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Pakistan Telecom Watchdog Ban On 1500 Rude Words In Text Messages

Fri 18 Nov, 2011 // Firstnumber Team
Censorship

Pakistan officials are demanding that mobile phone operators block all text messages that are found to be using offensive words.


To help inform mobile phone firms which words are included in this strict ban, the country's telecoms regulator issued a comprehensive listing of over 1000 words and phrases that are to be banned.


The encouragement for mobile phone firms to enable the ban on text messages including the offending words this week, has unfortunately not been 100% effective, after The Guardian carried out many of their own tests. However, in a letter to all mobile phone firms the Watchdog Director, Muhammed Talib Doger, said "the system should be implemented within seven days ... and a report submitted to PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) on monthly basis on the number of blocked SMSs".


Attached to the letter, was the lift of 1,109 words and phrases in English that are to be banned, including 586 in the national language. Pakistan's main regional languages have yet to be tackled by the watchdog.


A spokesperson for the PTA, Mohammad Younis, has said the ban is "the result of numerous meetings and consultations with stakeholders" after consumers complaining about receiving offensive text messages. He believes that the list is unfinished and remains with many more words to be added.


Here is a small list of many of the offensive words that are included in the ban:


  • Backdoor
  • Budweiser
  • Hobo
  • Idiot
  • Joint
  • Lotion
  • Pud
  • Satan
  • Stringer
  • Trojan

From viewing only a few of the banned words it possible to create many text messages that will have completely innocent and harmless messages with many different kinds of uses. Whereas, among the more printable terms are strap-on, beat your meat, crotch rot, love pistol and pocket pool.


It is believed that mobile operators expect the PTA to fine anyone for using the banned words within any text messages – leading to an ultimate ban for repeat offenders.


For anyone worried about sending or receiving text messages in the near future, don't forget that Firstnumber are one of the leading cheap international call providers allowing any UK landline and mobile phone users to make cheap calls to Pakistan from as little as 3p per minute.

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