Gabonese Net users observe the presidential elections

In this edition: Gabon's presidential election was followed closely by the blogosphere; the debate surrounding Microsoft’s "racist" gaffe grows online, and an American attacks his government’s interventionism.



Gabonese citizens went to the polls on Sunday to nominate a successor to the deceased Omar Bongo from among 18 candidates. And following the example of these singers, who broadcast their video on share sites, Gabonese citizens were hoping for a free and transparent election. The Presidential election was therefore followed very closely by Net users.


Electors reported irregularities by text message. Incidents were listed in real time on this interactive map, set up by the Guardian Angels Gabon, an NGO responsible for overseeing the vote.

Independent candidate Bruno Ben Moubamba published his observations live on the Web. Using photos as back-up, he asserted that the ink used to mark elector’s fingers was not indelible.


Suspicion of fraud hangs over the electoral process. In this online video, residents of Bongoville complain that they were not able to sign up in time to vote. Many candidates cited this as a reason to defer the vote.


IT giant Microsoft made a gaffe during its last advertising campaign. In a photo destined for the Polish market, showing three people sitting at a table, the marketing team replaced a black face by that of a white man.

There was stupor amongst many Net users who, caught between indignation and sarcasm, accused the company of racism. Furthermore, the correction of the image was not only shoddy, but the photo also featured other blunders, such as the presence on the table of a Mac.


Denounced by Net users, Microsoft quickly tried to redeem itself by correcting the photo, before apologising via Twitter and promising to carry out an internal enquiry into the incident.


Finally, others preferred to see the lighter side to the blunder, as shown by this competition organised by a specialised site to create more photo-montages and mock Microsoft’s gaffe. The result is gallery of absurd images.

Cold case

Around the world, police departments are calling on net users to help get to the bottom of an unsolved investigation. In the latest initiative to date the Boston force in the States posted online a series of videos about a non-resolved murder, which took place in 2003. All the investigations’ details are included, and Net users are asked to offer any new information that could help resolve the case.


Mozilla, the developer of the browser Firefox, is preparing for a week of IT mutual aid. The initiative, entitled "Mozilla at your service" will take place from September 14-21. Net users will be invited to provide a service free of charge to the community via the Web. They will be able to introduce elderly people to the net, update the site of an association or install a wireless network in a school.


Over 200,000 net users have rushed to watch the latest offering by comedian, Tim Hawkins. The famous comedian posted his latest caustic show on his Youtube page. The entertainer mocks the Government and denounces its propensity of abusive taxing. The comedian enumerates various state abuses in a scathing parody, between civil education and political criticism.

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