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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 : 2013-12-03

Ukraine protests driven by social media

Today on the net: how the pro-Europe protests in Ukraine are driven by social media; a campaign tackling violence against women in the Arab world; and a mini-documentary about record-breaking record breaker Ashrita Furman.

Ukraine protests driven by social media

The first calls to protest in Ukraine were relayed on social media following the government’s refusal to sign an agreement with the European Union. The street protests continue and activists are making great use of the web to coordinate actions.

This Facebook page which boasts over 110 000 members serves as a virtual headquarters for the movement. Meeting points and instructions are posted here on a daily basis, along with the addresses of shops and businesses offering protesters something to eat and somewhere to warm up before heading back out into the cold.

And with people from all over the country coming to Kiev to join the pro-Europe movement, residents of the capital are using this Facebook page to find the protesters a place to stay.

And social media platforms also bear witness to the scale of the mobilization and the protest actions undertaken. Demonstrators have decorated the Christmas tree in Independence Square for example, covering it in yellow and blue, the colours of the Ukraine and European Union flags.

Campaign tackling violence against women in the Arab world

A women’s rights activist group from the Arab world launched the "Do You Know?" campaign on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The online campaign targets all forms of violence: from physical to sexual to discrimination in the work place, problems the activists say are fueled by the laws in force in this part of the world.

The collective has reviewed legislation in place in different Arab countries, from Jordan to Mauritania, to produce infographics that teach us for example, that under Yemeni law, women are considered to be their husband’s private property, that Egypt’s penal code authorizes men to “discipline” their wives, or that Sudanese women wearing clothing deemed to be in violation of “public decency” will be punished with 40 lashes.

The campaign is being promoted via social media platforms, with web users sharing information about legislation in place in their country. Others are showing their support through photos, like this Syrian man for example who is holding a sign to say he thinks beating a women is a sign of weakness and not of manliness.

The UN agency UN Women has posted a series of video online denouncing forced marriages and domestic violence, claiming 7 out of 10 women have already been subjected to some form of violence. 

Google Street View expands to airports and train stations

Madrid-Barajas airport, Tokyo International airport, London’s Waterloo station … Google Street View has expanded its navigation service to fifteen or so airports and around 60 train stations around the world, to help travelers plan all aspects of their trip ahead of time as some of these transit spots are notoriously easy to get lost in… 

Now trending on social networks

American web user Lindsey Fisher started the "Glasses for Noah" Facebook page when her son Noah refused to wear his glasses. The aim was to get friends and family to post photos of them wearing a pair of specs, to show the four year old that wearing them really wasn’t a big deal. But the page was soon full of scores of pics posted by complete strangers, keen to show Noah that anyone can have problems with their eye sight; children, adults, even superheroes!

Video of the day

Run a half marathon with a bottle of milk on your head, long distance skipping, or juggling upside down… Here are some of the unlikely world records held by American man Ashrita Furman, the man with the most Guinness World Records of all time. His story is told in this documentary by Brian McGinn, available on Vimeo, and it’s called the “The Record Breaker”.

By Electron Libre

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