Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pakistan Telecom Watchdog Drafts Rude Text Message Ban

Guardians of linguistic purity have long warned against the pernicious impact that text messaging may have on the young, but Pakistan officials have taken such concerns to a new extreme by demanding that mobile phone operators block all text messages using offensive words.

With a creativity and dedication to the task unusual for local officialdom, the country's telecoms regulator has issued a list of more than 1000 words and phrases which will be banned.

After serious deliberation and consultation, officials from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) have come up with more than 50 phrases using the word "fuck" and 17 involving "butt".


Do read the entire article. It’s got a lot of WTF moments. For example: In the letter to mobile phone firms, watchdog director Muhammad Talib Doger said "the system should be implemented within seven days ... and a report submitted to PTA on monthly basis on the number of blocked SMSs"

Ahem… guess it’s ok when a cricketer uses abusive language on the field – repeatedly. Even more acceptable when the entire team does it! That aside, this country does plenty of serious issues that merit attention. I fail to see how this (rude text message) qualifies for this degree of attention. 

Concerned about offensive language in text messages. Err… Seriously! Don’t these authorities have more important things to worry about?

2 Opinions:

Surya Murali said...

"Nobody would like this happening to their young boy or girl," said Younis.
Ahem... If their young boys and girls are receiving and sending offensive messages... I don't think the message content is the culprit here.
And then there was this bit about people complaining of offensive messages... Really?... Is there a mass message service in Pakistan that sends out these messages... Or are they receiving it from their friends / acquaintances / people they know... And well, if they are offended why are complaints directed at the carrier and not the source. Quite silly!

L o r d R a j said...


Most of the times the 'abusive' words are used just as a figure of speech.