Stories about Twitter

Should Pakistan ask for free internet during the coronavirus pandemic?

Working from home during the coronavirus pandemic? There are chances that by now you have been frustrated by the speed of your internet at one point or the other. Maybe your co-worker’s face froze during a Skype meeting, or maybe you were trying to watch a YouTube video that kept buffering or maybe a 5MB picture took more than 10 minutes to download.  These are revealing signs that the internet in Pakistan might be struggling to support the unprecedented surge in use from millions of homebound computer and smartphone users. Since the local governments have imposed lockdowns across the country, ...

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Trying to understand Hamza Ali Abbasi’s ‘halal platonic’ relationship

A couple of days ago, the news about actor Hamza Ali Abbasi marrying fellow actress Naimal Khawar Khan broke out. I was extremely excited upon hearing the news because, in my opinion, they make one of the most photogenic and beautiful couples. With his Robert Pattinson-like looks and prodigious acting talent, Abbasi is one of the most famous television stars and perhaps the only male actor to truly rival Fawad Khan in terms of popularity. Khan is also a gorgeous woman and her performance in serial Anaa shows a lot of promise for the future. However, then my attention was drawn towards ...

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Indians can’t wait to ‘marry Kashmiri girls’, ‘buy land in Kashmir’ – and therein lies the problem

A few years ago, I wrote a blog in which I cherished an overarching identity which connected me, a Pakistani, to the inhabitants of neighbouring India. The said article was not a negation of the Two-Nation Theory but rather what I thought was the right way forward. I had written, “Yes, modern Pakistan and India are a reality, but then so is our great common heritage. Yes, it is important for us to be loyal to our political states, but at the same time not overlook the joint heritage. There is an overarching identity which unites us despite our political ...

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David and Dan didn’t ruin Game of Thrones – the internet did

Fandom is a tricky thing. There is a very fine line between camaraderie and chaos, and fandom lies somewhere on its border. It has seen the rise of art and then the decline of it. It has turned from caring about a property to turning it into a cult, and it lives and breathes upon the cyclic torrents of the internet. Ah, the internet. The subculture of culture itself. The voice the Mad King hears, the past that Bran has seen, the future that the Maesters will write; the internet. It writes itself and corrects itself. It is the judge, ...

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A tale of two speeches: Why Bilawal has proved to be a better leader than Imran

This blog is about two speeches that are invariably linked. The first, delivered in a firebrand style by a young leader, provoked a response from an older leader. Both are leaders of major political parties, belonging to different generations and espousing different political ideologies. But as the crux of their speeches show, they belong to different calibres as well. The first speech was given in a National Assembly session by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. It was partly in response to Asad Umar’s infamous speech attacking Bilawal, and partly to raise some important questions about the recent ...

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The Information Mystery: Is PTI caught in social media’s spinning web?

The current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government seems to be at crossroads once again as debate on media and press freedom takes a dark turn with each statement spurred by the Information Ministry headed by Fawad Chaudhry. Speaking at an event recently, Chaudhry warned media houses that “their current model would not last long if they didn’t change their ways”. Rather than appearing to be an advice from the concerned federal authority, it seemed to be soaked in threatening tones. “The news media wants government advertisements and sponsorship, but what would happen to its freedom if the media looks up to the ...

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12 times Pakistani sense of humour stole the show on Twitter

The end of the year is upon us, and yearly roundups are spreading like wildfire. After all, for Pakistan alone, this was the year of the elections, of some intense accountability and of some horrendous behaviour by politicians and celebrities alike. International news didn’t fare any better. In a year that is certain to be remembered as a dumpster fire, the only thing that kept us going was a platform where all the dark souls on this planet gather to laugh at their misery – Twitter. They say things get worse before they get better. Pakistanis can attest to that, ...

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The billion dollar question: Why Pakistanis fall for fake news so easily

As a nation, Pakistan runs high on emotions and little on common sense. In an effort to make our otherwise tedious routine from nine-to-five feel a little more interesting, we like to create gossip, spread rumours and conspiracy theories, and mainly take active part in circulating fake news. Anything floats the boat in Pakistan, as long as you make the news sound somewhat real to a common man. A good example of this is the spread of something as wild as the claim that Shahid Khan, a Pakistani-American billionaire and the richest person of Pakistani origin, is donating $1 ...

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RIP Anam Tanoli: Worse than being a woman in Pakistan is being a victim of depression and bullying

“Be grateful for what you have.” “Always look at people who are less fortunate than you.” “If you believed in God, you wouldn’t feel hopeless. You need to pray more – it’s the devil making you depressed and miserable.” “It’s all in your head.” “Stop being cynical, be positive.” “Stop overthinking.” “Stop overreacting.” And here is the worst one, “Stop pretending you have mental health issues to gain sympathy and attention!” If you have ever had anxiety, depression, stress or any other mental health issues, I bet your Pakistani family, friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbours, or even complete strangers would have used at least one of the aforementioned phrases after ...

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How are we supposed to keep a check on governance without Twitter, PM Imran Khan?

The 280 characters provided by Twitter don’t seem like a lot of space to make a powerful statement. It sounds even smaller when nearly 6,000 tweets are tweeted per second, which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets per minute, 500 million tweets per day and around 200 billion tweets per year. But with 350 million monthly active users, every tweet has the potential to reach millions of people. That’s the very reason influencers, celebrities, and even governments turn to Twitter at important events. There is no media outlet or portal on earth with the reach and opportunity for a viral ...

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