The French authorities concerned over online leaks of early presidential election results. Barack Obama openly attacking likely Republican opponent Mitt Romney. And Indian web users support a university professor arrested for mocking a government official.
France concerned over online leaks of early election results
Anyone in France found leaking on the Internet the preliminary estimates of the French presidential election results before 8pm this coming Sunday could be facing a fine of up to 75 000 euros. The ban applies to both the press and web users, but is difficult to enforce in this age of social networking.
Blogger Florian Courgenouil says the law is anachronistic and is trying to enforce a two hour information blackout. He adds the problem had already arisen in 2007 and accuses the public authorities of doing nothing to remedy the situation.
Twitter and Facebook were only in their infancy but Belgian and Swiss websites in particular were already sharing the exit polls online before the final outcome had been officially announced. The French Polling Commission is threatening to prosecute any media outlets found posting or tweeting results before all polling stations are closed.
Some believe that if the results between two candidates are extremely close, it could start to influence voting. But Bruno Jeanbart from polling organization Opinion Way, feels the fears are unfounded. He says the first reliable estimates will not be available until 7pm, when most of France will have already voted. He says it’s therefore highly unlikely any leaks will change the course of the election.
Obama campaign videos attack Mitt Romney
US president Barack Obama is regularly on the receiving end of attacks from the Republican camp, criticizing his time in office. But he appears set to fight back and in his line of fire; the man who in all likelihood will represent the Republicans in November’s presidential election: Mitt Romney.
The campaign team behind the current White House occupant has put together a series of videos launching direct attacks at the former governor for Massachusetts. In this ad, entitled “Mitt Romney versus reality”, the Mormon candidate is accused of consistently lying when he talks about Obama’s accomplishments over the past four years.
Accusations which are reiterated in this ad which is also being aired on the web; it urges supporters of the President to speak out against the growing number of lies about him, and demand explanations from his likely future opponent.
Another grievance Barack Obama’s campaign team has with Romney: his hypocrisy. This video is currently doing the rounds on sharing sites and states the Republican candidate is the first to criticize the healthcare reforms put into place by the current administration, yet he signed off a similar health care law when he was governor for Massachusetts. The video claims Mitt Romney should be applauding the measures, not condemning them.
And finally, the US president has also posted this ad online, summing up all the ridiculous comments made by the Mormon candidate since the start of the campaign. The video hopes to depict Romney as a dangerous Conservative living in his ivory tower, completely unaware of the needs of the American people.
The « Twitcident » project hopes to provide fireman and policemen with real time updates in crisis situations. Developed by researchers from Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, the application aims to filter Twitter posts that could prove useful for emergency services in cases of fire or natural disasters: the application is set to be made public after a 10 month test period with Dutch police and fire services.
Now trending on social networks
Indian web users have been using the key words « arrest me now » to voice their solidarity with Ambikesh Mahapatra a university professor arrested on Friday for posting cartoons online, poking fun at Mamata Banerjee, chief Minister of the Indian state of West Bengal. The arrest has been widely condemned on social networks with users circulating the offending images to reaffirm their commitment to freedom of expression. The professor was finally released on bail, but remains under legal investigation.
Video of the day
Packing tape and a scalpel: this is all Max Zorn needs to create art. Web users can see his original technique for themselves in this video which was recently posted online. We see the Dutch artist recreate a sunset over New York City.