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Combating ‘false news’: Egypt to monitor social media users with 5,000 followers or more

CAIRO: Freedom of expression may shrink further in Egypt where lawmakers have approved the first reading of a bill that would monitor popular social media users in the name of combating "false news". Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have become one of the last forums for public debate in Egypt since a November 2013 ban on all but police-approved gatherings. In Egypt, more than 500 websites have so far been blocked, according to the Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE). On June 10, parliament…

South African pastor fined for spraying insecticide on followers

JOHANNESBURG: A South African court has fined a self-styled “prophet” who sprayed his followers in the face with insecticide as a supposed cure for illness. Pastor Lethebo Rabalago was found guilty by a court in the northwest town of Limpopo of five charges of grievous assault and contravening chemicals laws . He used "Doom", a household insecticide on his followers, earning the sobriquet "Prophet of Doom". The Sowetan daily reported Wednesday that the presiding judge jailed Rabalago to four years or a 21,000…

Katy Perry makes Twitter history with 100 million followers

WASHINGTON: Pop superstar Katy Perry has made history by becoming the first user to garner 100 million followers on Twitter, the social media platform announced. "Today we #WITNESS history," Twitter said Friday in a tweet, referencing the title of Perry's recently released fifth album. "Congratulations @katyperry, the first to reach 100 million followers! #LoveKaty." The 32-year-old singer recently livestreamed her life for 96 hours, inviting fans to watch as she slept, cooked, did yoga, cuddled with her dog Nugget and…