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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 : 2014-03-31

Turkish local election monitored by volunteers

In this edition: volunteers monitoring the local elections in Turkey; Lebanese web users speak out against racism towards Syrian refugees; and 150 mousetraps set off and filmed in slow motion.

TURKISH LOCAL ELECTIONS MONITORED BY VOLUNTEERS

Sunday saw crucial local elections for Turkey and the government of Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan. Elections held against a backdrop of corruption scandals that have destabilized the authorities and fuelled fears of electoral fraud.

Tens of thousands of activists in Turkey, well aware of the stakes at play, took steps to ensure the elections were run fairly. The “Oy ve ötesi” group set up by activists from the Gezi park protest movement that rocked Turkey last year says its recruited 30,000 volunteers via social networks to monitor polling stations in Istanbul.

Over the past few weeks these volunteers have received training on electoral procedures so they would be able to spot any type of irregularity on voting day. There have also been a series of online video tutorials.

The NGO “Sandik Basindayik” also urged voters to stay in the polling stations after they have cast their ballot so it`s wasn`t just representatives from the different political parties overseeing the vote.

And many have bypassed Turkey`s block on Twitter to share their observations on the microblogging platform. Some claim to have witnessed voters in certain parts of the country being pressured to vote for the Prime Minister`s Justice and Development Party, the AKP.

ONLINE CAMPAIGN IN SUPPORT OF SYRIAN REFUGEES IN LEBANON

Lebanese activists have launched a Facebook campaign in support of the many Syrian refugees in Lebanon who are facing racism. Ordinary citizens have been using the “no to racism” keywords, posing with a sign rejecting discrimination towards Syrians. The movement was largely initiated in response to remarks made by certain Lebanese politicians commenting on the influx of refugees, there are now some one million Syrians living in Lebanon.

The campaign is also targeting online racism and has already succeeded in shutting down the “neo-Nazis against Syrian refugees” Facebook group. The page had already received warnings over hate speech, as Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star has reported, members of the group did not hold back when discussing Syrian refugees, accusing them, amongst other things, of stealing their jobs.

In this video posted online last year, Lebanese organization the anti-racism movement, says traditional media outlet are also guilty of racism. They speak out against anti-Syrian sentiment and apologize on behalf of the people of Lebanon, saying sorry for the way they have been treating Syrian refugees who have already suffered enough, and had to flee their own country.

NOW TRENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS

American web users have been posting under the #LAQuake Twitter hashtag commenting on Friday`s 5.1 magnitude earthquake in Los Angeles. With dozens of photos showing how the tremors saw goods fall off supermarket shelves for example. But some have poked fun at the panic struck reactions posted online, by sharing shots of the minimal damage caused by the quake along with sarcastic comments like “Pray for Los Angeles” or “Never Forget”.

NASA ASKS PUBLIC TO VOTE ON NEXT SPACESUIT DESIGN

NASA is asking the public to choose the style of its next spacesuit. The American space agency has shared three different designs on its website and is asking web users which they one they prefer. Voters just have to worry about the outer layer as these suits will only be used on earth and in simulators and have until the 15th of April to cast their vote. A prototype of the winning design should be complete by November.

"FIND MOMO"

You might not see him straightaway but Momo the dog is in all these photos featured on the “Find Momo” blog. The project is the work of Canadian photographer Andrew Knapp, who has gets his border collie to blend in to all manner of busy urban landscapes or finds him clever hiding places out in the countryside.

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Gavin Free and Daniel Gruchy, aka The Slow Mo Guys are known for their incredible slow motion videos they post to YouTube. And here`s their latest offering, a very unusual experiment to say the least; they set up and off a chain of 150 mousetraps and then filmed at 2,500 frames per second. No mice were involved in this experiment but as we can see it was a little painful for the guy that bravely set them off… 

By Electron Libre

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