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After journalists, Egypt arrests bloggers

first_img Help by sharing this information News News Less press freedom than ever in Egypt, 10 years after revolution EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesOnline freedoms Imprisoned RSF_en News February 6, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Shadi Abu Zaid and blogger Mohamed Oxygen EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesOnline freedoms Imprisoned Detained woman journalist pressured by interrogator, harassed by prison staffcenter_img News Organisation Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein back home after four years in prison Follow the news on Egypt Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Egyptian authorities not to confuse disrespect with terrorism after they arrested three bloggers with a reputation for irreverence in the past month. to go further February 1, 2021 Find out more The latest victim is Shadi Abu Zeid, who has made popular satirical videos viewed by thousands on social networks, including a famous joke at the expense of the Egyptian police in January 2016, and was part of the team of Abla Fahita, a successful TV comedy show recently suspended by the authorities for being too daring.Two days after state security officials arrested Zeid at his home on 6 May, his worried family learned yesterday that he has been placed in provisional detention for at least 15 days on suspicion of “publishing lies” and “membership of a banned group.” The second of these charges is particularly astonishing as Zeid has little in common with the suspected supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood to whom the charge is usually applied.Sherif Gaber, who recently started a blog after expressing his views for years on social networks, was arrested at Cairo airport at he was about to take an international flight on 2 May and has been charged with advocating atheism, the charge on which he was previously detained in 2013. Egyptian law penalizes insulting or disrespecting any of the three monotheistic religions.Mohamed Radwan Mohamed, a blogger better known as “Mohamed Oxygen,” has meanwhile been held ever since his arrest a month ago, on 6 April. His sidewalk interviews with members of the public and his interviews with well-known figures, addressing political and social issues in a relaxed style, have won him hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook and YouTube. Paying tribute to him on the Deutsche Welle website, the Egyptian novelist Alaa al Aswany wrote: “He knew he could never get a satisfying job in the traditional newspapers or TV channels but, instead of despairing, he decided to become an independent journalist and blogger.”“Blogs, interviews with people in the street, humour and irreverence are not terrorist acts, so how can the Egyptian authorities explain the arrests of these bloggers unless they were driven by a desire to control not only news and information but also opinions?” RSF said.All-out crackdownBy reining in the traditional media and blocking access to independent online media, the Egyptian authorities have reduced the country to almost complete silence. Social networks have not as yet been blocked but the authorities are currently using other means in an attempt to control social network content.If they are not arrested ­– like Alaa Abdel Fattah, a blogger who has been serving a five-year jail term since 2015 – journalists and social network users are subjected to harassment and intimidation. Some are defamed, which makes them fear arrest. Others, such as Wael Abbas, are the targets of online attacks by troll armies, who managed to get his account suspended.At least 35 journalists, citizen-journalists and bloggers are currently detained in Egypt, which is ranked 161st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. Most of the detainees are being held pending trial. May 9, 2018 After journalists, Egypt arrests bloggers January 22, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

What happened to the XFL 1.0? Biblical hype, media failure and, of course, ‘He Hate Me’

first_imgTo figure that out, it’s important to look back at why the original XFL failed.MORE XFL 2020: Rules | Rosters | TV scheduleWhat was the original XFL?  McMahon and NBC executive Dick Ebersol co-founded the XFL in 2001, and it was a single-entity league instead of having owners for the eight original franchises. The “X” in XFL had no meaning for legal reasons.  McMahon promised “smash-mouth football,” and the hype leading up to the launch of the league was at a pro-wrestling like level. Take this promo for example. Imagine watching this in the social media era: Fans were expecting full-blown chaos on a football team when the debut came on Feb. 3, 2001 in Las Vegas — which was less than a week after the Super Bowl. Everybody remembers McMahon’s speech before the first gam — which drew a 9.5 Nielsen rating.   What did the XFL do right?  The original XFL used some innovations still used by the NFL today — including the SkyCam and on-field microphones for players and coaches.  The XFL also had camera men on the field during the game. The XFL used a 35-second play clock, too, and the new league also has rules in place that will speed up the pace of play. The league spiced up special teams and overtime, and those are elements of the NFL that are seemingly discussed every offseason.   The XFL will re-launch on Feb. 8 in a second attempt to create a professional football league.  WWE chairman Vince McMahon was behind the first XFL in 2001, and he’s trying again. It will be interesting to see what the league learns from the failures of that first attempt along with the Alliance of American Football, which launched last season.   What did the XFL do wrong? The XFL looked too much like McMahon’s wrestling product than football that fans could appreciate long term.  That worked on some occasions, like substituting the opening coin toss with a scramble for the football. But the product relied on salacious sideline interviews and gimmicks that do not work in football.  Plus, the football was not great. That is the same problem the AAF had. The players, mostly borderline NFL roster players, did not lack effort. But the lack of star power caught up with the league.  When the XFL game forced “Saturday Night Live” to push back its start time 45 minutes in the third week of the season, it reinforced the need for a better time slot for viewers on a major network.  The league, much like the AAF, failed to capitalize on the high ratings of the first week.  What is the XFL’s legacy?  The XFL could be summed up in three words.  “He Hate Me.”  Rod Smart, who played for the Las Vegas Outlaws, wore “He Hate Me” on the back of his jersey, and the league allowed leeway for its players and commentators to become bigger personalities. Tommy Maddox finished with 2,186 yards, 18 TDs and nine INTs and was one of the success stories in the league.  Ultimately, McMahon did not have a product that came close to the NFL, and Bob Costas exposed that during a one-on-one HBO interview.  By then, the one-year experiment was almost over.  Will XFL 2.0 be set up to fail in the same way?  Can the league keep viewer interest without NFL star power? The USFL was able to do that in the 1980s by getting star players such as Herschel Walker, Jim Kelly, Reggie White and Steve Young to play in the league. That is the biggest long-term hurdle.  In the short term, the XFL will generate interest to fill the football void. The league runs through April 26, and it has a better TV plan with games on ABC, FOX, ESPN and FS1.  This version appears more football oriented, and there are some interesting rule changes that will be analyzed over the first few weeks.   (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/eb/40/xfl-020620-getty-ftrjpg_4fwcgi97agcb1epopcezb3u93.jpg?t=452962928&w=500&quality=80 McMahon will have his fingerprints on the league, but it’s important to note that Oliver Luck, who served on the College Football Playoff committee, is the commissioner. If the football is better than average, which the AAF was not, then the league might have a chance to last more than one season.last_img read more

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