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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 : 2013-02-07

China: microblog dedicated to Xi Jinping stirs online controversy

Intrigue surrounding a micro blog devoted to Chinese leader Xi Jinping; Iran celebrates sending a monkey into space, amid strong suspicions it was a hoax. And an animated map showing real time Twitter data.

China: microblog dedicated to Xi Jinping stirs online controversy

So who is behind the Xi Jinping fan club on social networks? When the micro blog started posting live updates of the future president of China’s visit to the rural province of Gansu in the north west of the country, web users started asking that very question. It publishes exclusive information, always ahead of official media, and is often illustrated with photos which appear to have been taken with a mobile phone.

For many web users, all the evidence suggests that the account is being operated by someone close to the Chinese leader. Ever since the micro blog was created back in November, so shortly after Xi Jinping’s appointment as head of state, it has published several photos of the communist party leader in his youth, alongside his family, or documenting his political rise. Extremely rare pictures for China where the private lives of highly placed officials are generally regarded as state secrets.

The anonymous web user who started the online « fan club » however claims he is just a simple admirer of the future president and is not working for any government structure.

But the majority of web users don’t seem convinced. Many think the micro blog which now has over 300,000 followers, is part of a propaganda operation orchestrated by Xi Jinping’s entourage, with a view to painting a picture of an accessible leader, close to the people, before he officially takes office in March.

 

Was Iran’s space monkey a hoax?

The Iranian government made great headlines last week after announcing it had taken another step forward in space exploration, by sending its first monkey into space, and according to the authorities, bringing it back to earth, safe and sound, on January 28th. But web users have been challenging these claims, suspecting a hoax.

A number of bloggers and social networkers have been pointing out physical differences between the monkey apparently sent into space and the animal the authorities have been showing to the cameras on its triumphant return. Conspiracy theorists are saying in the first official pictures, taken before the trip, the monkey has light fur and a distinctive red mole over its right eye, yet in the pictures supposedly taken upon its return, the monkey has darker fur and no red mole. They say this is proof enough that the mission did not go quite as well as the authorities say it did.

 

And although Tehran has been quick to deny these allegations, there has been widespread commentary from Iranian web users, containing more than a hint of sarcasm and irony. This post for example hails the authorities for not only sending a monkey into space, but also for paying for it to have plastic surgery.

 

Now trending on social networks

Last week, Jenessa Simons, who was adopted at birth, decided to track down her biological parents. And so the 21 year old American posted this photo to Facebook, in which she is holding a sign with some personal details. The shot was widely shared on the social network, and three days later Jenessa was contacted by a woman that she believes is her birth mother. The success story has inspired other web users to follow suit, and also look for their biological parents via Facebook.

 

Tweetping shows real time Twitter data on animated map

Tweetping.net displays tweets as they are posted in real time across the world, so you can visualize where the thousands of messages posted every second are actually coming from, and thus find out which parts of the globe have the most active micro blogging communities for example, or the most popular current key words for each continent.

 

Video of the day

Web users are already well familiar with Chad Neidt and his under-a-minute mashups. Well he’s back with a new video in which he takes on 17 Red Hot Chili Pepper tracks and again, he does it in 60 seconds or less. It’s a lot of fun and will no doubt be a great hit with fans of the Californian rock band.

By Electron Libre

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