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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 : 2014-08-25

'Doubtfire Face', the web's new suicide prevention campaign

In this edition: Net users step up to a new challenge to combat suicide; a tweet by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani causes controversy; and a time-lapse sequence of air traffic at a Singapore airport.


After the “Ice Bucket Challenge”, in which participants throw a freezing cold bucket of water over their heads and nominate friends to do the same to raise funds for a motor neurone disease charity, a new challenge has appeared on the US net. Baptised ‘Doubtfire Face’, the idea is to sink your face into a cream cake or to coat it in shaving foam. The aim being to raise funds for a charity specialising in suicide research and prevention.

The idea is taken from one of the most famous scenes from Mrs Doubtfire, starring US actor and comedian, Robin Williams, who was found dead on August 11, after taking his own life. News of his death rekindled the debate on depression and suicide in the United States. Hundreds of net users have decided to fight against this scourge by wearing a Doubtfire Face, as shown by the many photos and videos posted on social networks with the hashtag, "SayHelloToSuicidePrevention".

This initiative aims to raise awareness of the problem of suicide, as explained by the movement’s creators on the Facebook page they set up for the occasion. The founders hope to raise 500,000 dollars for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The charity recalls on its website that almost 38,000 people take their own lives each year in America alone; that is around one death every thirteen minutes.


"Congratulations to Maryam Mirzakhani on becoming the first ever woman to win the Fields medal." This was the tweet made by Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani on August 13. The message was accompanied by two photos of the prize winner, who was recently rewarded for her work in the field of mathematics. In one image we see her dressed in the Islamic veil, while in the other she appears without it. This detail spurred a raft of reactions online. 

Some net users were pleasantly surprised to see Maryam Mirzakhani unveiled in one of the two photos shared by Hassan Rouhani, considering that the President had broken a taboo in Iran, a country in which the veil is imposed by law. This point of view is not shared by other net users who accuse the Iranian President of hypocrisy by showing an image of an unveiled woman on Twitter.

They feel that this gesture is in total contradiction with the restrictions imposed on women in Iran, particularly the measure which has prevented female students from taking 77 different university courses since 2012, as pointed out by the American daily, The Washington Post.

And although Hassan Rouhani chose to applaud Maryam Mirzakhani’s feat by presenting her with and without the hijab, this is not the case of the major Iranian papers, which preferred to show the maths genius veiled, with some even photo shopping the images to prevent readers from glimpsing her hair. The veil is still a subject of contention in Iran, where many women demonstrated against wearing the garment in May this year. As part of their protest they posted unveiled selfies on Facebook.


Filipino-American hairstylist, Mark Bustos gives haircuts to the homeless free of charge every Sunday on his only day off. He then posts before and after photos of his acts of charity on Instagram. His kind initiative is highly popular on line with the 30 year old hairdresser’s account already being followed by more than 100,000 people.


Could some cities in the United States soon be in store for a ‘purge’? Or rather a night when all crime is legal, in reference to the plot of a popular film, “American Nightmare”. This is the question gripping the web since the appearance online of these photos hinting that a night of horror would soon take place in some of the country’s cities. The authorities were eventually forced to issue a statement formally denying the allegations, as reported by the website of the American TV channel, WBIR.


26 year old New York designer, Patrick Thorendahl had the unique idea of photo bombing the snaps of celebrities including Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jay-Z and sports stars such as basketball player, Kobe Bryant. Thorendahl specialises in image editing and can therefore appear to rub shoulders with the stars with ease. The resulting photomontages can be seen on his Instagram Peejet account.


Photographer Milton Tan offers us a particularly dazzling sight in this video, showing the constant coming and goings of planes landing in and taking off from Singapore’s airport, one of the world’s busiest. This stunning footage, created using time-lapse technology, can be viewed on the artist’s Vimeo account.

By Electron Libre



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