Many years ago, I read an interview by then Google CEO, Eric Schmidt. The question posed to him was about what Google was doing to protect the privacy of its users. Unlike other executives who go off on philosophical tangents when talking about customer privacy, Schmidt said: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” In the wake of the data scandal at Facebook, this maxim holds as true today as it did when social media was born. The likes of Facebook, Google and Amazon have become part of our daily lives. We willingly ...Read Full Post
It was discovered in 2011 that over 20 million Facebook users were underage. As a result, millions of underage children are susceptible to online predators who could exploit and abuse them. This also means these underage individuals are accessing information that is not necessarily suitable for their age. It was easier back in the day. You had one TV set that barely aired a few channels. When there was something inappropriate, you could switch it off or ask the children to leave the room. It’s doubly difficult today to control the information children receive. If the 50,000 television channels aren’t telling ...Read Full Post
Chaos prevailed for at least a week due to the large-scale protests in which not only property was destroyed, but the daily lives of citizens was disrupted, holding them captive in their own homes. As if that was not enough, violent clashes between the protestors and the police forces resulted in the deaths of at least seven people, not to mention the hundreds who were critically injured. How exactly did it come to this? Was it just the amendment in the clause of the oath that resulted in the rise of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, and hence the bloodshed? The answer is a ...Read Full Post
Did Ahsan Iqbal and Imran Khan not get the memo about not using Twitter? Or was the ban only for the general public?
A bunch of religious hardliners taking over a country may seem like something a government may be able to control, but this being Pakistan, of course this wasn’t the case. After weeks of inaction, when the government finally decided to do something about the Faizabad protesters, it was to deploy the police, and unless one slept through Saturday, everyone is by now aware of the chaos that ensued following the government’s failed attempt at an operation. What undoubtedly added to the panic on Saturday was the fact that both social and electronic media were shut down by the Pakistan Electronic ...Read Full Post
We have all been guilty of indulging in sober conversations, where somehow grave arguments give way to dirty jokes. They might not be appropriate but we nevertheless find them funny. Now imagine a TV show, working with a genre as solemnly serious as true crime and then lacing it with a premise that satirically documents the investigation of a phallus-themed vandalism act. On the face of it, this might seem like a recipe for an extremely absurd concoction of two diametrically opposing cinematic themes, but handled correctly, you get to experience a completely fresh take on a TV show category ...Read Full Post
It truly has been a sad and disappointing week in the regressive, woman-hating society that is Pakistan
Unless you live under a rock, you are not only aware of the Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy vs the doctor debate that has stirred the Pakistani nation, but have also most certainly picked a side. Statistically, it is more likely that you support the doctor, and why not? Poor man, who is also a father of four, allegedly got fired – a reminder to the harassers in the Pakistani population that harassment can also have consequences, a concept they are, of course, unfamiliar with. It all started with Facebook and Twitter – which is probably something we’ll also say about the third world ...Read Full Post
Is Sarahah just another way to put people in their place, without telling them it’s you who has done so?
It feels as though nothing under the sun will ever be new again. The movies are all sequels or reboots, the series all follow similar story arcs and the tech world is glutted with the same kind of boring distractions. The latest fad on our smartphones is a ‘new’ anonymous messaging application called Sarahah, and it promises nothing more. One makes an account, posts the link onto various social media websites that one is in the habit of using, such as Facebook, and your ‘friends’ can send you anonymous messages. Sarahah is essentially an honesty app that gives people the courage to ...Read Full Post
Dear sexist men, your privileged gender is not an outcome of your “biological” qualities, but of social conditioning
Recently, I wrote an article based on two recent videos which went viral. The main idea behind the article was to showcase two outstanding individuals who challenged gender stereotypes instead of conforming to society’s prescribed gender roles, going on to live their individual dreams. For me, these individuals are heroes and, in fact, trailblazers as they have challenged socially constructed stereotypes. These stereotypes play a large role in determining what is expected of men and women from society. By spelling out these expectations and enforcing them through upbringing and cultural norms, men and women are often regimented into different roles and hence, destinies. These different roles also largely account ...Read Full Post
(This article is intended as a rebuttal to the blog titled “Nawaz Sharif must be allowed to complete his term as his dismissal will do no good.”) I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when this article caught my eye. With the wave of antagonism and criticism of Nawaz Sharif that has swept social media following the release of the infamous so-called joint inverstigation report (JIT), it is always interesting to see pockets of support for the embattled prime minister pop up every now and then. However, to my surprise, the article advocated allowing Nawaz to remain in office. Not out of political allegiance, but based on the ...Read Full Post
The earliest memory of television I have is Pakistan winning the 1992 Cricket World Cup. I don’t recall what happened on TV afterwards or how things got there, but I vaguely remember Nawaz Sharif’s sombre looking face on the television set in our living room a year later. Nawaz was prime minister. That’s all I was old enough to understand. Then one day he wasn’t. I was in grade three and apparently a new federal election was taking place. I recognised no one except Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz when they were on television or the newspaper. Who was my family voting for? I had no idea, but ...Read Full Post