Tributes to victims of the Newtown shooting in the US continue to pour in online. American Muslims launch a campaign against Islamophobia. And Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei joins Facebook.
USA: tributes to Newtown shooting victims continue
Carry out 26 acts of kindness to honour the 26 victims who were shot and killed in the Newtown elementary school massacre last Friday. People from all over America are taking part in this campaign, intent on, as this web user says, fighting evil with kindness.
The movement was initiated by Ann Curry a journalist for the NBC television network, in a tweet urging her followers to complete 20 acts of kindness to honour the 20 children who lost their lives in the tragedy. The online campaign has since grown to “26 acts of kindness” to also pay tribute to the six teachers killed in the shooting.
The « 26 acts of kindness » Facebook page has over 11 000 members, with web users documenting their good deeds on social networks. Many have given presents, like candy, or even money, to complete strangers. This woman for example says she left a gift certificate on someone’s windscreen, along with a message, calling for a better world.
This web user says she bought Christmas presents for disadvantaged children; others have been getting involved in charitable causes. This blogger donated blood, and this man says he is going to take in a family left homeless by Hurricane Sandy. Other random acts of kindness include leaving an anonymous note somewhere, for someone else to find and pass on.
American Muslims launch campaign against Islamophobia
American Muslims have launched a vast public education campaign called “My Jihad” in a bid to challenge anti-Muslim sentiment in the states. The stated aim is to share the true meaning of the term which is too often used in Islamophobic contexts. The campaign is geared both towards Muslims and non-Muslims.
And of course the web is playing an important role in the campaign. The instigators of the movement have set up a Facebook page and a website to explain the reasons behind it and to encourage web users to get involved. They condemn the hateful comments posted online by Islamophobes and religious extremists that convey a highly negative image of the religion, they also want to clarify the true meaning of the word Jihad which they say involves putting up the good fight against the problems you face, without resorting to violence.
And because the activists behind the movement want to reach the widest audience possible, they are asking for online donations to help pay for posters which will be plastered on public transport in various cities across the United States. And it would seem the fundraising is going well; there are numerous photos circulating online showing ads on buses, like here in Chicago.
And if social networkers are unable to make a financial contribution, then they can get involved by describing their personal struggles under the hashtag “My Jihad”; and call for greater tolerance and understanding within society.
Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei joins Facebook
He recently joined Twitter and Instagram, and now Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has launched his official Facebook page. It may seem a somewhat surprising move given that these sites are actually blocked in Iran, where the authorities are developing a national Internet that will be heavily monitored and cut off from the rest of the world, as they regularly accuse the West of using the web to destabilize the regime.
Now trending on social networks
The highly popular photo sharing platform Instagram has been at the center of much debate after publishing new terms of service on Monday which appeared to say it would be selling users photos to others without any compensation. The decision has incurred the wrath of users of the service, many of whom are threatening to close down their accounts. In view of the backlash, Instagram decided to backtrack and posted a communiqué to its blog saying the new policy had been misconstrued, and it would not be selling members photos.
Video of the day
Zach Sobiech has a rare form of cancer and doctors say he has just a few months to live. But instead of letting the news crush him, the 17 year-old has recorded this song, recounting his fight against the disease. It’s incredibly moving and already has over 400,000 views on sharing sites.