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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.



Latest update : 2014-08-10

Survival tips for Libyans circulate online

In this edition: survival tips for Libyans circulating online; protecting Syria`s cultural heritage; and two surfers and a baby seal having fun in the water..


Fighting between Islamist and nationalist militias has been ongoing now in Libya since mid-July and a growing number of Libyans are turning to the web to share survival tips with their fellow citizens. Twitter users Maraim Elbadri and Khadija Ramali for example have set up the #lysurvivaltips hashtag with threads in English and Arabic, to tweet advice on what to do in various emergency situations, and there has been a great response. 

Scores of Libyan web users have been posting under these keywords sharing all manner of practical tips. They recommend people use torches instead of candles during power cuts for example as it lowers the risk of fire. Others advise against hiding behind vehicles during gunfire as the car windows won`t shield you from the bullets. Web users are also telling parents they can prevent serious accidents by teaching their children not to go near any explosive device they may find on the ground. 

But these hashtags are also being used to share more detailed information on the conflict as it unfolds, places to avoid, the cities of Tripoli and Benghazi in particular as they have been worst hit by the violence. People living here are advised to avoid certain streets unless they want to come face to face with a militia barricade … 


In addition to the heavy human loss of Syria`s three year old civil war, the bombings and shelling between pro-government forces and rebels are also destroying the country`s cultural heritage. Cheikhmous Ali, who founded the Association for the Protection of Syrian Archaeology, decided to take action and is documenting the damage to Syrian landmarks, monuments and museums with historical treasures online, cataloguing images of the aftermath. His aim is to make web users aware of the advanced state of destruction to Syria`s cultural heritage. 

The awareness campaign is essentially centered around a website, a Facebook page and a YouTube channel. The content is provided by members of the group started by Cheikhmous Ali and feature a great deal of photographs and amateur video footage of the damage caused to Syrian buildings, some of them in ruins. Here are some of the pictures available; we can see the significant damage caused to mosques, citadels, temples and also museums in the regions of Aleppo and Homs. 

Some of them are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are now included on the endangered world heritage list. Cheikmous Ali is extremely concerned by this and is appealing to international bodies to take action to protect Syria’s heritage. One of his demands; the establishment of a special fund to pay for surveillance for these endangered sites. 


Employees at regional French daily Nice –Matin are asking the public for help in saving the newspaper. They started a crowdfunding campaign on the Ulule platform and are hoping to raise the 300,000 euros needed to complete their application to take over the business. The online fundraising has got off to a good start with over 76,000 euros pledged so far, with the more generous donors getting something back in return. 


1 in 4 young Europeans have taken selfies while driving. This infographic was put together by car manufacturer Ford and explores the alarming selfie phenomenon within the 18-24 age bracket. We also learn that the dangerous craze is most popular in the UK where 1 in 3 drivers has already taken a selfie at the wheel. Another scary stat; 1 European in 4 have used social media sites while driving … 


24 year old Irish man Jamie Kelly started the #FindKatie hashtag to try and track down a young lady who he knew only as Katie, who he met on a plane traveling from Barcelona to Dublin. Countless social networkers began sharing and retweeting intent on helping Jamie who says it was love at first sight. And they may just get their happy ending, web users have been able to find Katie`s surname and address … to be continued … 


These two surfers off the British coast were in for a sweet little surprise; as we can see from this footage a baby seal climbed on to one of their boards and began playing with them in the water. You can check the video out in its entirety on YouTube

By Electron Libre



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