Welcome to Pornistan

Published: July 20, 2010

Pakistan has been accused by Fox News of having an unusual interest in horses.

If Fox news is anything to go by, Pakistan may be the leading nation in “sexy” online searches. According to a recent article featured on FoxNews.com, Pakistan is ranked the first in the world in terms of pornographic Google searches. Of course, this discovery is juxtaposed with Pakistan’s recent behaviour in cyberspace. Pakistan temporarily banned Facebook, Youtube and Blackberry service in reaction to the controversial Facebook group “Everyone Draw Muhammad Day”, which itself was a reaction to Comedy Central’s decision to censor the image of Prophet Muhammad from South Park. Of course there is the obvious question:  If Pakistan is an Islamic country, what’s with all the porn?

I’m not sure if the writers at Fox News have gotten this memo yet, but covering Google Trends statistics is not really reporting. Looking up Google trends on the terms “porn”, “sex” and all forms of bestiality is something testosterone laced teenage boys do for fun, not professional reporters. In defense of Fox News however, I would like to add that this network promises news which is “fair and balanced”, not “relevant and intelligent”.

The reason that I am incensed about this is not that I feel the need to defend Pakistan, or that this article is an affront to my religious sensibilities. On the contrary, I have no objection to this article on nationalist or religious grounds. I find this article offensive as a scientist. This is the epitome of bad research. Firstly, there is the obvious sampling error. Considering that at best estimates, only 10% of Pakistanis have access to Internet, the high frequency of porn searches hardly depict the Googling habits of an entire nation. Secondly, Google Trends and Google Insight report search term statistics limited to the searches made on Google. It does not account for all the other search activity on the internet. Thirdly, there is no limit on the number of searches made by the same search engine user. This means that an individual searching for “porn” and “sex” on Google, may use these search terms an infinite amount of time. Therefore, sex crazed maniacs in Pakistan will drive up relevant search statistics.

There is an obvious hilarity in this entire situation. Given the nature of the majority of comments that this piece has received it is surreal that very few seem to question the reliability of the article itself. It seems as though everyone accepts Google as a credible source for making judgments about countries that one has never visited. If it is this easy to fool Fox News readers, I wonder what else they can be talked into. So, I would like to propose a contest. Make up your own headline that you think should be published in the next Fox News article about Pakistan and post it in the comments section below. The only rule is that they have to be funny. Here is my contribution:

Kind souls create sanctuary for donkeys victimised by sex crazed maniacs in Pakistan


Sarah Hasnain

Ab MSc candidate in Fisheries Science, who blogs on a regular basis at Kiss My Roti, her personal blog and tweets at twitter.com/kissmyroti

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://tribune.com.pk Jahanzaib Haque

    My Fox News headline of the day:

    Bomb blasts and beer on Saturday nights

    (An urban feature piece starring the tragically elite and several dozen terrorists, perhaps a foreign agency or two… and some Google Trends)


  • Hamood

    In the US Fox news is also known as FAUX news. An extremist right wing mouth piece. They spew hate against Muslims 24/7. Anything coming out of Fox news cannot be trusted. I can believe the fact that Pakistan might be in the top few countries for regular porn because sex is suppressed in the society but the way the article was written and linked beastiality with Pakistan (kind of implying that all Pakistanis are somehow into that) is typical of malicious nature of that channel.Recommend

  • Angelos

    a lame attempt by fox news!

    judging 170 million people on the basis of data collected from 8 million internet users, and when even data source (Google) itself saying that data is not accurate….

    search for rapes and abortions in america per day, fox should call america country of abortions or country of rapists!Recommend

  • amjad faruqui

    This story has received a lot of attention though misplaced as everyone is obsessed with our lust for porn,but was is the real & most disturbing issue is that we have a very high ratio of ppl searching for ‘rape videos’, ‘child porn’ !!!
    This is the real story,that our ppl have a sick interest in rape & paedophilia.Bloggers should blog about the fantasy of our men related to these search terms.
    We already have a high number of rapes & paedophile crimes in our society though the vast majority aren’t reported.
    No one goes into the depth of this perverse,diseased mentality of the males in our country,all the anchors,reporters,bloggers pay the same lip service that we have drifted away from the right path & all such platitudes.
    It’s time we wake up & discuss the male psyche in our society.In the west paedophiles aren’t only prosecuted mercilessly by the law but also face the harshest social ostracization & live as hated outcasts,whereas in our land they aren’t treated with the disgust they deserve;forget prosecution a lot of these paedophiles have wives who don’t even leave them after their crimes are exposed.Recommend

  • Tayyab

    Lol…. atleast we are not number one in searching “how to make a BOMB” or “advantages of suicide attack”.. come on US be happy .. .!!Recommend

  • faraz

    As a confirmatory test for the validity of google trend, type “ZIONIST”; Pakistan is at the top. At second place is Israel. Surely no other country is more obsessed with zionist conspiracies than we are.

