Monday, January 30, 2012

Generations In Modern-Day Babel Tower

Talking to various people of different ages, nationalities, ethnicities and upbringings, one understands how different we are and how many “languages” we speak. Moreover, one realizes how much we disagree and how we are becoming unable to see or accept the “others” with their differing perspectives. No matter what the setting, people’s arguments these days reveal that different generations with a myriad of views and opinions are not only growing apart rapidly, but their differences are becoming irreconcilable at an alarming rate.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

The Arab League Ushers In A New Arab Order

For the skeptics about a possible rebirth of the Arab League, the latest call for Bashar al-Assad to step down must have been a (pleasant or unpleasant) surprise.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In protest of SOPA PIPA and all forms of censorship!

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sometimes It Takes A Disaster To Know Just How Bankrupt A Nation Is

We’ve all heard it countless times, how unique Lebanon is. The bride of the Orient they call it. Switzerland of the Middle East is another exclusive label Lebanon has enjoyed for a long time. The capital Beirut is considered one of the most expensive cities in the world. Lately it’s been featured as a nightlife oasis, setting a new standard in luxury, glitz and fun.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

America’s Extreme Dealings With Extremists

The U.S. has indicated readiness to deal with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood after years of adamant resistance to the mere thought of them in power. This shift in positions is indicative of the new reality on the ground in Egypt and will undoubtedly translate to the rest of the region one country at a time.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Amazing Story of Hasty and Erroneous Twitter Verification - The Case of @Wendy_Deng

Excerpt from a Time.com story. Link to full story below.

Rupert Murdoch Has Joined Twitter, But His Wife’s Account Isn’t Real
By William Lee Adams | @willyleeadams

The case of the fake Wendi Deng Twitter account began on Dec. 31, when Deng’s husband joined the microblogging site using the name @rupertmurdoch. Twitter certified the account as authentic, plastering the blue-and-white check mark on its profile page. His tweets were harmless enough: he devoted his 140 characters to relaying details of his family holiday in St. Barth’s in the Caribbean. “Great time in sea with young daughters, uboating,” read one. “I LOVE the film ‘we bought a zoo’, a great family movie. Very proud of fox team who made this great film,” read another.

On Jan. 1, an account called @wendi_deng cropped up, and its profile proclaimed it was Wendi Deng Murdoch herself. “Joining my husband @rupertmurdoch in our new digital adventure on Twitter.”


I read the entire Twitter timeline of @Wendi_Deng and I find it -- like the numerous spoof accounts thriving on social media -- trying to use the system for mainly fun purposes. The person behind the account didn't harm anyone in the process, s/he actually portrayed Wendi Deng as a real person, protective of her husband, playful and with a not-so-bad sense of humor.

The main problem here is not what the @Wendi_Deng character did or said. As I see it, the problem lies in Twitter's verification of the @Wendi_Deng account which led media outlets to believe the account belongs to Murdoch's wife and started the usual frenzy coverage of it. Why did Twitter verify the account so quickly, and without any authentication process? The person behind the @Wendi_Deng account claims she was shocked by the verification as much others were. She gave credit who were still skeptical even after the Twitter verification.

What do you think? Who's in the wrong here? How do you feel about those who impersonate celebrities on social media? What do you think people should do to protect their name, identity and reputation online?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Keeping It Simple This New Year!

One thing to be excited about in this brand new year is the flurry of activity among Palestinians and Israelis to get back on track a Middle East process we had already counted as dead a long time ago. The seriousness of the calls from both camps for an immediate return to the negotiating table is an indicator of the global diplomatic gain the Palestinian leadership has achieved. It seems that the support the Palestinians have drummed up last year is going to pay off in 2012. The Israelis can also claim their own victory by saying the pressure they exercised on the United States to punish the Palestinians for their unilateral moves toward an independent state, have paid off because it unified the Palestinians and brought them back to the negotiating table.

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