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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 : 2012-10-14

Obama gets sudden spike in Facebook 'likes'

Barack Obama’s Facebook page receives over one million “likes” in a single day. Outrage in Kenya, with prostitutes offering their services via the Internet. And an online campaign promoting women’s rights in the Arab World.

Obama gets sudden spike in Facebook 'likes'

The presidential election is fast approaching and the White House hopeful’s campaign teams are sparing no effort on social media platforms. An online battle, in which Barack Obama is streets ahead of opponent Mitt Romney… With the Republican candidate nearing the 9 million fans mark on Facebook, the outgoing president already has over 30 million.

And according to data published by the site Inside Facebook, Barack Obama’s Facebook page received over one million « likes » in a single day, on October 9. An impressive figure, compared with around 30 000 per day in earlier weeks.

So why this sudden surge in popularity on the social network? Well, some analysts are saying it’s the result of a coordinated social media campaign.

But others are wondering if he paid for these new fans. Barack Obama’s odds have fallen following his disappointing performance opposite his republican rival in the first of the televised debates.

A number of specialist agencies do indeed propose this type of service online, and Mitt Romney has been accused of going down the same road. It has been suggested he paid for thousands of Twitter followers over the summer to boost his popularity on the micro blogging platform. Zach Green from the “140 Elect” website says this type of operation is very easy to set up and could well have been orchestrated by somebody trying to plant a story to embarrass him.


Kenya: a prostitution ring on Facebook?

"Campus divas for rich men": this Facebook page with its somewhat explicit slogan that reads "money can buy us" was set up in Kenya over the summer. And the photos speak for themselves: young women claiming to be students, prepared to offer sexual favours in exchange for cash … in just a month, thousands of people had joined the page, which was then taken down from the social network… but similar pages offering the same services started to appear soon afterwards.

The phenomenon started to receive a great deal of coverage from local media outlets. In this report produced by a Kenyan television station, students confirm that a lot of female students are indeed forced to sell their bodies in order to pay for their studies.


Something which has been met with widespread condemnation in Kenya, where prostitution is illegal; Facebook groups have been set demanding these pages be taken down, saying they promote prostitution rings. Some are voicing more religious views and preaching abstinence whilst others appeal to young female Kenyans to show some self-respect.

This blogger warns of the risk of HIV transmission. Kenya is one of the countries to have been worst hit by the HIV and AIDS pandemic with over two million people infected with the virus.

Now trending on social networks

Four young activists have launched an online campaign entitled “the uprising of women in the Arab World”, calling for a greater respect for women’s rights across the region. They feel that following the events of the Arab Spring, the fight for emancipation must continue and are urging web users the world over to voice their solidarity. They have set up a Facebook page compiling photos sent in from hundreds of people; women and men who have all posed with a poster explaining why they support the cause.


The Cirque du Soleil has launched the site Movi.kant.irevo, which takes you to a surreal world of strange creatures speaking Esperanto … in Esperanto "Movi, kanti, revo" means move, sing, dream, and when you move in front of your webcam it informs your movements’ within this world. This unique web experience blends artistic performances, 3D transformations, interactivity … and poetry.

Video of the day

No, this is the not the opening scene of an American horror series … it’s actually part of an awareness campign on what do if someone suffers a cardiac arrest. It was posted online by Canada’s Heart and Stroke Foundation, and shows zombies carrying out essential first aid … a video that’s definitely going to grab your attention!

By Electron Libre



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