    I love the picture of the horse Recommend

  • Ahsan Kamal

    It is a well known phenomena that when during a discussion two parties giving their opinions and point of view, When one feel itself weaker, he will use unethical, provoking tactics to bring his position up,

    There is a big lobby working against Muslims, we have to say Mr. Sam your nation is no 1 in sex abuses and pornography as it is legal in your country, only 10% of Pakistani use internet and they have not searching their sites, they are searching the sites that you have made for us,

    Hight of Hypocrisy

    ahsan kamal
    Islamabad Recommend

  • http://ykhan.wordpress.com Yasser

    These are the kind of blogger Pakistan need on tribune and other webs, who do accurate research, highlight facts and show both side of picture.

    Great work.Recommend

  • Ahmed Khan

    less than 5% of the population with internet connectivity and we are the leading country for sexy internet searches. Haah irony!Recommend

  • http://awgilani.wordpress.com Syed Abdul Wahab Gilani

    Being a research student I cent% agree with you.
    May I add, these google trends results shows only for eache keyword. Pakistan may top one or two keywords or may be 3 if not less, but declaring it on top of the porn view nation huh.. rubbish.

    MS Scholar @SZABISTRecommend

  • Fahad

    This is cynical how the western media try to malign the Pakistani society. The people here have no access to education,majority living behing the poverty line,so how is it possible for people to use the technology in such country where people even in today having so many hindrances to grapple with livelihoods.
    Even though in urban areas where such facilility is available people watch or go on porn websites but the ratio is so low and incomparable to western countries, where these material will be made and propagate through out the world.Recommend

  • faria.syed

    Fox headline of the day:
    Donkey Association holds protest in front of press club, Ministry of Pornorgaphy refuses to comment


  • Malik Rashid

    Truly, the interest in rape and child-sex is disturbing but this news item changes Pakistan’s name to ‘Pornistan’. Becoming a bastion of porno-graphic material and sex would actually be a positive change for Pakistan. Sexual-morality, typical of old religions has been invoked into shaming a country and its people. This sexual-morality brigade has stalled sex-education in schools in Ontario, Canada, and they have carried a violent anti-abortion campaign that killed many doctors. This conservative morality humiliates us on our human propensity for sex and oppresses us in the name of ‘holy laws’. These are the oppressors who champion military superiority by diverting all resource of the world towards weapons and army. Recommend

  • Hira Shah

    love tayyabs post :PRecommend

  • Troll, A

    Aren’t we getting a little defensive here? Yes, this is not a pristine sample. Yes, there may be an army of underground perverts laboriously typing in the terms again and again and again. But that may be so for any country; we are playing on an even field there. Either we have many more perverts than other countries, or we simply have more interest in porn per capita.

    Second: Google is the must used search engine in the world, not a Pakistan-specific pornaganza machine. We are comparing OUR results on Google with OTHER peoples results on Google. The finding still holds.

    Third: The study is obviously per capita. So our percentage of internet + google users vs. however many people use the internet and Google anywhere else . Yes, a smaller sample can always skew “per capita” studies but not so much that we reach the top of the world without merit.

    In sum, I agree that there are better things to report on but your this comes across as a little defensive, especially when you end with an absurdist non-sequitur that doesn’t really offer a true analogy to the current report. Recommend

  • MQA

    India has the largest army of so called “sex workers” in the world.
    USA has the highest divorce / abortion / rape / serial killing rate in the world.
    japan stands tall with its unusal eating trends in the world …… and the list can go on…
    so why make such a huge fuss about Pakistan???
    it does not mean i advocate or stand proud of the report by Fox News but my question is
    why are we always declared the odd one out.
    if Pakistan stands at the top for searching for porn or pornographic content then there should be a list drafted as to highlight who are uploading all that porn content to satisfy the lust that thrives in my nation???
    yes they are mostly Americans followed by Australians and then come the Indians.
    so please spare me of the horror and stop attacking us by simlpy saying that just because we are muslims we should not do this and should not do that.
    religion is a very personal aspect to any individuals profile and no one has the right to question / comment or condemn any act performed by any one in this context.Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    Stats by Fox are wrong…..The original ones dont tally with report by Fox news…..
    Regional traffic for “Sex”:
    1 Veitnam 2 India,3 Egypt, 4 Indonesia, 5 moroco, 6 malaysia, 7 Turkey 8 Greece, 9 Poland, 10 Romania…
    Regional traffic for “Porn”:1 Ireland 2 UK 3 Canada 4 Australa 5 India 6 italy 7 US 8 Turkey 9 Finland 10 Sweden
    Shame on Fox news….Recommend

