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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 : 2013-09-16

Massive online support for French jeweller who shot robber

Today on the net: online support for a jeweller from Nice in France who shot and killed a robber, a British anti-begging campaign that has sparked lively debate; and a video showing a woman age decades in just a few minutes.

Massive online support for French jeweller who shot robber

Stephan Turk, the jeweller from Nice in France who shot dead a robber as he fled his shop last Wednesday has been charged with voluntary manslaughter. But there has been massive support for him online. A support group set up on Facebook has drawn over 1,4 million “likes”.

Indeed, a great many web users have visited the page to show the shopkeeper their support, saying he acted in legitimate self-defense. In fact many have hailed his actions: they have had enough of insecurity and delinquency and accuse the French government of having a lax attitude towards these issues.

The unprecedented level of support has prompted investigations as to where the Facebook “likes” have actually come from. Basing their comments on statistical analyses site “Social Bakers”, Twitter users are pointing out that over 80 % of the Facebook group’s “likes” are actually from abroad.

So has someone purchased these clicks to artificially inflate the page’s popularity? Guillaume Fouetillou, a lecturer at the Paris Institute of political studies thinks this scenario is highly unlikely given the amount of money involved. He estimates the price of 950,000 fake Facebook “likes” at around 15,000 dollars.

But online commentators are saying this may be a large sum of money for your average web user, but not necessarily for a political party, and are suggesting this online campaign has been orchestrated by the right or extreme right. 

British anti-begging campaign sparks controversy

An anti-begging campaign launched last week by Exeter City Council, in southern England has drawn strong criticism from web users across the UK. The campaign poster advises against giving money to people begging on the streets, claiming they will only go and spend it on drugs … many have taken to social networks to condemn the campaign and the message it conveys…

They say the campaign is offensive and full of prejudice against beggars and the homeless. This web user for example has started a petition calling on the city of Exeter to rethink its stance. He says stigmatizing people living on the streets will only isolate them further from the rest of society.

Exeter City Council has responded to this wave of criticism, publishing a statement on the campaign’s Facebook page, defending the initiative saying a recent street needs audit showed 70 % of people begging on the street were in accommodation and were not sleeping rough; they were begging to feed an addiction. The council has also shared a link directing web users to another web page which features, amongst other things, a list of registered charities for the homeless. If web users want to help the homeless then the council recommends making a financial donation to one of these organizations.

Topsy, a search engine for tweets

With Topsy.com’s new search engine, you can sift through the billions of messages posted on Twitter since its inception, and read the first ever tweet written by its founder Jack Dorsey in 2006… Twitter’s own search system is somewhat limited, but this Californian start-up which specializes in data analysis for social networks, has indexed every single tweet posted on the famous micro blogging site. 

A three-legged cat wearing tiny paper hats

This is Maxwell, a three-legged cat who has become something of a sensation on Instagram, thanks to the cute little hats he wears in the numerous photos shared online by his owner Adam Ellis. Yes, web users can’t get enough of this homemade headgear for kitties.

Video of the day

Watch a woman age decades in just a few minutes, from a young girl to an old woman… This video, entitled Danielle, was produced by Anthony Cerniello, based on one of his friends, using photographs of her and cousins and other relatives with similar features. The end result is amazing and you can check out the video in its entirety on all good video sharing platforms.

By Electron Libre

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