Stories about social network

Is Pakistan’s e-commerce framework effective?

The E-commerce Framework of Pakistan highlights nine different aspects which require the government’s attention. The first one is the e-commerce regulations section. The policy outline for these regulations appear to have been created after much introspection and investigation. However, as someone who has seen e-commerce evolve and flourish in countries such as China, UK and finally Pakistan, I believe that a suitable perspective must be adopted when formulating these regulatory policies. E-commerce in Pakistan is still in its infancy. A McKinsey research states that the lack of funding opportunities in Pakistan is the first major bottleneck in the development of ...

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Is cheating only physical?

Cheating on a partner or having an affair whilst being in a steady, committed relationship has been an area of interest to people for as long as one can trace back the history of humankind. Since the last decade, social scientists have been trying to understand the phenomenon of online affairs or ‘digital cheating’. Several studies focus on what they call the ‘AAA engine’ of online affairs – Affordability, Accessibility and Anonymity. Social media makes it more comfortable for people to share their fantasies and problems while sitting in the protection of their home or workplace. Several studies also show ...

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Facebook Messenger app: “We know what you did last night…”

We live in an increasingly digital world and depend on our smartphones as a daily driver for staying informed, keeping in touch with our family and friends, and also for many other wide ranging applications. Facebook is a large part of our daily lives; while it helps us stay connected socially, there might be something more up its sleeves than we would have thought. Recently, it has been discovered that the seemingly ubiquitous and unassuming Facebook Messenger app for mobile phones is more than it has previously let on. This application has been downloaded well over one billion times on Android and iPhone respective mobile platforms by ...

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Was it ‘unethical’ of Diana Magnay to call the Israelis ‘scum’?

Are reporters allowed to express normal human emotions like anger, jubilation, grief and hatred?  Are they being untrue to their profession if they do so? When is being overwhelmed by emotions forgivable? Recently, these questions resurfaced during the coverage of the on-going conflict in Gaza. The images emerging from there are horrific, if that word can define them properly. We have had journalists moving away from the camera because they felt too overwhelmed with grief. There are allegations of ‘biased and unbalanced’ coverage by the media, depending on which side of the divide you are. In the current context, as the ...

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Are you a Facebook lab rat?

If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world, leaving behind China’s 1.34 billion people and India’s population of 1.2 billion. Their user base has increased from 1 million in 2004 to 1.23 billion today. In 2012, Facebook tampered and manipulated the newsfeed of about 700,000 of its users for one week. It placed posts into user news feeds to study how this affected their mood, removing either all of the positive posts or all of the negative ones. Scientists working for the social network conducted this study for a week in January 2012 to see if interfering with posts the users ...

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Is your online life more ‘real’ than your reality?

Your online identity has seen you do a bunch of crazy things from naming yourself after your favourite Star Wars character to putting up highly fantasised pictures of your human self on Bitstrips.  Bitstrips has become a craze among the young and old, with people creating pictures of their human selves online. Photo: Bitstrips (Facebook Page) However, what started as fun and games has long since existed to be only that. You are now as much of an amalgamation of your online experiences as your real-life ones and who is to say which one is what? With phone alerts punctuating ...

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Google Plus: Epic Fail

If Google+ crashes and nobody is using it at the time, does it make a sound? When I told my friends that Google+ was dying, they looked at me puzzled. Turns out they couldn’t believe it wasn’t already 6-feet under. Google was already in every nook and cranny of your private life but it wanted to dig deeper. The company came out with a Facebook clone to do this and is even now congregating and contextualizing all the very possibly embarrassing data that it has on your life using its new social network. However, somewhere along the way to Google competing with Facebook, ...

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10 things I hate about communication in 2011

Ever wondered what life was like before we got so dependent on computers? Yes, we wrote letters that took weeks to reach. We wondered who could be calling when we answered our landlines that had no call waiting or caller ID and left messages on answering machines or voice mail. And as we didn’t write random texts, emails or tweets on the spur of the moment; those of us in school scribbled notes passed around class. Today, we rely heavily upon email, social networking, text messaging, Skype and mobile Internet browsing to support our daily interactions with our virtual communities. However, these ...

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Of politicians and social networks

With Rehman Malik declaring that 70% of the recent violence in Karachi can be attributed to (incredibly angry) wives and girlfriends and Jamaat-i-Islami declaring that Malik needs to see a doctor, the lines between farce and reality have been fairly blurred. If not the usual suspects, it’s the new Sindh home minister saying that the multifarious problems of Karachi can be solved using a ‘wand of love’. Harry Potter couldn’t have been happier to hear that ethnic divides, riots, tyre-burning, killings, strikes, loadshedding and the like could be solved with a loving wand. But just when we thought it couldn’t get any ...

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Scandalous Islamabad: Facebook’s gossip vultures

On an idle Sunday afternoon spent eating pizza and chatting with my sisters-in-law, I was introduced to ‘Scandalous Islamabad’. In case you don’t know what it is, ‘Scandalous Islamabad’ is a Facebook group inspired by American TV show Gossip Girl (remember the mysterious “And who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell. You know you love me xoxo Gossip Girl?”) Currently, this Facebook group has a following of almost 5,000 people. The grapevine is active The group that was created in January this year keeps disappearing and reappearing. Apparently, this is because they got hacked. There is a post on their ...

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