Stories about websites

Dear Pakistan, try not to get scammed this Black Friday

Picture this – post Thanksgiving America gearing up for Black Friday. An event like none other; adults stealing from children, fist fights, arrests, and all in all, pure mayhem. Now imagine a ‘desi-fied’ version of the same event. No, I am not referring to posh aunties pulling each others hair for a piece of lawn, but rather, the whole hoopla surrounding these online Black Friday sales. Last year, one of the biggest retailers in Pakistan pulled the black Friday stunt, and as expected, everybody else followed suit. The sale ended up breaking records but as a consumer, I felt it was a dud. Now don’t ...

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Celebrity photo leaks: Drop the drama, everyone loves a story!

The ‘nude celebrities’ pictures’ leak last week on the internet’s various social media sites has created an unwarranted, but nevertheless expected, level of hoopla. The truth is, in this day and age, any educated and avid internet user, with a plethora of passwords for a multitude of accounts and, who watches thrillers is well aware of the universal do-no-gooders called hackers, trolls, and cyberpunks. If the CIA can subject governments of entire countries to hacking, spying, and needlessly-putting-your-nose-where-it-definitely-does-not-belong, then you’d have the common sense to realise that once you put your images, messages, trivial and/or important personal information into any ...

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Afridi’s opinion on women is none of your business!

Just when we think we are over it, it starts all over again. Another video goes viral over social websites, attracts conversations and often takes you nowhere but through a vicious circle of ongoing rebuttals. This time it’s Shahid Afridi under attack. So here goes, it starts with Afridi making a grand comeback, surprising us with his performance in matches against India and Bangladesh. Suddenly, all the loyalty towards him is regained. Then come all the memes about him against Virat Kohli, Indian fans, Bangladeshi fans and the likes. In between the hundreds of comments, we see people praying for Afridi to have a son now after three ...

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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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PEMRA, banning an ad on contraception makes no sense

From banning websites over blasphemous content to the recent ban on the advertisement for contraception, Pakistan seems to be headed in the wrong direction. The problem at hand is not just the ban, but the authority that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has assumed – the power to ban anything. As a citizen of this country, I have a few concerns. Where exactly is democracy and our right to the freedom of speech? Pemra is abusing its power here. They are banning content on the internet based on what they find inappropriate. However, this content may not actually be inappropriate but educational. Additionally, they can’t install filters to block ‘immoral’ and ...

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Are nasty comments distorting reality?

The online landscape in Pakistan is not unlike the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) at its current scale. There are almost no laws that govern this space. For better or worse, individuals and groups online act with near impunity, with only the slightest fear of heavy-handed retribution from a largely disinterested, clueless government and its associated agencies. In this space exists the potential – both good and bad – for the shaping of public perception, particularly on many thorny issues that traditional media dare not touch. It is also here that the greatest potential exists for measurably changing a person’s opinion ...

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Pakistan vs India: Who’s the better hacker?

The kids were probably bored at the other side of the border. August 15 was approaching; patriotism was burning up like inferno in their passionate hearts. Their country’s pride was at stake, they had to do something to make Bharat proud. And what better way to accomplish this feat than hacking a bunch of Pakistani websites? ‘Congratulations Bhai Sahab…yeh Bharat Ratna Apka hua…Taalian!’ The Pakistanis on the other side of the border are no less patriotic. They have been on these hacking sprees on and off, with the same zeal and fervour. For these Indian and Pakistani kids, cyber space is the ...

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Our dual morality disorder

I was standing on a main road in Islamabad when I saw a big billboard depicting a woman provocatively posing in a nightgown. There, standing right below the billboard, hidden behind a face veil, was a woman who seemed to be a completely different specimen to the model above. Written on this billboard, in bold, was the word ‘Hidden.’ This might have been a brand name – I really don’t know what it stood for. However, to me it highlighted the hidden dual-morality disorder of the virtual and real world that is currently sweeping through our society. Let me explain what I mean ...

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Why porn is popular in Pakistan

It’s late at night and the hands of the clock signal that it is just past midnight. The whole family is sound asleep with the sole exception of a young man sitting on the bed, with the laptop right in front of him. To anyone, including his family, it seems as if he’s studying, or working on an important project, or checking out the latest headlines online or watching innocent, comical clips on YouTube. All it takes is a peek over the shoulder and all is not what it seems. This scenario is part of an average, everyday lifestyle for ...

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Do Facebook friendships mean anything at all?

OK, let’s accept it. We are all addicted to social networking sites, especially Facebook, in one way or another. Social networking has not only altered the way we live, it has also changed our relationships and interactions with each other. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Foursquare, Yahoo 360 and many other social networking sites are the projectors of our self image and define our relationships. The pages we ‘like’, the groups we join, our activities and interests, the thoughts we choose to share on Facebook – all work to make us a part of a subculture that is still in its infancy, ...

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