  • Abdullah

    Let me introduce myself first. I am a manager at a local advertising agency and my job pushes me know things about different media at all times. Digital i would consider a specialty of mine given that i have an advanced degree in IT.

    That said, let me clarify one thing that the claim that Fox is making is a absolutely false. Top porn viewers per inter user is an indicator that is used in the industry to measure this phenomenon and still US leads the list. UK being the second and Netherlands third.

    This piece here by Fox is nothing but a part of their silly yellow journalism that has been their forte since Ragan administration.

    You too should research the facts stated in international press and then print something of this sort.


  • Tanveer

    Great Job Sadaf,Recommend

  • Taufiq

    I am really happy to read this article now you show right picture to every one. Sarah you done a great job for us.Recommend

  • http://www.ctl360.com Sarah

    that is hilarious. Fox News has never been an objective news channel. They like to promote their one-sided thoughts and opinions, thus anything remotely Muslim does not stand a chance.

    and yeah more people in Pakistan SHOULD indulge in porn so as to bring down the rate of rape incidents and under age / premarital child birth.

    I really don’t think that the supposed porn searching statistics have any relation whatsoever to the response on “everybody draw Muhammed day”

    They have rubbish justifications.

    I never agreed with the facebook ban but only because it restricted our nation from standing up and putting the illiterates in their place. Recommend

  • Usama Zafar

    “and yeah more people in Pakistan SHOULD indulge in porn so as to bring down the rate of rape incidents and under age / premarital child birth.”

    Lol I hate to say I totally agreeRecommend

  • Osman

    You see, the worrisome bit should not be the fact that people search for sex. It’s the fact that they search for morbidity beyond acceptability – rape, horse sex, child sex | true it reflects well, the mindset of the maniac masses.Recommend

  • Babar J

    I knew we were numero uno at SOMETHINGRecommend

  • Tayyab

    Yes.. we are pornistan huh!!!! and India having higher number of AIDS cases there have nothing to do with sex and porn ????

    biased and ridiculous. and stupid commenting by Indians as usual…Recommend

  • Raheel

    a sick and lame attempt from fox news to give “some more” bad name to Pakistan, and sad how our own Pakistanies obsessed with western media join hands in defaming their own country. and nobody mentioned that google after contacting and complaining, withdrew the claim, and said that statistics were not correct, but we continue to dance as others laugh on us… sadRecommend

  • http://www.twitter.com/partyistan Nabeel Khalid

    Partyistan: Tequila drinkers stoned a couple to death for fornicating in public using consumed shot glassesRecommend

  • nadir khan

    “Kind souls create sanctuary for donkeys victimized by sex crazed maniacs in Pakistan…”

    haha i just read this and it was freakin‘ hilarious!!!
    For whatever it’s worth, here’s mine: ‘Police bust sex / pornography ring; 5 burger-kids, a rickshaw driver, 3 donkeys and a mule arrested.’Recommend

  • mudassar Ghaffar
  • amer k

    Yes it is a big partyplace and we are not ashamed of it, but less than 10% internet users and blaming the whole country. Sex and porn is the highest in Nederlands, sweden and denmark and it is all official. The unoffical ones should be india, china and others as per other authentic researches.
    So, this is the real practical statistics that no one talks about!!!
    Google pakistan should take this up with the HQs and get this fixed before someone takes them to the court…Recommend

  • Nobody

    I still find it difficult to believe that so many people still associate rape with sex. Rape has nothing to do with sex, so indulging in porn (which might I add is the last thing an already misogynistic country needs MORE of) won’t solve ANYTHING. Rape is about violence and power; people don’t rape because they just got oh so horny they couldn’t control their urges anymore. That being said, yes Faux News and all that it stands for is a load of bullshhh and I don’t believe a word of what comes out of their hate-mongering mouths. Recommend