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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 : 2012-12-11

Puerto Rico murder sparks online campaign seeking peace

Puerto Ricans campaign against escalating violent crime across the island. Also, an American web user tries to get hired via a Facebook campaign. And Iran launches its own version of the video-sharing platform YouTube.

Puerto Rico murder sparks online campaign seeking peace

For many in Puerto Rico, it was one murder too many. 34-year-old publicist José Enrique Gomez was killed last week when a mugging took a gruesome turn. According to reports from local media, the robbers forced him to withdraw money from an ATM machine before burning him alive.

The horrific murder has shocked the island’s inhabitants, who soon took to social networks to pay their respects to the victim. Over the past few days, numerous Puerto Ricans, including well known faces like the singer Ricky Martin, have uploaded photos in which they are holding a sign reading “We are all José Enrique”, to condemn the crime, express solidarity with his family, and demand the perpetrators be harshly punished by the authorities.

The killing has also sparked a campaign promoting peace in Puerto Rico. Crime, which is largely drug trafficking-related, has been steadily growing in recent years. Rallies and marches have been coordinated via social media platforms, both on the island and across the globe, to denounce this climate of insecurity.

But could online campaigning help bring down homicide rates in Puerto Rico? Well, the authorities seem to think so. The government has recently set up a number of Twitter accounts for prisoners, some of them guilty of murder, to relate their day to day life in prison, in the hope it will discourage young people from following the same path.

USA: man tries to become Applebee’s spokesman over Facebook

It started out as a joke, but it could well turn out to be a great career opportunity for Kevin Matuszak. It all began two weeks ago when the 25-year-old American, who lives in Philadelphia, posted a comment on the Facebook page of restaurant chain Applebee’s asking for a job. An unusual approach; but the company did respond, also via the social network, suggesting he check to see if a local branch was hiring. But Matuszak wasn’t over satisfied with this somewhat curt reply and so he decided to make it his mission to get Applebee’s to hire him…

And so he started posting comments on the restaurant chain’s Facebook page every day, to demonstrate how he would be an excellent spokesman for the company. Numerous social networkers are supporting him in his bid, and have been campaigning on his behalf under the hashtag “#HireKevin”.

He’s now more determined than ever to get the job, and has stepped up his online campaigning. He has posted this video to YouTube for example, featuring him running through the streets of Philadelphia asking passersby for their backing.

But in this interview for the Huffington Post, Matuszak explains that his efforts have yet to pay off, despite the company saying it has been closely following his social network activity. Yes, in the meantime, his campaigning is proving to be great and free marketing for the restaurant chain.

Iran launches its own YouTube-like website

Iran has launched its own video sharing platform in its latest effort to provide government-sanctioned Internet services, independent from the rest of the world. Dubbed “Mehr” which means “affection “in Farsi, this new site hopes to promote Iranian culture online and also compete with the American YouTube, which has been blocked by the Mullah regime. Iran has in fact restricted access to numerous foreign sites and accuses the West, amongst other things, of using the Internet to destabilize the country.

Now trending on social networks

New York based company Pontiflex has been given an unbelievable advertising boost, free of charge, and seen its number of Twitter followers rise dramatically, and it’s all thanks to the Pope, who joined the social network last week with his own personal official account called @Pontifex. Countless web users looking to follow Benedict XVI’s thread inadvertently found themselves on the page belonging to the American startup which specializes in mobile phone advertising. The company thinks the mix-up is highly amusing but has reminded web users they won’t be finding any Vatican news on their account.

Video of the day

The transport authorities in Melbourne, Australia, recently hit the online headlines with a viral video and song warning of the dangers of metro and rail travel and all the “dumb ways to die”. The campaign has enjoyed great success online and inspired the person behind this clip to make a parody of the original depicting all the dumb ways video games characters can die … it’s great fun and will no doubt be a hit with video games enthusiasts everywhere…

By Electron Libre

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