They begged their heroes to come - but will they listen?

  • 24 May 2015
Young YouTube fans in the Philippines successfully caught the world's attention - but will their heroes show up in Manila?
Young YouTube fans in the Philippines successfully caught the world's attention - but will their heroes show up in Manila?

A co-ordinated effort by die-hard YouTube fans in the Philippines has caught the attention of some of the site's most famous video bloggers, but will they follow through on promises to visit the country?

The Philippines has one of the youngest and fastest-growing populations in Asia and a huge social media fan base to match. Despite that, Manila does not always head the list of destinations for top YouTube stars - a fact that a concerted effort by young Filipinos aimed to change.

Earlier this week the hashtag #BringYouTubersToManila hit Twitter's list of top worldwide trends. It was a co-ordinated effort by Filipino "street teams" - not, as you might expect, groups of young people in matching T-shirts giving out free samples of yogurt near train stations, but rather online fans of popular YouTubers such as Zoella, Marcus Butler and Alfie Deyes of Pointless Blog.

The street teams are a big force online in the country, and after a failed attempt last year to make the hashtag trend, more than a thousand YouTube fans gathered at Manila's "Grand Summer Party" (a sort of festival for YouTube fans) where a plan was hatched to co-ordinate messages at an exact time, bombarding Twitter with super-fandom.

It worked. More than 200,000 people tweeted #BringYouTubersToManila and some of YouTube's most famous stars started to pay attention:

Alfie Deyes Tweet
Marcus Butler Tweet
Zoe Tweet

Read full article They begged their heroes to come - but will they listen?

Uzbekistan's answer to the selfie stick

  • 23 May 2015
Translation: "Our version of a selfie stick: selfie ketmon (hoe)"
Translation: "Our version of a selfie stick: selfie ketmon (hoe)"

Take a modern device, attach it to an ancient farming implement and what do you have? Well in one central Asian country - a wry political comment.

In a nation with strong farming tradition, the everyday farming hoe is a national symbol. And for Uzbeks, the hoe - or "ketmon" - has recently taken on a new significance in light of the country's economic wobbles. Cotton is Uzbekistan's biggest export, but the economy also relies heavily on sales of gas and other natural resources. The price of gas has been sagging on world markets and Russia - Uzbekistan's main trading partner - has been hit hard by the impact of western sanctions imposed over the crisis in Ukraine.

Read full article Uzbekistan's answer to the selfie stick

The amazing elephant selfie. But is it a world first?

  • 22 May 2015
Elephant selfie in Thailand

Forget selfie sticks. If you're looking for a wide-angle shot with a much longer range than any pole can give you, then ask an elephant.

That's what Christian Le Blanc discovered while travelling in Thailand. The 22-year-old from Vancouver, Canada was feeding a friendly elephant in Koh Phangan when the unexpected happened.

Read full article The amazing elephant selfie. But is it a world first?

The 'wrinkled women' of Russia

  • 22 May 2015
Instagram #WrinkledWoman selfie

Hundreds of Russian women are posting selfies with scrunched faces on Instagram, as part of a protest against officials - including one who remarked about women aged 27 having wrinkles, and another who married a teenager aged under 18.

It began with an arranged marriage. On Saturday, Nazhud Guchigov, a 47-year-old local police chief in the Russian republic of Chechnya, married Kheda Goylabiyeva - who is 17 years old. The bride has gone on TV to say she was marrying the "manly and reliable" Guchigov of her own free will, but many commenting online disagreed - especially since Guchigov is already married, and so was marrying a second wife, as is permitted by the Muslim faith predominant in Chechnya.

Read full article The 'wrinkled women' of Russia

The mother who 'outed' her daughter's Facebook lie

  • 21 May 2015

Millions have watched an American mother who discovered that her 13-year-old daughter was pretending to be 19 online, and publicly "outed" her in an angry Facebook video. But is it right to shame teenagers in this way?

Val Starks was furious when she discovered that her 13-year-old daughter had a secret Facebook account and was pretending to be much older online. Not only that, but her daughter was using the account to chat to older men, and had even uploaded photos of herself in her underwear. The Denver mother confronted her daughter - and posted the video to Facebook as a punishment.

Read full article The mother who 'outed' her daughter's Facebook lie

Why slightly flabby middle-aged guys are suddenly sexy

  • 21 May 2015

Young women are getting into the "Dad Bod" - but some think it's a recipe for laziness - while others are calling for a celebration of the female equivalent.

When 19-year-old university student Mackenzie Pearson wrote an article extolling the virtues of the slightly out-of-shape man, the reaction was huge - tens of thousands have been chatting about it on Twitter and Facebook.

Read full article Why slightly flabby middle-aged guys are suddenly sexy

The Kenyan woman on Chinese death row

  • 21 May 2015
Floviance Owino
Floviance Owino has been missing for two years and her family believe she has been sentenced to death in China

The story of a young mother who has been sentenced to death in China has gripped Kenyans, as they use her case to discuss the influence of China in Africa.

In May 2013, Floviance Razan Owino left her one-year-old daughter with her sister in Nairobi, with the promise that she was going to seek work elsewhere to support her. Her sister told BBC Trending that she heard briefly from Floviance a few days later. But after that nothing - she was absent for two long years.

Read full article The Kenyan woman on Chinese death row

"I will never allow you to become a doctor"

  • 21 May 2015
Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan's provocative blog touched off a debate about the medical profession in India
Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan's provocative blog touched off a debate about the medical profession in India

Would you push your offspring towards a career as a doctor - or a pole dancer?

One doctor in India is clear about the future of his profession - if the current state of his country's health system continues, he'd rather his children do anything but practice medicine. Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan laid out his arguments in a blog post that was shared thousands of times this week on Facebook and Reddit.

Read full article "I will never allow you to become a doctor"

'Droughtshaming' hopes to out California water cheats

  • 20 May 2015
"Apparently too challenging to adjust auto timers for sprinklers when it rains #drought #droughtshaming #cadrought," Californian resident Annemarie Haydel tweeted with a picture of the offending curb-side sprinkler.

With water levels at a record low in California, vigilantes are using social media to shame their neighbours into saving more water.

#Droughtshaming - a practice that began online last year - is back again as California enters its fourth summer of extreme drought. Residents who catch their neighbours wasting water are posting pictures and videos, often with addresses, on Facebook and Twitter as well as via apps. (It is the home of Silicon Valley, after all.)

"Holy hell it's a Bakersfield waterfall- every time I visit there's always a river. greenwood mdws dr #droughtshaming," tweeted Vanessa Christman with a picture of water cascading off a pavement.

Read full article 'Droughtshaming' hopes to out California water cheats

Why some people are blaming war for... women on bikes

  • 20 May 2015
Yemeni girl riding a bike in the capital Sanaa

War is tearing Yemen apart, and the news is unrelentingly grim. But some Yemenis have been raging not about fighting, airstrikes, or severe food shortages, but instead about… women on bikes.

Bushra Al-Fusail is a young female photographer who's pushing one solution to severe petrol shortages caused by the conflict in Yemen: bicycles.

Read full article Why some people are blaming war for... women on bikes