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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 : 2012-10-31

USA: Hurricane Sandy spawns fake photos

Fake photos of Hurricane Sandy are circulating online. American activists look to create a global resistance movement against debt repayment. And two British Olympic medallists are in need of web users' help!

USA: Hurricane Sandy spawns fake photos

Flooded roads, uprooted trees, and mass power outages… social networks have become inundated with photos uploaded by American web users, bearing witness to the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy. But some of these shots are actually fakes and have nothing to do with the violent storm that hit the United States east coast.

This staggering photo of the Statue of Liberty, which has been widely shared on Facebook, is in fact the result of some nifty photo editing. It was produced from a photo taken in Nebraska back in 2004 by professional photographer Mike Hollingshead.

This pic is supposed to show soldiers from the National Guard braving hurricane Sandy at the military cemetery in Arlington. The photo has not been tampered with but was actually taken last month in very heavy rain.

The title of this photo says it is a fast food restaurant in Virginia, flooded due to Hurricane Sandy … in reality it’s a still from a film made for an art installation back in 2009.

And finally, this image was posted online by a female blogger who claims it shows a shark roaming the flooded streets of Ocean City. It is again, a hoax, and no more real than it was last year when it was posted online following Hurricane Irene.

Countless web users have been fooled by the false testimonials circulating online, and for media outlets, like the Wall Street Journal for example, this only re-emphasizes the dangers of misinformation on the Internet, and the importance of verifying the authenticity of images before sharing them online. 

A global resistance movement against debt repayment

The "Strike Debt" campaign is an Occupy Wall Street offshoot and aims to build a movement to resist and transform the debt-system.

The group, which has adopted the slogan “We are not a loan”, is targeting global financial institutions which it says are responsible for the current economic crisis. In this communiqué which has been widely relayed online, the people behind the “Strike Debt” campaign say that most of the debt that burdens Americans is illegitimate and should be wiped out. They are urging fellow citizens to not pay off their debts and hope the movement gains international momentum.

And proof that the operation has been meticulously planned, there’s even a Debt Resistors Operation Manual available on the website. It’s about 100 pages long and packed with advice, how to negotiate your credit card debt for example and all sorts of information like the risks you run by not paying off your student loan…

Various symbolic actions have already been organized by members of the movement. As we can see in this online video, in September a group of New Yorkers gathered in public to burn their debts.

And to remind all those with debt problems that they are not alone, the “Strike Debt” movement has announced it will be launching the “Rolling Jubilee” project on November 15. The idea is for people who are not indebted to legally buy up the personal debts of those who are collapsing under their repayments; the main aim of the initiative being to create bonds of solidarity between citizens regardless of their financial situation.

Now trending on social networks

Two British Olympians had their bronze medals stolen from their overcoats last week as they attended a London nightclub. And so they took to social networks, asking anyone with any information to come forward. The athletes also posted a photo of the suspected thief on Twitter asking him to give back the medals they won at the London Olympic Games. Two days later field hockey player Hannah Macleod received an anonymous package in the post containing her medal. Rower Alex Partridge meanwhile has yet to be reunited with his.

Ghosts of War

History enthusiast and artist Jo Teeuwisse, from Holland, has superimposed photos taken across Europe during the Second World War on to new photos she took in the exact same spot. The collection is called “Ghosts of war” and is available to view on sharing site Flickr, amongst others. It’s a bridge between the past and present and a novel way of linking the two eras. 

Video of the day

In this video an artist paints the bodies of a group of women who are then fitted together like a puzzle to take on the form of a motorcycle. It’s for a promotional video for an international motorbike show and the end results are particularly impressive.

By Electron Libre

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