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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 : 2014-08-19

Michael Brown's death continues to cause fury online

In this edition: Net users continue protests over US teen’s death; a clothing advert shocks the web; and film maker Devin Graham introduces an unusual sport.


A fresh wave of riots broke out in the early hours of Sunday in Ferguson, USA despite a curfew imposed by the Missouri Governor to avoid looting. Tensions have been running high for over a week, in the wake of the death of Michael Brown, a black teenager shot dead by a police officer on August 9.

Outrage has spread across the country, with hundreds of night-time vigils being held on Thursday evening in large American cities, as shown by these photos taken in New York, Chicago, Denver and San Francisco. The amateur images show protesters chanting the slogan "hands up, don’t shoot", in criticism of the fact that Michael Brown was killed while unarmed.

The demonstrators have made massive use of social networks to galvanise support. They have set up a Facebook page, as well as a Google document accessible online. They aim to list the various protests across the States and make known to the masses how and when these gatherings are taking place.

This vast protest movement has also attracted members of the activist group, Anonymous who are carrying out their own investigation in order to shed light on the circumstances surrounding Michael Brown’s death. They have gleaned audio extracts from conversations between police officers in Ferguson just prior to the tragedy. Surprising messages have also arrived via Twitter from Palestinians, offering advice to protesters such as not to touch your face in the event of being sprayed with tear gas.


When publishing this photo on Twitter promoting its latest collection of checked shirt dresses, the US clothing store brand, Gap surely didn’t expect to find itself at the centre of a media storm. Online, however, hundreds of people have expressed anger towards this photo. The reason for their indignation is the fact that the model in question is so thin.

On social networks many have berated the tweet, expressing alarm over the super model’s extreme skinniness, which they feel is far from normal in terms of female standards. Worse still, through this communication campaign, some even accuse Gap of promoting unrealistic skinniness and of standardising anorexia. As a sign of protest the net users in question have announced that they will now boycott the clothing brand’s products.

This point of view is not unanimous however as other net users defend the US brand, asserting that being thin is not always synonymous with illness, and even less with anorexia. This controversy has not caused Gap to delete its contentious tweet and is not a first in the world of fashion: the Italian lingerie brand La Perla already came under fire from net users last May after installing in a New York store, this dummy whose ribs were clearly visible. The brand eventually decided to remove the dummy after sparking an online outcry.


#JustLikeTheDetroitFlood is the hashtag currently being used by US net users to poke fun at recent claims made by Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder. When asked to comment on the floods that have been affecting Detroit since last week, he said he understood the pain felt by families affected by this catastrophe, having himself recently suffered damage to the roof of his holiday property. This comparison was judged inappropriate by many net users, many of whom are now mocking Rick Snyder’s comments.


Verbal abuse often leaves as many marks as physical abuse. American photographer, Rich Johnson wanted to raise awareness of this difficult message through his project entitled, "Weapon of Choice". The aim of the initiative is to sensitize public opinion concerning the damage caused by simple words. To illustrate the point, the artist asked victims of psychological harassment to appear as the subjects of his photos, expressing their suffering. These thought-provoking pictures can be seen on the site:


Having the chance to make a new-born photo shoot is not only a privilege for the parents of new born babies. This is what American photographer Jamie Clauss endeavoured to prove, with his surprising idea to take photos of his neighbours holding their pet Jack Russell, as though he had just been born. These endearing and unusual snaps can be seen on the artist’s website.


Fans of Zorb Soccer, a sport deriving from football, offer a particularly impressive demonstration of their favourite past time in this video. The extreme sport in question consists of a great deal of physical contact and spectacular moves on a football pitch, with players protected inside giant inflatable balls. The whole video can be seen on director Devin Supertramp’s YouTube account.

By Electron Libre



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