In this edition: the 6 Iranian youths arrested for an online video have been released; controversy over an anti-Muslim ad campaign in the US; and step into the shoes of tennis champ Roger Federer.
IRAN: YOUTHS ARRESTED FOR "HAPPY" VIDEO RELEASED
The six Iranians who were arrested on Tuesday for posting a video online a few days earlier in which they are dancing to the Pharrell Williams mega hit “Happy” have been released on bail. Web users had been busy campaigning on social networks ever since news of the arrests broke, and are delighted with this latest development.
Many had posted under the #freehappyiranians Twitter hashtag, urging the Iranian authorities to free the six detainees. The online campaign was started by New York based Iranian author Kambiz Hosseini, and soon gained momentum online with thousands of web users including Pharrell Williams himself speaking up for the arrested youths.
One of the women involved in the offending video Reihane Taravati has hailed the overwhelming support. She has posted a message to Instagram, thanking all those who lobbied Tehran calling for her and her colleagues to be released.
The NGO “Iran Human Rights” suggests the six youths were only released because they publicly repented, and the online campaign did not play such a major role. The organization has issued a statement saying the six were forced to apologize on state television, and voice their regret for appearing in the video, and it was only then they were released.
USA: "ANTI-MUSLIM" BUS ADS SPARK CONTROVERSY
A new ad is running on 20 metro buses in Washington, USA. It`s headlined "Islamic Jew Hatred: it`s in the Quran"… it also features a 1941 photo showing Hitler with the then Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. It`s calling for an end to US aid to Islamic countries and has sparked lively reaction online.
Many have taken to Twitter to express their outrage over the campaign which is being run by US far right group the American Freedom Defense Initiative, or the AFDI. Social networkers are directing their criticism at the heads of the organization, and its co-founder in particular, Pamela Geller, who is known for her anti-Islam stance. She is used to this type of controversy and reports on her blog that she has received hundreds of angry emails.
The conservative blogger has tried to justify the campaign via the group`s website saying it is simply in response to an ad campaign run in Washington last month by the American Muslims for Palestine group, the AMP. Their campaign message “stop US aid to Israel`s occupation” was also plastered across metro buses in the capital and did not go down too well with the AFDI.
It’s not the first time we`ve seen initiatives openly targeting religious communities in the U.S. Anti-Islam posters were put up on public transport in New York City back in 2012. Campaigns like this prompt a backlash, outrage, but they fall within the framework of freedom of speech which is protected by the US Constitution.
NOW TRENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
The #SNCF hashtag is trending heavily in France at the moment … with web users poking fun at the incredible blunder made by France`s national train operator. It has just discovered that 2,000 new trains it ordered are too wide for some 1,300 railway stations across the country. Web users have been doctoring photos to depict the mishaps SNCF engineers could be facing on a daily basis. Wacky creations that suggest the teams at the rail company really don’t have an eye for dimensions.
STATS OF THE DAY
British tabloid the Daily Mirror has put together this infographic for its ampp3d site, and it shows us that Batman`s ears are steadily shrinking! The costume worn by Val Kilmer for 1995 movie features ears measuring 3.36 centimeters whereas those donned by Christian Bale who played the caped crusader three times between 2005 and 2012 were just 2.54 centimeters high. And in the upcoming Batman film schedule for release in 2016, well the ears are barely visible!
LAL THE DOG IS A STAR ON INSTAGRAM
Samuel Jurcic dresses up his dog Lal, in a variety of clever costumes and posts the images to the “ma_hovina” Instagram page. The shots which are both amusing and endearing, see the pooch pose like a pro, and have already drawn over 22,000 followers on the social network.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
This YouTube video allows web users to step into the shoes of tennis champ Roger Federer as he warms up on court with Stefan Edberg… the former world no.1 was wearing Google Glass, the web giant`s connected eyewear, giving tennis fans an unprecedented perspective of his game.