The explosion of #Jesuis campaigns

The explosion of #Jesuis campaigns


In this edition: the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag has inspired activists the world over; Canadian students tell their government they will not work for free; and downhill urban mountain biking in Mexico.

The #JeSuisCharlie hashtag has been used millions of times since the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris between the 7th and 9th of January, and it has inspired web users the world over. A growing number of activists are now adapting the phrase using #JeSuis as an opener for other hashtags aimed at raising online awareness of other issues they feel need attention.

Supporters of 31-year-old Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1 000 lashes last year for “insulting Islam”, have taken to the web calling for his immediate release. Web users have been posting under the #JeSuisRaif hashtag urging the international community to take action to ensure that he is freed unconditionally and at the earliest possible opportunity.

Thousands of social networkers in Ukraine have used the #JeSuisVolnovakha keywords to remind the world the conflict in Ukraine is far from over. The hashtag was started after a rocket, fired in all likelihood by pro-Russia separatists, hit a bus in the eastern city of Volnovakha on January 13, killing 13 civilians. The president of Ukraine has also used the hashtag to pay tribute to the victims and call for an end to the fighting.

And a lot of web users, from across the globe, have been showing solidarity with Nigeria, a regular target for militant Islamist group Boko Haram. The #JeSuisNigeria hashtag has been proving particularly popular, with messages of support for the people of Nigeria, telling them they are not alone in their struggle with radicalism and extremism.


With Canada gearing up for its 150th birthday celebrations in 2017, the authorities are looking for a logo to mark the occasion. So Ottawa has launched a competition to design a Canada 150 logo, with a 5 000 dollar prize for the winning entry. But it has not gone down well with Canadian design students, and many are voicing outrage that the federal government would ask them to work for free: they`ve taken their grievances online.

They feel the authorities are showing a lack of respect for their work, and have been posting on Twitter under the #MyTimeHasValue hashtag, saying they will not be participating in the contest. And as we can see here, other web users have since joined the campaign, writing the slogan on a piece of paper and posing for a photo, to show their solidarity with Canada`s future designers.

As Canada's Association of Registered Graphic Designers highlights on its website, design competitions have become a means for companies and institutions to obtain free work from designers, particularly when they are young, and their contributions are not valued. The association also points out that it`s not just in Canada we`re seeing this type of contest. Last year American TV network Showtime launched an online competition asking for promotional designs for a sporting event, angering one particular graphic designer who took to Twitter to say professionals were basically being asked to work for free.


A supermarket chain in France is facing controversy after demanding employees make up the hours they lost when they were forced to evacuate during the hostage standoff between police and the Charlie Hebdo shooters who were holed up inside the neighbouring printing plant at Dammartin-en-Goële near to Paris. Relayed on Twitter earlier on this week the news has sparked widespread outrage online and the retail group has since announced workers will be receiving a full day`s pay.


Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has been swamped with pictures on Twitter of infants inadvertently perfecting his trademark celebration pose. And it seems the Olympic Gold medallist is rather taken with them because he`s started reviewing and retweeting them. He`s added tongue in cheek words of encouragement, and very sweet comments. Who knows some of these babies may be future world champions …


Former France midfielder David Ginola has announced his candidacy to become the next FIFA president. And to finance his campaign to replace the current president and current favourite, Sepp Blatter, to win the May 29 election, he is asking web users for donations via his website And the fundraising’s going pretty well so far, with over 255 000 pounds, that’s around 330 000 euros pledged in just a few days.


Residents of Taxco, Mexico were in for a treat when American urban mountain bike champ Chris van Dine took to their famous course. They cheered him on as he hurtled down the narrow alleys and you can take a look on the Go Pro YouTube channel…

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