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Latest update : 2012-10-18

Pakistan: smear campaign against Malala on social media

Pakistani schoolgirl and blogger Malala, who is fighting for her life in a UK hospital, is now the victim of an online smear campaign. Next, Mitt Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan unwittingly becomes the latest web sensation. And an online campaign aims to save the EU’s food distribution programme.

Pakistan: smear campaign against Malala on social media

Pakistani schoolgirl and blogger Malala Yousafzai survived being shot in the head by Taliban militants outside her school on October 9th but the 14 year old women’s rights activist is still fighting for her life in a UK hospital and remains under attack on social networks.

Islamists and Pakistani nationalists have started a smear campaign against her, accusing her, amongst other things, of working for the United States. A senior figure from an Islamist political party has shared this photo on Twitter which she claims shows Malala and her family meeting with US army officers.

But the picture is actually a still frame from a documentary made by the New York Times, which specifies the footage is from a simple meeting with one American diplomat in 2009, during which Malala asked the US for help in girls’ education in Pakistan.

Others accuse Washington of orchestrating the assassination attempt on Malala to divert attention from issues like the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims”, or to deflect criticism of the US drone strikes on Pakistani civilians: conspiracy theories that are spreading across the web like wildfire.

Many Pakistanis however have also taken to social networks to voice their outrage over these comments and remarks. A number of online campaigns have been set up so web users can actively support the cause championed by Malala: a girl’s right to education. 

USA: web users mock Paul Ryan’s workout photos

Web users in America have been turning their attention to Paul Ryan, running mate of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, ever since the “Time Magazine” website published these photos last week, in which we see him working out. The shots have since gone viral and are proving to be a great source of inspiration for online comedians.

All sorts of photomontages have emerged online depicting the Wisconsin Congressman in all sorts of unlikely scenarios. Amusing and nifty photo editing, showing Ryan exercising without a care in the world for the people around him. Parodies web users can upload and share on the site “Pumping Iron with Paul Ryan”.

This Tumblr blog hosts photos of a more political nature: digitally altered shots of the possible future Vice President of the US with witty captions making fun of his positions on a variety of economic and social issues.

A satirical Twitter account has also been set up, giving the floor to Paul Ryan’s … biceps. Yes the muscles on Mitt Romney’s running mate can now speak for themselves, voicing their love for example of regular physical activity. The page already has over 1,800 followers.

Now trending on social networks

Tuesday saw the second of the three televised US presidential debates, and Mitt Romney came out with an unfortunate turn of phrase… it was in response to a question about pay equity for women: he talked about wanting more female cabinet candidates and how women’s groups had brought him quote “Binders full of women”. The Republican candidate’s inadvertently funny comment has sparked a flurry of sarcastic posts on social networks, spoof Twitter pages, photomontages and other cheeky jibes poking fun at Romney’s blunder…

The Airfood project

The Airfood project was set up by four NGOs to help convince the European Union to continue its food distribution programme for those in need. Members of the public are asked to film themselves eating invisible, imaginary food in a public place and then send in their videos, which will then be relayed on a site along with an e-petition appealing to the EU to continue providing food aid, the program helps feed 18 million people across Europe but may well be abandoned in 2014. 

Video of the day

In this half-time performance at an American football match, members of The Ohio State University Marching band cheer on their local team by paying tribute to some of the most popular video games of all time; the fantastic display of perfectly timed formations even sees the musicians playing the theme tunes of each game or hero they are bringing to life…

By Electron Libre

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