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Net users comment on Tunisian elections
They were elections without suspense. On Sunday, the people of Tunisia went to the polls to elect their representatives. Guaranteed to be elected for a fifth term, President Ben Ali is attacked by net users who denounce electoral farce, despite censorship.
This caricaturist uses satire to describe the vote with its foregone conclusion and to criticise the lack of pluralism in Tunisian politics.
‘For twenty two years they’ve been saying to us, ‘the Tunisian people’. And as if by chance, the Tunisian people always support one candidate or another. The Tunisian people send a post card in support of ‘a given candidate’. And as if by chance, this ‘candidate’ is always the same person’.
The web and Facebook in particular, played host to political debate and offered a discussion platform to net users, while the electoral campaign was largely dominated by the party in power.
The Web hosts several videos such as this one, which is an alteration of another video showing local stars expressing their pride about being Tunisian. And by recalling the unrealistic scores obtained by Ben Ali in past elections, the authors of the montage denounce what they consider as a parody of democracy.
The President, who came to power twenty two years ago, nevertheless remains very popular on the web. Ben Ali has over 100,000 fans on Facebook. And on this site, hundreds of young voters have expressed support for the man they consider to be the founder of modern Tunisia.
With fewer than fifty days to go before the Copenhagen climate Summit, new tools continue to appear on line. The aim being to increase awareness amongst net users about the effects of global warming on the planet and to encourage them to put pressure on world leaders to find solutions.
The latest initiative to date is that launched by the head of British diplomacy, David Miliband and his brother, Ed, the minister in charge of the climate dossier. This interactive map simulates the effects of a rise of four degrees Celsius on the planet, for example, increased sea levels, a heightened risk of forest fires and drought and a reduction in crop yields...
The UN’s environment programme has provided an online atlas. The tool indexes the changes which have occurred around the world over the last decades. Satellite images visible on Google Earth.
But many individual initiatives, also aiming to call out to net users, are worthy of note online. This photographer travelled to Alaska to testify in real time to the thawing of the glaciers with these spectacular videos. The title of his project is ‘Seeing is believing’.
Just as memorable are these eye witness accounts, posted online on this forum. Communities living in the most vulnerable areas can use it to express their fears. This Ugandan man recounts how the changing seasons have led to a food shortage in his country.
Far from the news cameras, dozens of conflicts are raging around the planet. It is based on this fact that Swiss TV channel, TSR, teamed up with the Red Cross to allow net users to plunge into these forgotten wars to understand their causes and what is at stake. Conflicts in Sierra Leone, Haiti and Yemen as well as their consequences on local populations are also examined.
Here is a site which will leave you flabbergasted. Akinator is a web genius which is able to guess any character, fictitious or real, that you have in mind. To do this, it only needs to ask you a few questions about the character. Try to trick it, its data base currently stores over 100,000 characters and continues to expand. A moment of fun for children and adults alike and which has recently become a mobile phone application.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
During this period of flu pandemic, is it wiser to greet people by shaking hands or by kissing the person on the mouth? This is the question raised in this video made by the Canadian NGO, Science World. A provocative video in which company executives greet each other with a long, lingering kiss to prove that kissing spreads less bacteria than a hand shake.