his desk, to show he is working hard to find a way out of the crisis, and is listening to the demands of the people.

But it does not look like the photo has had the desired effect; numerous web users have spotted discrepancies in the picture. The president is shown signing a document, yet he is not wearing his glasses, we can also see what appears to be a glass of wine on his desk. These and other odd details lead ‘Noynoy’ Aquino’s critics to believe this is just a cheap political marketing ploy.

Despite the powers that be maintaining everything is being done to resolve the crisis, this new form of protesting looks set to catch on. A student group has just released this guide to “noynoying” online, urging the entire country to get involved.

 

Man uses Google Earth to find his long-lost family in India

Saroo Brierley was separated from his family in India 25 years ago, but new technology has helped him track them down. It all began in 1987 when he was five years old and begging on the streets. He got on the wrong train and found himself lost on the other side of the country. He was put in an orphanage and eventually adopted by an Australian couple. The years went by, but Saroo held on to his childhood memories, which helped him find his home town, after spending hours upon end scouring Google earth.

 

Video of the day

Ride down a narrow mountain path in Peru, at top speed: mountain bike champion Alejandro Paz attached a small camera to his helmet to make this adrenalin packed video, displaying his remarkable skill and control, as he takes us along for the ride!

By Electron Libre

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