April 18, 2009

Featured TwitPic: Roadside camel in Saudi Arabia

"Saudi Arabian road hazard -on Australia it's Kangaroos" (Posted by @aptusstrategy, of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)


LinkedIn blocks Syrian users

Per Global Voices Online, social networking site LinkedIn has recently banned users from Syria from utilizing its service. The Syrian government itself blocks use of Facebook, YouTube, and Skype within its borders, though this move apparently was made by LinkedIn itself.

According to AnasOnline (Arabic blog), a LinkedIn Customer Support representative responded to an inquiry about the change by saying "as a matter of corporate policy, we do not allow member accounts or access to our site from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria."

Twitter users in the Middle East are buzzing about the policy change, using hashtags like #LinkedIn, #Syria, and #boycottlinkedin.

  1. Razan Ghazzawi
    AnarchistQueer (Damascus, Syria) RT @jilliancyork BOYCOTT LINKEDIN for refusing to provide services to Syrians (and other folks in sanctioned countries) #boycottlinkedin
  2. Anas Qtiesh
    anasqtiesh (Damascus, Syria) let @LinkedIn know the error of their ways: @linkedin.com">ssaha@linkedin.com (Product Manager). @linkedin.com">rhoffman@linkedin.com (founder & CEO) #boycottlinkedin
  3. Okbah Mushaweh
    Okbah (Saudi Arabia) @anasqtiesh How many guys can make this difference! these can't pose threat upon #linkedin and it will continue to provide services to 39m p
  4. Ahmed Naguib
    ahmednaguib (Cairo, Egypt) Weird things today, Linkedin blocks Syrian users, and Tinyurl blocks Saudi Arabians...what's up with that?
  5. Mohammad Badi Irshid
    MhdBadi (Amman, Jordan) @ahmednaguib This is really bad.. Facebook+wikipedia+linkedin+ 1 2 3 .. are blocked front of Syrian users
  6. Alexandra Tohme
    alexzawya (Beirut, Lebanon) you over there at linkedin.......unblock syria.

@Riyadh of Hamburg, Germany, posted an alternative for those in Syria: "Try http://salambc.com - it's Arabic & we don't ban!"

Update: LinkedIn Senior Director of Corporate Communications Kay Luo (@kluo) says the accounts were blocked by human error, and LinkedIn is working to return service to Syrian users.


Iran convicts Saberi for espionage

Per NPR, the Iran Revolutionary Court sentenced Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi to jail for eight years as a result of spying. Her father, Reza Saberi, said he believes the trial was not carried out fairly and the family plans to appeal the decision.

American Twitterers expressed their feelings about the decision, with many advocating for fighting back.

  1. Roshini Rajkumar
    RoshiniR (Minneapolis, Minn.) I cannot believe my friend, journalist Roxana Saberi, was sentenced to 8 yrs in prison in Iran.
  2. yelverton
    yelverton (Boston, Mass.) Time to get educated and get active over journalist Roxana Saberi, just sentenced to 8 years in an Iranian prison. Think Human Rights.
  3. Judith Spitzer
    jaspitzer31 (Portland, Ore.) Journalist Saberi (for bbc & npr) sentenced to 8 yr Iran prison for espionage. Why isn't US helping? No defense allowed, family to appeal.
  4. thebert
    thebert (Undisclosed) We take for granted the open court system of the United States. Makes me believe that the charges against Saberi are baseless.
  5. Teabag Tweet
    Teabagtweet (Undisclosed) Iran sentences a US journalist Roxana Saberi to 8 yrs in prison, guaranteeing it will be a point of tension through Obama's entire term(s)

Some in the Middle East added their own views about the story.

  1. Razan Ghazzawi
    AnarchistQueer (Damascus, Syria) RT@avinunu:@nytimes calls 4 release of Roxana Saberi bt silent on 8,400 Palestinian political prisoners incl. 41 elected MPs held by #Israel
  2. Scorpionkiss
    scorpionkiss (Cairo, Egypt) I feel for Roxana Saberi's family,but I wish she had reflected more on the Fascist,nay,Lunatic,country she was in...namely, Iran...
  3. Elizabeth Tsurkov
    Elizrael (Jerusalem, Israel) RT @LilyMazahery: RT @KevinMaddenDC: - Iranian court sentences U.S. journalist Roxana Saberi to 8 years. Please petition your congress reps


Chavez, Obama shake hands

Per CNN, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez and U.S. President Barack Obama shook hands on Friday at the Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Chavez has openly criticized the United States in the past, but he told Obama he wants to be his friend, according to CNN.

The gesture quickly hit international news wires and it did not take long for the Twitterverse to react. Twitterers in Venezuela found humor in the act.

  1. Simon E Gonzalez
    SimonEnrique (Caracas, Venezuela) the obama-chavez photos is everywhere... what a funny situation. Chavez: yes, you could!!
  2. Miguel Kudry
    kudry (Caracas, Venezuela) RT @modulor: Chavez a Obama: "quiero ser tu amigo" (aaawwws, jajaja) http://tinyurl.com/cc3963 y http://tinyurl.com/ddtpxt (@modulor RT: Obama to Chavez: "I want to be your friend" (aaawwws, hahaha))
  3. Guillermo Esteves
    gesteves (Caracas, Venezuela) Ch├ívez tiene semanas insultando a Obama, pero basta que lo vea en persona y…http://bit.ly/2xdPB3 (Chavez has weeks insulting Obama, but then he sees him in person and...)

Others in the Twitterverse had mixed reactions.

  1. Loany Zelaya
    loanyz (Undisclosed) I can't believe obama shook hands with chavez...the madman...this is unacceptable!!!
  2. Ruben Hoyos
    Ilove2sing82 (Undisclosed) Obama shook hands with Hugo Chavez. Interesting because I'm from Colombia and I hate Chavez
  3. bobbyricha
    bobbyricha (Newnan, Ga.) Obama is hanging with Chavez. Change you can believe in. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
  4. David Niklaus
    1DavidN (Orange Co., Calif.) Would it have been better if Obama had "snubbed" Chavez and NOT shaken his hand? I think it would have shown lack of class.
  5. Andy Parker
    callmeparks (Undisclosed) awww Chavez and Obama want to be buddies, how cute. you have to be kidding me, now they can discuss socialist issues together.
  6. Stephen Olowoye
    stepolo (Washington, D.C.) What is wrong with Pres. Obama shaking hands with Hugo Chavez...It's time we change our attitude and be accomodating...CHANGE WE BELIEVE IN
  7. Tich Hwata
    tich2009 (Undisclosed) Obama good stuff extending hand to Chavez, thats a positive move.