In Syria, net users provide eyewitness accounts of the fatal explosions at Aleppo University. An Armenian blogger is on trial locally for making fun of a politician. And Wikipedia launches a crowdsourced travel guide.
Online witness accounts and videos of Aleppo University bombing
On Tuesday the University of Aleppo, a city in North West Syria was the stage of a double explosion of rare violence. A dramatic event witnessed live my many students, who quickly posted online videos filmed with their telephones attesting to the horror they had experienced.
In this amateur video, filmed just a few seconds after the first detonation and when some of the students had evacuated the buildings and gathered in the courtyard, the second explosion was recorded by accident. A deafening explosion which, as we can see here, led to panic in the crowd.
Several videos illustrate the damage caused on campus but this double explosion was also diffused on share sites. Videos showing in particular buildings torn apart, corridors littered with debris and smashed windows, as well as students doing their best to transport those requiring urgent medical assistance…
Dozens have been left dead and injured and tributes are flooding in to victims on social networks from people like Amal Hanano, a Syrian-American living in Aleppo. Since Tuesday he has been publishing photos on Twitter of some of those who lost their lives in the deadly explosions.
And although the web is now in contemplation, more and more net users are directly accusing the Damascus regime for being responsible for the carnage. Accusations tempered by this activist, who feels that although the regular army are clearly behind this attack, it must have been a tragic mistake as this part of the city is controlled by men faithful to Bachar al-Assad.
Armenian blogger on trial for satire photo of politician
Edgar Barseghyan, creator of the Armenian satirical site, ‘Demotivator.am’ is currently facing trial in his country for last October’s online publication of this retouched photo of the MP and spokesperson of the ‘Prosperous Armenia’ party, Tigran Urikhanyan. A mocking image on which the MPs face has been superimposed on the body of a scantily dressed model, but which is far from having amused the main party involved, who has decided to press charges for slander.
And as explained by Barseghyan on his Facebook account, the MP also went further because as well as suing him to ensure the photo at the centre of the scandal is deleted, Tigran Urikhanyan is also demanding a public apology from the blogger and the sum of one million Armenian Drams: approximately, two thousand Euros, in compensation for the damage he claims to have suffered.
A shocking situation denounced by local net users who are rallying in support of Edgar Barseghyan. Several bloggers have published messages online criticising the MP but also expressing their fear concerning freedom of expression in the country, such as the author of this post who explains that if the MP wins his trial, almost ninety percent of web users will be potentially liable to legal proceedings in Armenia.
Arguments that don’t seem to have softened the stand of Tigran Urikhanyan. In a report written on his Facebook page, expressing his point of view in the case, the MP recalls that this retouched photo is in his opinion far from harmless and that on the contrary it has a precise aim: to undermine him on the political stage.
Wikipedia launches crowdsourced online travel guide
A tour guide based on the Wikipedia model. This is the scheme just launched by the bosses of the famous crowdsourced encyclopaedia. On Wikivoyage, all the articles will be written by volunteer contributors. Monuments to visit, the most practical methods of transport or restaurants not to be missed… This new breed of guide plans to be as complete as possible, but must remain vigilant faced with sabotage and marketing ploys which are very frequent on travel sites.
Now trending on social networks
#Kaepernicking is the name of the latest trend to grip the US web after San Francisco Forty niners American footballer, Colin Kaepernick, kissed his bicep this weekend, to celebrate the touchdown he just scored. A gesture which was quickly imitated by fans who struck the same pose in photos diffused online. Online enthusiasm which seems to have delighted the athlete, who has promised to give a t-shirt to the net user with the most original photo.
Video of the day
Jason Shron has always loved taking the train, to such an extent that the Canadian has constructed a life-size train carriage in his cellar. A childhood dream which came true when he obtained spare parts from an old train which was about to be scrapped. The endeavour took four and a half years and is presented by the railway fan in this video currently online.