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Latest update : 2013-04-16

Anonymous stands up for Gabonese victims of ritual crimes

Hacker group Anonymous launches an online campaign against ritual crimes in Gabon. A Facebook page details the life of a French soldier during World War I. And a YouTube video helps a Norwegian man become a professional American football player.

Anonymous stands for Gabonese victims of ritual crimes

A peaceful march in protest of ritual crimes in Gabon was due to be staged in Libreville on Saturday, but was banned by the authorities, and so hacker group Anonymous has decided to join the people in their fight against ritual crimes and a recent rise in incidents. Local organizations say some twenty people have been murdered since the start of the year, with children the most vulnerable; their organs are extremely sought after in certain African countries for their supposed supernatural powers.

So branches of the Anonymous group have launched Operation Gabon to raise international awareness of the current situation and urge the government to take immediate action to tackle the problem. Most of the campaigning is taking place on social networks where web users are being encouraged to post under the hashtags #OpGabon ou #SOSGabon, to denounce these horrific crimes and demand justice for the victims.

The hacker group has produced an online video to promote the operation. Available on sharing sites, it features disturbing content, and sees Anonymous condemning the silence of the international community, and slamming the Gabonese authorities for turning a blind eye to this alarming phenomenon.

And Anonymous is not alone in the online campaigning against ritual crimes. Two petitions have been started on the sites Avaaz.org and Change.org and have gathered thousands of signatures, with web users demanding the authorities take urgent steps to put an end to the problem.

If Facebook had existed during WWI

Advertising agency DDB and the Museum of the Great War in Meaux, France, have come up with a novel way of teaching web users about the First World War: they’ve imagined that Facebook existed back in 1914, and have been publishing posts from a French soldier recounting his experiences on the front line.

So they set up a fictitious profile for Léon Vivien, a 29 year old teacher who was born in 1885 and enlisted in the French army on the 5th November 1914 to go off to fight the German troops. As the made up character updates his Facebook page we get to see the war through the eyes of a soldier and often in the greatest of detail; in addition to his daily posts he also shares photos and newspaper headlines, which give us an idea of the general feeling in the country at the time.

The comments posted by the fake soldier have been based on historical documentation, he refers to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, for example, an event that lead to the declaration of war, triggering World War One. He also posts photos of his comrades, in training and on the battlefield.

It is extremely realistic, and also shows exchanges between Léon and his wife Madeleine who posts messages saying how worried she is to see her husband going off to war, or expressing concern for his state of mind as he complains about the overcrowded conditions with fellow soldiers, she also comments on the general appearance of troops who will wear anything to protect them from the harsh winter cold.

The Facebook page is geared towards young people and history enthusiasts and as the Huffington Post writes, won’t cover the entire war. The people behind the project feel by covering a short period in history they can be more comprehensive and detailed: so Léon’s last status update will be posted on the 17th May.

Fully clothed superheroines illustrations

Artist Michael Lunsford has grown weary of always seeing female superheroes wearing tight fitting, sexy get ups and so he has come up with some more modest suggestions for some of the most famous comic book superheroines. You can see his work on his Tumblr blog which shows these femmes fatales in costumes that are no doubt much more practical for taking on villains.

Zoo portraits

Spanish photographer Yago Partal is working on a particularly novel project because he has been producing these pics of all sorts of animals in human attire and posing as if in a photo booth. Pretty exceptional stuff, and very entertaining; you can check out the series on the site Zooportraits.com.

Video of the day

When Norwegian American football enthusiast Havard Rugland made a video showcasing his amazing tricks and long distance shots and posted it to YouTube, he couldn’t even have imagined the impact it would have. The video went viral and caught the attention of a number of NFL teams, including the Detroit Lions. He has since had a try out and has just signed a three year contract.

By Electron Libre

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