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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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WEB NEWS

Latest update : 2014-08-14

Online outrage after unarmed teen shot dead

In this edition: Online outrage after unarmed teen is shot dead; developers of a new smartphone app accused of racism; and a surfing pig.

ONLINE OUTRAGE AFTER UNARMED TEEN SHOT DEAD

While the circumstances surrounding the death of Michael Brown, the American teen shot dead on Saturday by a Ferguson police officer in the US, remain unclear, thousands have taken to the web to voice their outrage and to criticize the US media primarily, for publishing a photo suggesting the young man was part of a gang, instead of this picture of his graduation. They have strongly condemned the choice of photo.

And so web users have been posting their own photos to social networks, one that shows them to their advantage, well dressed, smiling, that sort of thing, and another where they adopt a more provocative pose. They are posting the messages under the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown hashtag, asking which photo the media would choose if they were shot dead by the police.

And it’s not just the media coverage of the incident that has been called into question; the Missouri police department is also under fire. Web users have slammed the fact Michael Brown was unarmed when he was shot dead by police. The people who posted these tweets hope that justice will be done and there will be a full investigation. Angry citizens have also taken to the streets of the city of Ferguson, staging a series of protests over the past few days. And as we can see here, some degenerated into riots.

USA, SKETCH FACTOR, APPLICATION, RACIAL PROFILING

“A man stole my phone in this neighbourhood of New York City or “I saw someone arrested by police in such and such a street in Washington”. This is the sort of information people are sharing via the “Sketch Factor” smartphone app launched on download platform iTunes last Friday. It uses crowd-sourced data to map unsafe areas and neighbourhoods. The stated aim being to let people know of areas to avoid. It`s certainly stirring up lively debate online.

While some web users see Sketch Factor as a means of preventing further assaults or attacks, many have criticized the whole idea of the app, describing it as racist, unintentionally or otherwise. They say it comes down to racial profiling, and actually appears to be designed with white people in mind.

Blogger Emma Cueto has voiced a similar viewpoint in an article published on Bustle.com. She argues that the application is not based on reliable criminal data, but on anecdotal evidence, and so cannot prove therefore whether or not a neighbourhood is dangerous or not. This is not the first controversial tool of its kind, as these web users point out the “Ghetto Tracker” service launched in 2013, had Americans cataloguing and mapping the poorest areas of their city. The service sparked an outcry online and was eventually withdrawn.

NOW TRENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS

The #SuperMoon hashtag has been trending on social networks, with web users the world over sharing their Sunday night sightings of the moon at its perigee, which is the closest point in its orbit around the earth, on Sunday night. There are just four to six “supermoons” a year on average, and it is when we see the moon at its biggest and brightest.

STATS OF THE DAY

Did you know that Bill Gates still uses a whiteboard to come up with complex high tech ideas? That Mark Zuckerberg takes on several new challenges a year like learning Chinese or only eating meat he has killed himself. This infographic was put together by the WhoIsHostingThis.com platform and explores the eccentric habits of the tech elite. Video game developer Shigeru Miyamoto for example likes to measure everyday objects and guess their length.

EXPLORE THE MOON AND MARS WITH GOOGLE MAPS

With Google Maps you can now explore the moon and mars from the comfort of your own home. The web giant`s mapping service has integrated images taken by NASA and the European Space Agency so that web users can wander the craters of the celestial bodies and read all sorts of interesting facts and figures about some of their most famous landscape features.

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Surfer Kai Holt and his pet pig are the best of friends and do everything together … even surfing … here they are taking to the waves in Hawaii. You can check out the video in its entirety on the Go pro YouTube channel.

By Electron Libre

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