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THINKING POSITIVE: The Benetton Group’s UnHate Foundation is challenging the world’s predominantly negative news cycle with a Web platform called Unhatenews.com that instead offers fictional “stories that are seemingly authentic but surprisingly positive,” according to the organization. The Web site, developed in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Public Information, encourages young people from around the world to call attention to social justice issues by writing stories they wish were true and providing photos and videos to buttress their appeals.
Once reviewed by UnHate news editors, stories posted to the site are subject to user ratings, and at the end of March an UnHate jury will select the best ten from the most popular 100 items. These in turn will be matched with existing UN projects and granted funding from the UnHate Foundation.
Since it kicked off on Feb. 17, UnHate News has focused heavily on three issues: gay rights, the problem of child brides, and the dispute between China and Japan over the Senkaku islands. A faux-news item posted Feb. 24, for example, describes a rousing Gay Pride parade in Moscow’s Red Square, with lots of glitter and dancing but no intervention by Russian authorities.