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Latest update : 2012-12-16

Egypt: online referendum campaigns are under way

Online debate between supporters and detractors of Egypt’s draft constitution. A Twitter round up of 2012. And a 10 year old school boy’s dancing skills set the web abuzz.

Egypt: online referendum campaigns are under way

Online campaigns are underway ahead of Egypt’s referendum on a controversial draft constitution. The Constituent Assembly, which is dominated by the country’s ruling Islamists who drafted the document, has posted a series of videos online urging Egyptian to cast their ballot and vote “yes”. Clips like this one which focus on particular articles in the document, explaining how for example they represent a step forward for workers’ rights in Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s « Freedom and Justice » party has posted these videos to its Facebook page, urging Egyptians living abroad, who have already begun the voting process to post photos holding their ballot slip bearing their “yes” vote, in the hope it will encourage voters in Egypt to do the same.

But the opposition has been equally active and set up a site called “No to the constitution” focusing on elements of the draft constitution that pose a problem. They say for example it leaves too much power in the hands of the president. The online campaign includes videos of Egyptians, presented as ordinary citizens, explaining why they will be voting “no” in the referendum.

And Mosireen, a group of film makers and citizen journalists has asked experts for their opinion on the most controversial articles in the document. In this video for example, a number of journalists express their concerns over the draft constitution which they feel does not provide sufficient guarantees for freedom of the press.

 

2012 on Twitter

2012 will soon be over, and Twitter has unveiled a roundup of the major events that got micro bloggers tweeting over the past twelve months.

The social network has compiled a ranking of this year’s top tweets. And in first position: American president Barack Obama announcing his re-election on November 6th. These three little words became the most retweeted ever, with over 810 000 web users reposting. In second place, a touching message from Canadian singer Justin Bieber, paying tribute to a little girl who died from cancer; the post was retweeted over 220 000 times. And the third most popular tweet of 2012 comes from American football player TJ Lang who took to Twitter after a match back in September to openly criticize the referees.

And as far as conversations are concerned, well, this year the lion’s share goes to sporting events. The London Olympic Games, the 2012 European Football Championship and also the American Superbowl, generated hundreds of millions of messages from fans the world over. No less than 150 million tweets were posted over the 16 days of competition in the British capital over the summer and over 13 million tweets during the final of the American football championships.

And there were also more serious topics hitting the Twitter headlines throughout 2012. The American Presidential election for example was mentioned in over 31 million posts on the social network on voting day alone. And hurricane Sandy which battered the east coast of the United States generated over 20 million tweets between October 27 and November 1.

 

Now trending on social networks

New York University student Josh Begley took it upon himself to document every drone strike the United States has ordered in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia over the past ten years on his Twitter account. The number of these air strikes carried as part of the US’s “War on terrorism” campaign has risen in recent years, and there have been many civilian casualties and deaths. Each drone strike tweet comes with a link to a press report on the attack in question. The aim of the initiative is to highlight the secrecy and lack of information surrounding these operations.

 

Explore the Earth at night with Google Maps

You can now explore the earth at night with Google Maps. The American giant has teamed up with several government agencies, including NASA, to produce this nighttime version of its mapping service. The stunning images of the earth, partially plunged into darkness were captured by a highly sensitive infrared satellite… technology that detects any source of light, from city lights to forest fires; even the beams of small fishing boats can be pinpointed.

 

Video of the day

10 year old Christian Bottger has become the latest online sensation in the US with this online video of him dancing during the half time show at an American football match in Tampa Bay, Florida, on Sunday. He joined the local team’s cheerleading squad to pull off this electric performance which has set the web abuzz and racked up over 630 000 hits on YouTube in less than a week...

By Electron Libre

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