Stories about social media

Can the 2018 General Elections be rigged?

Let’s get it out of the way: the caretaker or interim government setup for the General Elections 2018 will not be in a position to influence the results the way it did back in May 2013. After all, the chief secretaries appointed in this tenure will be scrutinised by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) very strictly, while the political parties, especially the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), are very determined to develop consensus when it comes to the names being included in the interim government. The provinces failed to develop consensus for the selection of caretaker chief ministers (CM) within the given ...

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“Look at his arms, they’re huge”: The naked truth of how men have body image issues too

A few months ago, my brother and I were at the grocery store picking up some snacks for movie night. The checkout line was stocked with entertainment magazines and tabloid covers. One of them was Men’s Health – I don’t remember what was on the cover, but they’re all the same.  “Drop 10 pounds of fat now!” “Three ways to naturally boost your testosterone.” “Get huge arms and a chiseled six-pack fast!”  Something like that, I’m sure. What I do remember is that the cover model’s arms looked as wide as my head, and his abs may as well have been sculpted by ...

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You reap what you sow: The irony of advocating #deleteFacebook on Facebook itself

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 ...

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Victim-blaming, slut-shaming, parent-blaming, inappropriate memes – is this your way to demand #JusticeForZainab, Pakistan?

A tragedy has paralysed the nation once again, this time in the form of Zainab, yet another innocent child that we lost too soon. Emotions are high, and rightly so, as people demand #JusticeForZainab, and ask the government and the law authorities to ensure accountability, and for once do their job and deliver justice to the family and to the rest of the nation. Hopelessness and despair prevail at the moment, along with a certain sense of despondency at the state of the country we live in, especially in light of how we continuously fail to protect our greatest asset – ...

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“Desi Website”– Indulge yourself! There is no shame

Surfing aimlessly late at night, I came across a cool website, Where feeble hearts remain unseen, Modest are few and far between.   Where every topic always leads, An attack on someone else’s creeds. To hurl insult just take a pick: Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Sikh.   You meet chest-thumping fanatics, Old-fashioned mullahs, liberal chicks. Imposing on adversary’s mind, The likes and dislikes of their kind! And all are free to blow their lids, Till wisdom dims, and reason skids.   Most favorite sight? The view of rear, The world revolves around Kashmir. Check out, my dear friends, tonight, With Google search “Desi Website”. Indulge yourself! There is no shame, Just hide behind a ...

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Facebook is not the parent, you are!

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 ...

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Sending a friend request might not be “harassment”, but Pakistanis made sure that Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy feels harassed now

Oscar and Emmy Award winner, and an all around advocate for women rights, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (SOC), like for many others, is an inspiration for me too. With documentaries like “A girl in the river” and “Saving Face”, she has won the hearts of millions of people all over the world. A few days ago, one of my friends mentioned the news about SOC getting a doctor sacked from Agha Khan University Hospital (AKUH), a renowned hospital in Karachi. Hearing this, I had a million questions going around in my mind: “What could the doctor possibly have done?” “Did he make an inappropriate comment?” “Perhaps he made an incorrect ...

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Why I choose not to speak up and say #MeToo

Social media is surreal most of the time; however, this past week has seemed more unreal than usual. My timeline on every social media platform has been flooded, or dare I say bombarded, with #MeToo status updates, tweets and posts. The hashtag went viral after American actress Alyssa Milano tweeted it to encourage more women to come forward with their experiences with sexual harassment, in response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal that shook Hollywood. If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n — Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017 My feelings on this hashtag, which ...

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Body-shaming Kareena Kapoor’s “fat legs” post pregnancy? Because giving birth to a human being isn’t painful enough for women?

To think that after the global backlash against the shamers of Mahira Khan, the world of shamers would take the back seat, is indeed just a hopeful thought. Khan got slut-shamed over her choice of clothes (the dress, by the way, is really sexy!) and for smoking a cigarette because smoking cigarettes automatically turns women into ‘unreputable women’.  Kareena Kapoor was shamed on Instagram shortly after the Khan incident for having ‘fat legs’. The Indian actress, who just gave birth to her son Taimur Ali Khan, has remained an inspiration for new moms as well as moms-to-be. During her pregnancy, she flaunted her baby bump unapologetically when ...

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“Tera baap jaraha hai”: When police officers remind the common man of their place in society

How many times have you wondered why you are stuck in a traffic jam? And then received your answer in the form of a trail of police cars zooming by? I’ve cursed these cars more than I have cursed George RR Martin during the course of my life. Living in Karachi, it is hard enough facing the frustrating traffic every day, but to have these VIP protocols block the roads further adds to my misery. Recently, a video went viral on social media where a man was filming a VIP protocol driving in front of him. It showed the police vans stopping in the middle of the ...

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