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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 : 2013-01-07

Chinese journalists protest official censorship

Chinese journalists are protesting government censorship. "Baguetting" becomes the latest online craze. And an American theatre is encouraging the audience to tweet during performances.

Chinese journalists protest official censorship

Journalists at a leading weekly newspaper in China, Nanfang Zhoumo, or the Southern Weekly, which is known for its reformist views, are now openly challenging censorship. Editors from the magazine have posted an open letter online demanding the resignation of the provincial propaganda chief in Guangdong, in southern China, Tuo Zhen. They object to him changing an editorial headlined “China’s dream, the dream of constitutionalism” that called for political reform. The piece was replaced at the last minute by an article extolling the virtues of the ruling Communist Party, entitled “We are closer to our dream than ever before”.

Employees from the weekly took to social networks to denounce his actions, and relay the original editorial. An article that talks about how hopes had been raised in China following last November’s once in a decade leadership transition.

Many web users feel their hopes have been dashed, and have been voicing support for journalists in recent days, through photos posted online, or messages slamming the infringements on freedom of expression in China.

The row comes as the website of another reformist magazine was closed for publishing an article calling on China’s leaders to guarantee fundamental freedoms for its people. In addition, a number of journalists and activists have seen their micro blogs deactivated: one of them being cartoonist Kuang Biao, who uses satire to approach sensitive issues.

"Baguetting" is the latest Internet craze

Following on from "planking" which consisted of lying face down in an unusual location or unlikely scenario, and “milking” which involved pouting a carton of milk over your head, preferably in a busy place, and then acting as if nothing had happened, as bemused passersby look on, there’s now a new equally wacky craze emerging online: “baguetting”…

Invented by two American comics, Tim Bierbaum and John Milhiser, as its name suggests it involves posing for photos where everyday objects have been replaced by a French baguette. The idea has taken off and as we can see from this Tumblr blog entitled “Baguette me nots” other US celebrities including George Takei and Ellie Kemper are following suit.

The movement may have been started by well-known faces, but "baguetting" has become a new Internet craze, with countless web users from all over the world now joining in, trying to outdo one another in the absurdity stakes…

But whether this new trend will last remains to be seen, maybe it will meet the same fate as another viral phenomenon that took the web by a storm for a few weeks, before being quickly forgotten; “cat breading” this also involved bread. Another short lived photo fad that involved taking pictures of cats with slices of bread around the neck, like a fake mane.

Minnesota theater encourages audience to tweet from their seats

The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in the US is now offering “tweet seats” so Twitter addicts can use their mobile phone to comment on performances, as they happen. The seats are located in a balcony level section so as not to disrupt more traditional theatre goers. And of course this unusual initiative also means web users will be providing free advertising for the performances and the venue.

Simon Beck’s snow art

It’s not just the skiers checking out the snowfall at Les Arcs ski resort in French Alps. 54-year-old British artist Simon Beck uses snow to make short-lived giant patterns, perfect geometric designs. You can check out these finally crafted pieces on the artist’s Facebook page.

Video of the day

Angela Trimbur takes part in "flashmobs" which are slightly different in that she is the only participant. The young actress who lives in Los Angeles often films herself dancing in public places, like here at the City of Angels airport, as if no-one was watching and she was on her own dancing around the living room. It’s an original idea, and may well inspire other web users to do the same…

By Electron Libre

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