Today on the net: Kenyan web users want answers over the Westgate terror attack; California’s "eraser law" met with strong criticism; and « Breaking Bad » fans can buy props from the show online.
Kenyans crowdsource their doubt over terror attack
The people of Kenya now want answers over the Westgate mall terror attack in Nairobi, claimed by Somali militant group Al Shabaab. Information released by the authorities over the past few days has often been contradictory, so web users across Kenya are formulating their queries via social networks, demanding answers from the government and seeking to clarify fundamental aspects of the ordeal.
Citizens submitted their questions to this online document, which has been doing the rounds online. The questions were debated and 85 were selected, seeking answers on the death toll, the fate of the hostages, the attackers’ identity – were some of them foreign nationals? And also how did the security forces’ ‘major assault’ actually play out?
And whilst some are wondering if any of the terrorists escaped, or perhaps had inside help, others want to know if the tragedy could have been avoided. A number of web users are pointing the finger at intelligence agencies that were unable to prevent or foresee this attack which appears to have been well orchestrated and carefully planned.
The questions have yet to be answered. The Interior Minister and the police have taken to Twitter asking the people of Kenya to be patient, remain calm, and wait for the outcome of the enquiry – something which could take weeks, even months…
California’s "eraser law" criticized online
The SB-568 law will allow under-18s in California to delete any embarrassing photos or comments from their social network accounts. Dubbed the “eraser law”, the bill was signed by the governor of the US State, Jerry Brown at the beginning of the week and will go into effect on the 1st January 2015, to give websites enough time to make provision for the new legislation. The move has sparked lively debate among American web users.
Some, like James Steyer, founder of NGO Common Sense Media, think it’s a great idea. He says here the law is definitely needed as teenagers often post content that could come back to haunt them and do not understand the potential consequences of some of their comments or pictures. A great many others however think the law poses a number of problems.
Journalist Ashley Feinberg from the site Gizmodo says it will be difficult to enforce the legislation because it will only apply to sites with servers based in California, all those hosted abroad or even in another US state will be exempt from this legislation.
Camille Dodero expresses a similar viewpoint in her column on Gawker.com. She says the law won’t work because it doesn’t apply to information that’s copied or shared by a third party or posted on somebody else’s social network page.
The author of this article for the online edition of Forbes magazine, says the law hasn’t been thought through and there are too many obstacles. He says the new online eraser law should quite simply “be erased”.
"Breaking Bad" props auctioned on the Internet
The final episode of "Breaking Bad" will air on Sunday in the US, and to mark the end of its run, producers will be auctioning off props from the show which tells the story of a chemistry teacher turned drug lord. So fans, who have been kept on the edge of their seats over the past five years, can visit the site “screenbid” and try and get their hands on a souvenir of the show. Items up for bids include costumes, furniture and also cars…
Now trending on social networks
This family photo session could have gone horribly wrong. But luckily the American family was in for nothing more than a fright when the mum accidentally launched their six month old baby into the air as they took photos on the beach during their vacation. The moment was caught on camera by the photographer, and the baby’s father Steve Cramer, who found the pic hilarious, posted it to community site Reddit last week. It has since tallied more than two million views. And of course the failed family photo has inspired countless parodies.
Video of the day
If you’re a man lacking in the hair department, then this stop-motion video by Peter Simon may be of interest… he has invented a magic pen to draw facial hair and a head of hair on his friend Tom… it’s extremely well put together, very realistic and available to view on all good video sharing platforms…