In this edition: Toronto mayor Rob Ford launches his own YouTube channel; Australia's controversial anti-immigration campaign; and some stunning images of American landscapes.
CANADA: ROB FORD LAUNCHES OWN YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, in Canada, there with a recent online video message for voters, promoting his new show “Ford Nation” that launched on YouTube this week. His brother Doug, also a city councilor, will join him to host the program in which Rob Ford, who will be running for re-election at the end of 2014, will be answering questions from web users.
And as one of the first videos posted online by Rob Ford suggests, there will be no taboo subjects. In this particular clip, he openly admits to have taken drugs in the past and to have lied to the media about it. He tries to justify this by saying he was ashamed of his behavior and only did what most people would do, to avoid being publicly humiliated.
An open, uncontrolled online platform, that`s not to everybody`s liking… just a few days after “Ford Nation” went live, another YouTube channel “Ford Nation Rebuttal” was also launched, with the stated aim of reviewing content posted by the Toronto mayor and providing rebuttals where necessary… and a number of Rob Ford`s critics have already got down to work, as we can see from the various videos doing the rounds online criticizing and pointing out his inconsistencies.
AUSTRALIA: ANTI-IMMIGRATION CAMPAIGN SPARKS CONTROVERSY
The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship has released a cartoon on its website with a slogan that reads "No way, they will not make Australia home". A firm message that appears to be aimed at deterring asylum seekers from the country, as the Australian government has just stepped up border controls. The authorities want to make it clear to undocumented migrants they will not be allowed to enter Australia and no permanent or temporary protection visas will be issued until further notice.
The campaign soon got social networkers talking, many have spoken out against the web page, describing it as disgraceful and disgusting, amongst other things.
This is not the first time Australia has targeted immigrants online; the Immigration Ministry has a purpose built YouTube channel airing videos in different languages, aimed at dissuading asylum seekers from coming to Australia.
The authorities even developed a comic book back in November with the same objective. It chronicles an asylum seekers journey from leaving his home country Afghanistan right up to when he is arrested by the Australian authorities and placed in a detention facility. The graphic novel illustrates the country`s new policy whereby asylum seekers are transferred to Papua New Guinea or the island of Nauru within 48 hours of arrival in Australia.
NOW TRENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
Here`s a new selfie trend, and its proving pretty popular on Twitter and Instagram, taking a photo or yourself featuring a person who is living on the streets. American web user Jason Feifer, to whom we owe the “Selfies at Funerals” Tumblr blog, has been denouncing this new inappropriate selfie craze by collating these pics on the aptly named Tumblr blog "Selfies with homeless people".
FRANCE: WEBDOCUMENTARY ON THE MATIGNON HOTEL
This web-documentary "Matignon, regards croisés" was released on the French government`s website last month. It`s an interactive tour around the official residence and office of the Prime Minister. It features an overview of the running of the Hotel Matignon and comes with a number of photos as well as a behind the scenes visit around the palace, meeting security guards, cooks, and also gardeners along the way.
STATS OF THE DAY
American real estate website Movoto has produced this infographic that looks at 40 infamous villain hideouts… from the tiny Chum Bucket where Plankton from TV series SpongeBob Squarepants lives, to the massive “Death Star” home to Darth Vader in Star Wars, to the Techodrome where you`ll find Krang the villain from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle… it features very detailed and precise information about each of the dwellings. Fictitious lairs now getting the attention they deserve.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Filmed between April and November 2013 in the US States of Wyoming, South Dakota and Utah, this mesmerizing video produced by Randy Halverson takes web users to a place somewhere between dream and reality. It`s called “Huelux” and you can check it out in its entirety on Vimeo.