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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 : 2014-01-07

Egyptian puppet accused of terrorism

In this edition: an Egyptian puppet is accused of terrorism; "Mok-Bang" is South Korea’s new Internet trend; and a stunning display from three Czech trial riding champs.


Puppet Abla Fahita stars in extremely popular satirical sketches aired online in Egypt, she also makes regular appearances on Egyptian television and recently featured in this ad for telecommunications company Vodafone, in which she and her daughter try and reactivate her late husband’s SIM card. But she is now the subject of a terrorism probe, as the British multinational has been accused of slipping coded messages into the commercial to coordinate terrorist attacks.

The allegations were made by blogger and supporter of former president Hosni Mubarak, Ahmed Spider, and he was invited to appear on television to decipher the famous ad. He claims the Christmas bauble symbolizes a bomb, and the four branched cactus represents the four-fingered Rabia salute, a symbol of solidarity with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Vodafone Egypt officials, who have been summoned by state prosecutors for questioning, have posted a statement to Facebook saying the interpretation of the ad is “pure fiction”. And countless web users agree, they think this story illustrates the growing climate of fear and paranoia in Egypt since the ouster of Mohammed Morsi.

Others are openly making fun of the conspiracy theories surrounding Abla Fahita. These web users for example have produced satirical photomontages, depicting the puppet as an enemy of the state, showing her standing alongside former president Anwar El Sadat on the day of his assassination in 1981, or being tortured by intelligence agents. 


There’s a new, somewhat odd, Internet trend in South Korea, a craze that some may find disturbing: people gorging on food as it’s live streamed on sites like Afreeca TV. As we can see from this footage, a growing number of big eaters are filming themselves wolfing vast quantities of food whilst interacting with viewers. The craze is called Mok-Bang, a mash-up of the words’dinner ’and‘broadcast and it’s proving massively popular.

And the undisputed queen of Mok-Bang is a young lady known online as “the Diva”; she’s ever so slim and never full, and appears online more or less on a daily basis; she has thousands of fans watching her live streams…

According to, although South Korea’s favourite glutton spends up to 3,000 dollars on food every month, the return on investment is something else. She apparently earns thousands of euros every month, as web users are happy to pay to see her devour endless parades of food.

But as Korean newspaper Dailian points out on its website, although the financial aspect is clearly key to the popularity of “Mok-bangs”, the initial idea behind this now craze was to help combat loneliness. Men and women who were fed up of dining alone would invite web users to join them, albeit virtually, at their table… 


When James Avery who played Uncle Phil in the TV series “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” died last week, it sparked an outpouring of emotion on social networks. Heartbroken fans have been sharing this tweet apparently from Will Smith hinting that NBS may film a special tribute episode for the late actor. It is just another unfounded rumour however as the star of the 90s sitcom does not even have an account on the microblogging site. 


On your marks, get set, go! The “Selfie Games” are underway on social networks. And the aim of the game is to take the most ridiculous and crazy selfie possible. There are some pretty extravagant entries, using mirror effects for example, or displaying some pretty acrobatic moves … Hundreds of web users are already competing for the gold medal. And it’s fortunate that’s it’s the taking part that counts and not the winning, because competition is stiff and it’s going to be very hard to pick out a champion.


Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Home Alone... Leon Mackie, his wife Lily and their son Orson, reproduce famous movie scenes using cardboard boxes, and then post their creations to their “Cardboard Box Office” blog. They began the collection when they moved house and had so many empty cardboard boxes, they just didn’t know what to do with them… 


Three top Czech trial riders on three different vehicles: a unicycle, a bicycle and a motorbike, combining their talent and creativity in scenes worthy of the best westerns … this video is called “All We Together 2” and is available to view in its entirety on Vimeo.

By Electron Libre



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