Stories about internet

The effects of the social media

The ongoing debate regarding the impact of social media is part of a greater construct in relation to the progression of democratic systems across the world. It cannot be denied that social media has played a unique role in gathering people to topple dictators and tyrants but the question remains whether this is necessarily healthy for the public sphere in which a functioning democracy runs. So when we talk about the ‘Arab Spring’, it is a unique set of events that have been launched through what many analysts call “the political awakening of Arab youth.” To start out, the new Muslim ...

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Eight fake Twitterati you need to follow

Twitter seems to have become the next big thing, after Facebook, for Pakistanis, or at least for the 20 million internet users in Pakistan. This is probably because Twitter allows unparalleled access to almost everyone on it – aside from the weirdos who have restricted timelines. Twitter is exciting – almost all the superstars of politics, sports, culture, music and film are on it and you can speak to any of them, or at least, attempt to. Sometimes, they even answer back – nowhere else is this kind of power possible in Pakistan, unless you are a visa officer in the ...

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No gay girl in Syria: Lessons for the social media community

The mysterious “Gay Girl in Damascus,” who had been kidnapped, was recently revealed to be a hoax – not just a deception. The case has also been a great disappointment for blog readers and followers. It turned out that the blog was not written by a gay girl in Damascus, but a 40-year-old American man, who is currently on vacation with his wife in Turkey. The pictures used on the web page belonged to a woman in London, who had nothing to do with the blog at all. The news comes as a shock to the many who campaigned for Amina since ...

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Are narcissists bringing social media down?

A great deal is expected from social media here in Pakistan. We are the younger generation’s hope and the older one’s handing-over brigade. We are supposed to act as a check and balance for not only political corruption, but for mainstream media which most of us regard as an out-of-control dinosaur. We are called saviors but I think we may need a little bit of saving from our own selves. This weekend was a busy one for the social media savvy here in Karachi. On Friday, there was Google MapUp held at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) which proved to be ...

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Piracy: What stands between Pakistani music, and greatness

Pakistani music is recognised around the world for its distinct and creative style. The diversities in Pakistani music are there for everyone to hear, with artists coming up with everything from hip hop and rock, all the way to classical eastern music, with some musicians even putting them together. The fact that we don’t have a prestigious film industry helps rather than hurts. Since artists don’t look towards movies to be their main form of advertisement or the medium for people to be exposed to their music, they don’t need to make specific types of tracks to please producers and ...

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Media madness: Revisiting Osama’s ‘fortress mansion’

As details come pouring in about the OBL raid and the secret hideaway readers and viewers around the world are getting increasingly baffled. ‘How is it possible that the Pakistani government was unaware of this massive mansion with fortress-like walls?’ ask puzzled writers, bloggers and heads of state. ‘Pakistan has a lot of explaining to do!’ And that, too, in a garrison area close to the country’s version of a ‘Sandhurst’-like military academy, as London’s entertaining The Daily Mail puts it. It’s time we helped out the international media with some background information, before public perception of Pakistanis falls to ‘big, ...

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Video can’t kill the radio star

I was talking to a friend about my favourite means of entertainment and told him I prefer reading books and listening to the radio. To this he said that television and the internet have made the radio obsolete. Despite all my attempts to convince him otherwise, he failed to accept the radio is a mainstream means of entertainment. “How many people listen to the radio these days?” he argued. “About 100? Two hundred, at most?” Though his ignorance astounded me, it made me think: is this really what people think about the radio today? In the early 1950s or so, before the advent ...

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Tech for thought: The geeks have overcome

My phone today is exactly as powerful as the brand new computer I bought 12 years ago. It is not just processor power; we have come a long way with Internet connectivity as well. The Internet speed I get on my mobile phone today is faster than my dial-up internet speed ten years ago. Terrorists, militants and fundamentalists have obviously not slowed down the advent of technology in Pakistan. I can order books online from Kitabain.com and pay on delivery. I can buy anything else on homeshopping.pk and beliscity.com and do the same with nearly anything except groceries. It may not matter ...

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Why pay for online information?

Shortly after the internet revolution, newspapers and magazines were publishing their articles and news online for readers and it was not long before it was necessary for them to have online editions. Publications started competing for more website visitors resulting in the emergence of the e-paper which put a scanned version of the publication online for free viewing. It did not take long for people to become dependent on these free e-papers and many readers cancelled their subscriptions of the print edition. As revenues fell, publishers were left scratching their heads. Had they made a mistake by going online? However, they could not ...

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Generation ‘Yes, we can’: What are they doing not wasting time?

Will someone tell these twenty-something Pakistani men and women to go out and play cricket or go party with friends or something? What are they doing, writing books, learning classical singing and–you won’t believe this – fixing simulators on Naval submarines! The new crop of young professionals and fresh graduates is all about pushing their limits. They take action, here and now. Here’s how they do it: Starting early This “yes, we can” generation starts shooting for the stars earlier and earlier, barely out of their teens, they put on their thinking caps and put their genius to work. Khadijah Khan started to ...

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