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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 : 2014-08-04

Poland takes the bite out of Russian apple ban

In this edition: Polish web users take to social media to fight Moscow's fruit ban; car manufacturer Renault accused of sexism in Belgium-aired ads; and a Canadian bank thanks its customers with surprise gifts at the ATM.

POLAND TAKES THE BITE OUT OF RUSSIAN APPLE BAN

Hundreds of web users in Poland have been taking tongue in cheek photographs of themselves or others eating apples and then posting the pics to social media … the aim of this new online campaign is to denounce Russia`s recent decision to ban fruit and vegetable imports from Poland. A retaliatory measure from Moscow, following last week`s move by the European Union to tighten sanctions against Russia over the continuing crisis in Ukraine. 

Poles have taken to the web in their droves, expressing their outrage over the ban, saying it is unfair, and voicing their support for the farmers of Poland. So social networkers have been posting these shots, where they are biting into an apple, on their own or in company, under the purposely created #eatapples hashtag. 

And some well-known faces from the political world have also joined the campaign. The Minister for Agriculture, Marek Sawiki for example posted this shot to Twitter, displaying him proudly holding a Polish apple. 

A number of Polish firms have also come out in support of Poland’s farmers. Supermarket chain PoloMarket for example has taken the opportunity to launch a massive nationwide drive promoting local apples. The majority of campaigning is taking place on Twitter and Facebook, where Poles are being urged to eat a lot of this particular forbidden fruit. 

BELGIUM: RENAULT WEB ADS ACCUSED OF BEING SEXIST

One female driver parks right in the middle of a roundabout, another applies some make up while trying to win round a police officer after being stopped for speeding … just a couple of the new ads car manufacturer Renault is airing on its website in Belgium to promote its latest model. The ads are meant to be funny, but they foster the idea that women do not drive as well as men, and they have stirred up lively reactions online. 

A lot of social networkers, male and female, say it’s not funny, it`s quite simply sexist. Many are reaching out to Renault directly. This woman for example has taken to Twitter, asking the car manufacturer if it is out of its mind … this man sarcastically says what a shame Renault didn’t add a bit of racism to the outdated ideas it’s conveying through the campaign. 

The avalanche of criticism has prompted Renault to withdraw the controversial ads and post a message to Facebook and Twitter apologising for any offence caused. 

A poor lack of judgement from Renault, and pretty surprising seeing as this isn’t the first time the French multinational has been accused of sexism. The Big Browser blog recalls a television ad aired in the United Kingdom back in 2013 which showed scantily clad women dancing around a car … the authorities banned it in the end for portraying women as objects. 

NOW TRENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS

The #BoycottExodusMovie hashtag has been trending on social networks, calling for a boycott of the latest Ridley Scott film. The movie, which is about Moses is due to hit cinema screens in December and has been met with something of a backlash online as only white actors have been cast to play the main characters while the guards and slaves are played by black actors… a growing number of social networkers are speaking out against the casting saying it is rewriting history, and that this is the first time a massive Hollywood production has falsified historical facts… 

INTRICATE LEAF CUTTINGS BY OMID ASADI

UK based Iranian artist Omid Asadi breathes new life into dead leaves by transforming them into intricate cuttings depicting well known faces, animals, historical monuments, and more … you can check out these painstaking creations on his Facebook page and Tumblr blog.

WEBSITE CROWDSOURCES SCIENCE FICTION PREDICTIONS

Touch screen tablets were already featuring in TV series Star Trek from 1987 onwards, and William Gibson was already writing about intelligent self-driving cars, like those being developed nowadays by Google in 1984 when he published his novel “Neuromancer”. This crowdsourcing project called “Dystopia Tracker” was started by Swiss journalist David Bauer to study and explore which predictions from science fiction books and popular culture actually came true. 

VIDEO OF THE DAY

A lump sum to open a bank account for your kids… plane tickets to go and visit family living abroad … everything a fan of the Toronto baseball team could ask for … and the honour of throwing the first pitch at a match … these are just some of the gifts handed out to twenty or so Canadian bank customers when they popped into their local branch. The heartwarming moments were all caught on camera and compiled into this video available to view on the TD Canada YouTube channel.

By Electron Libre

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