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Latest update : 2013-03-27

Tunisian bloggers refuse IMF loan

Bloggers in Tunisia express opposition to a potential IMF loan. Spanish web users criticize YouTube’s decision to remove bullfighting videos. And Twitter celebrates its 7th birthday.

Tunisian bloggers refuse IMF loan

With the economy still struggling two years on from the uprising, Tunisia is working on securing a 1.78 billion dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund. It’s not something bloggers from the site Nawaat appear overly enthusiastic about, and they have posted this video online to condemn the aid package. They think this additional debt will have significant economic and social repercussions, with a potential increase in VAT and the withdrawal of subsidies for basic products.

Blogger Mariem Ben Abid says these reforms will have a dramatic impact on the standard of living in Tunisia. She recommends other solutions to bring the country out of crisis, without having to borrow more money. Some of her proposed measures include tighter corruption and tax evasion controls, and also an audit of the debts incurred under the Ben Ali regime.

The aim is to protect the people of Tunisia from ramifications that are already being felt. Over the past few weeks consumer associations have been talking about the rampant inflation in the country. And last week taxi drivers went on strike to protest against the government’s recent price hike on fuel, a move that has been met with widespread criticism in Tunisia with many saying it was implemented under pressure from the IMF.

YouTube bans bloody bullfighting videos

Video sharing site YouTube is at the center of lively debate online following last week’s decision to delete a number of channels devoted to bullfighting. The web giant has justified the move saying these videos violate their terms of service, as they show animal abuse, but the decision has been met with a fierce backlash from a lot of web users.

And strongest criticism is coming from Spain, where bullfighting is an iconic tradition. Citizens have flooded Twitter with hundreds of messages, social networkers have been posting under the hashtag “si a los toros”, meaning “yes to bulls” : they say YouTube is censoring their culture and urge others to boycott the video sharing platform until it revokes the decision.

A petition has even been started: addressed to YouTube’s management, it demands the deleted channels be restored; starting with the channel run by Pablo Lopez Riobo, which was one of the most popular bullfighting channels on the sharing site. In just a few days, the document has already drawn over 4 000 signatures.

And web users from all over the world have also joined the movement. This Ecuadorian man says bullfighting is an ancestral art, part of local culture, that it should be celebrated and preserved, and not as YouTube is trying to do, be censored. 

Now trending on social networks

As his brother George awaits trial for a racially motivated murder that shocked America, Robert Zimmerman has sparked an outcry by posting this photomontage to Twitter. It compares Trayvon Martin, the teen his brother shot dead, to another young black American who was charged with the fatal shooting of a one-year-old baby last week. Countless web users have taken to social networks to express their disgust, saying it dishonors the memory of the young man who was killed by his brother.

Twitter celebrates its seventh birthday

Twitter has now been around for seven years, and over this time has become a key player in the social media world, with 200 million active users generating some 400 million tweets per day. Countless celebrities use it as a tool to interact with fans, but it’s also a means of commenting on major events in real time; as was the case for the Arab Spring uprisings or for the tsunami in Japan in 2011. 

Video of the day

Italian artist Giuseppe Acito has formed a group of robot musicians using children’s toys and electronic instruments. The project’s called "Toa Mata Band" and you can check out the pretty impressive sounds on all good video sharing platforms.

By Electron Libre

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