Today on the net, reports of the anti-government protests in Thailand. Cyber activists in Tunisia fear a return of web censorship. And Google is looking to get more Indian women online.
Anti-government protests in Thailand
After days of mass demonstrations in Thailand, anti-government protesters remain undeterred and have stormed several official buildings in Bangkok. As we can see in these images shared on Twitter, hundreds of opposition protesters besieged the Finance Ministry, literally taking it over.
The movement is receiving widespread coverage on social networks. Several Facebook groups, with tens of thousands of members, are up and running and full of posts from protesters, either voicing their desire to see Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra removed from office, or to coordinate activities and relay instructions from leaders of the opposition movement.
Protests erupted last month in reaction to a bill that would have granted amnesty to exiled Thaksin Shinawatra, the current head of state’s brother, who was found guilty of corruption in 2008. Over 600,000 web users signed this e-petition challenging the bill which has since been put on hold.
But some web users, like Terence Chulavachana have criticized the tactics employed by the opposition. Posting on Twitter, the activist says occupying government buildings could well lead to fresh outbreaks of political violence in Thailand.
Others are worried about intimidation of the press. German reporter Nick Nostitz for example was accused of being a “red shirt” supporter, so loyal to the Shinawatra family; he received threats via social networks and was attacked by protesters on Monday.
Tunisia: new telecom agency raises censorship concerns
Cyber activists in Tunisia fear they are about to see a return of web surveillance in the country after the government announced the creation by decree of a new telecom agency, the ATT, tasked, they say, with combatting cybercrime.
But activists are worried it will just turn out to be another tool used by the authorities to repress any opposition and to monitor and censor Tunisian web users. Campaigning is already underway on social networks, under the hashtag #StopATT, with netizens sharing extracts from the decree for the creation of this new agency which they say threatens Tunisia’s already fragile freedom of expression.
Hacker group Anonymous has voiced similar sentiments and has released this YouTube video, issuing a warning to the Tunisian government and demanding the ATT plans be abandoned.
Certain bloggers meanwhile, like the cartoonist Z, are foreseeing the return of Ammar 404, this fictional character invented by Tunisians to represent, with a touch of humour, the authority responsible for Internet censorship during the Ben Ali era. Tunisian web users had great contempt for the web filtering and telecommunication surveillance systems in place under the former regime and will be remaining very vigilant.
Google looking to help Indian women get online
Just one third of web users in India are women. But Google has launched a campaign to help get more Indian women online, an initiative that will involve setting up easy Internet access points across the country. There is also a dedicated website aimed at showing women how the Internet can facilitate their day to day lives, with recipe blogs for example. The platform also provides information and instructions on how to use a computer and how to browse the web. The overall aim it to bring 50 million Indian women online by 2015.
Now trending on social networks
@WeFoughtAbout" is a Twitter thread run by American couple Claire Meyer and Alan Linic. They use it to catalogue all the issues they argue over. Differences of opinion, fits of jealousy, childish jokes… the posts are often pretty funny and they now have over 20 000 followers … but despite all these little quarrels, the couple do confirm they are happier than ever before!
Video of the day
This video was put together by Selena Miles, who got a group of professional street artists and left them in an abandoned warehouse with a whole lot of paint…. And here we see the four artists covering the huge building, in Brisbane, Australia, with their artworks. The video, which showcases their immense talent and creativity, has racked up 3 million hits in just five days…