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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.



Latest update : 2013-09-08

The plight of Syrian refugees in Egypt

Today on the net, activists highlight the plight of Syrian refugees in Egypt; a disgruntled customer buys a promoted tweet to complain about British Airways; and a short film exploring the detrimental impact of smartphones…

The plight of Syrian refugees in Egypt

Ahmad and his family fled the war in Syria and sought refuge in Egypt. In this YouTube video the little boy explains how Egyptian security forces came to where they were living, and arrested his father, who he has not seen or heard of since. Human rights activists have used Ahmad’s account to produce this video condemning the recent arrests of asylum seekers, and more generally speaking, the discrimination against Syrian refugees in Egypt.

According to estimations released by the authorities in Cairo, there are some 300,000 Syrian refugees in the country and the United Nations Refugee Agency has registered 110 000 of them. The UN agency has also voiced concerns over growing anti-Syria sentiment across Egypt.

As the NGO Human Rights Watch explains, Egyptians accused Syrian refugees of taking the Muslim Brotherhood’s side in the conflict with the army. And since the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi, it would seem Syrian nationals are no longer welcome in Egypt and now need to obtain a visa before entering Egyptian territory. 20
Activists from the Aazer organization have started an online petition calling upon Cairo to put a stop to the harassment of Syrian refugees in Egypt. The document has been signed by around 2,000 web users so far.

Now trending on social networks

Egyptians have been expression their frustration and boredom during the imposed nighttime curfew under the hashtag “discoveries of the curfew”. To kill time, one web user counted the number of lemon and cucumbers he could fit in his refrigerator, another has been timing how long his kettle takes to boil… it’s one way of calling, with more than a hint of irony, for an end to the nighttime curfew in place in over half the country since a state of emergency was declared on August 14.


Customer buys promoted tweet to complain about British Airways

In this age of social media, it’s not uncommon for unhappy airline passengers to take to the web to vent frustrations. But businessman Hasan Syed has taken things to a whole new level. On Monday he bought a promoted tweet, so a paid-for tweet which is given high prominence in the Twitter feed of the relevant company and used it to complain about his father’s lost luggage and the way British Airways was handling the issue.

And so for the sum of 1 000 dollars, he sent a series of messages to all of the airlines’ Twitter followers, criticizing the British company’s customer service, the loss of luggage and lack of response, and also advising people to boycott British airways.

An interesting initiative that has struck a chord with and been hailed by countless web users, who began sharing their stories of bad experiences with British Airways. In view of the mounting pressure, the airline finally contacted Hasan Syed via the social network before delivering the lost luggage.

An online campaign against an airline which is reminiscent of another campaign back in 2009 ran by a disgruntled United Airlines customer. He wrote a song about how they broke his guitar. The track enjoyed massive success online at the time and the company went on to apologize to the musician and offer compensation.


Cats as superheroes

In these illustrations, available to view on her website, American artist Jenny Parks has imagined cats as some of the most famous comic book heroes ever: Captain America, Iron Man, Spiderman … this collection will be a sure fire hit with cat-lovers and comic book enthusiasts everywhere…


Video of the day

This video entitled « I Forgot my phone » has racked up close to 20 million views since it was posted online last month. The short film was written by actress Charlene de Guzman and depicts a young woman who’s surrounded by smart phone addicts, to highlight the detrimental effects of cell phones on human interaction.

By Electron Libre



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