In this edition: Ukraine's Euromaidan motorist–activists; a campaign to stop gun sales on social networks in the US; and the man who gave himself one year to learn to dance.
UKRAINE’S AUTOMAIDAN PROTESTERS
These Ukrainians are part of “Automaidan” which has become literally a driving force of the anti-government "Euromaidan" movement which has seen protesters occupy central Kiev for over two months now.
As we can see from this YouTube video, Automaidan activists often protest from behind the wheel. This was last month, when hundreds of cars made their way to the Kiev suburbs to picket Viktor Yanukovych`s residence. Protesters see the president`s super luxurious villa as a symbol of blatant government corruption.
Some of these motorist-activists have also been using their vehicles to take protesters, who have been hurt during clashes with police, to hospital. It has been reported that police have been stopping ambulances to arrest the demonstrators on board.
Others have been using their cars to hinder the arrival of police reinforcements. This amateur video footage appears to show twenty or so vehicles faking a breakdown to block the path of what activists’ described as a convoy of buses carrying anti-riot police.
There have also been allegations of police intimidation and violence. This video has been widely relayed on social media platforms and is thought to show police officers attack a car of Automaidan activists patrolling the streets of Kiev.
Several Automaidan activists have been arrested over the past few weeks and the group`s spokesperson Dmitry Bulatov, went missing last week and hasn't been seen since.
USA: CAMPAIGN TO STOP GUN SALES ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM
In the United States, you can buy shotguns, revolvers and even assault rifles on social networks. There are all manner of ads on Facebook and Instagram, leading web users to second hand firearms they can purchase without any background checks or having to provide a criminal history record. It's an alarming phenomenon, something the “Moms Demand Action” advocacy group want to stamp out, with the help of an online campaign launched on Monday.
Social networkers can show their support under the #EndFacebookGunShows hashtag, by addressing messages to the powers that be at Facebook and Instagram urging them to stop allowing this unregulated gun trade. Web users can also choose from a list of pre-written tweets highlighting, for example, that if you sell firearms without background checks, they could fall into the wrong hands.
There is also an online petition addressed to the CEOs of Facebook and Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg and Kevin Systrom. It is asking them to change their user policies and prohibit all sales and trades of guns on their platforms, and in particular private sales between anonymous parties.
The campaign instigators say both platforms should take inspiration from policies adopted by other sites like online classified ads platform Craigslist which explicitly prohibits the buying and selling of firearms in its terms and conditions. Ebay has a similar ban although it does allow trading of some gun accessories, but only under certain conditions.
NOW TRENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
Jonny Benjamin from London who has a form of schizophrenia started campaigning under the #findmike hashtag mid-January, determined to find the complete stranger who stopped him from committing suicide six years ago. An anonymous Good Samaritan he knew only as Mike. Shortly after its launch the FindMike movement went viral and one of the millions of people to see it was the Mike in question, whose real name is Neil Laybourn. He and Jonny have since met up and you can see them being reunited in this extremely touching video recently released online.
STATS OF THE DAY
To mark the Chinese New Year celebrated on January 31st this year, search engine Baidu has released this interactive map to help paint a picture of the 3.6 billion passenger trips expected to be made over the 40 day holiday period as people crisscross the country to spend time with their friends and family. And the platform shows us, to no great surprise, that Beijing has recorded the highest number of comings and goings.
KAPSTAND’S AMAZING INSTAGRAM PHOTOS
This French man who goes under the pseudonym “KapStand” regularly posts photos to his Instagram account, featuring him in his trademark one armed handstand pose. These fantastic photos have been taken all over France and abroad and are well worth a look.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
The person in this YouTube video, Neiland, set himself the challenge of learning to dance … in a year! And as we can see in this video documented his progress, he certainly pulled it off. Set to very catchy music this video will no doubt inspire countless web users to follow his lead.