FYI: This is what censorship looks like

Remember the charge that we bloggers who moderate our comments are actually engaging in censorship? This will surely come as a surprise to the howler monkeys making the claim that we’re censoring them: censorship actually exists, and is actually significantly more onerous than you folks thought! Via our blog-compatriot Aliasalpha, Ars Technica brings news of a list of 1600 words that are to be censored in text messages in Pakistan within seven days, with the penalty of legal action if telecom companies do not comply.

Phrases such as “beat your meat,” “fairy,” and “lovegun” are among the list of words banned in text messages by the Pakistani Telecommunication Authority.

On November 14, mobile phone companies operating in the Islamic country were handed the list of words with a letter explaining that they have to block those words on their networks within seven days, or face the threat of legal action. Operators also need to submit monthly reports on the implementation of the block.
Other highlights from the list, which was issued in English and Urdu and can be seen on the Web here, include “roach,” “pocket pool,” “deposit,” “hershey highway,” and “honkers.”

This list is evidently a direct ripoff of the list of words the NFL won’t let you put on football jerseys. Why bother compiling a list of your own, when one is readily available and covers all the basics, like “he hate me” and “monkey crotch”?

FYI: This is what censorship looks like

8 thoughts on “FYI: This is what censorship looks like

  1. 1

    Based on the quick search I did through the list, I was surprised to not see any reference to atheism or godlessness, presumably they just did a copy & paste without adding anything particular.

    Lazy bunch of ****s

  2. 2

    HERE is a more accurate picture of what is going on & the reason for it. In essence one dozen words might end up being filtered although I believe that in the end exactly nothing will happen. There is a similar effort going on to prevent access to 1,000 pr0n sites. Actually there are plenty of bulletin boards (& the like) everywhere in the world that filter certain words & phrases ~ the users all know how to fcuk with the system though don’t they? Strictly speaking it is the thin end of the wedge to censorship ~ but not really something to be concerned about in a country where incompetence & corruption are regarded by most as a natural law

    The way things ‘occur’ in Pak is someone at the top has a bright idea & orders his minions to “make it so”. Each minion has their own minions. And each of those… etc. The chain does not contain (nor defer to) EXPERTISE. There is no concept of feedback, planning or consultation

    These guys have nuclear weapons. With any luck they will not work. One day we will most likely find out the hard way.

  3. 5

    The funniest part is what Maddow talked about. Where one of the words being banned is “butt”, and one of the Telecom officials’ last name is also “Butt”! So this guy is going to be forced to ban his own name!

    Actually, she noted last night that in an update, this list is being reworked, and not only is “butt” being removed from the list, but the list itself is going to be reduced to just a few dozen words.

    It was hilarious last Friday, though. She just lost it, couldn’t relate the story with a straight face. Last night, she was able to keep it sorta straight, I mean she didn’t almost fall out of her chair…

  4. 6

    Operators also need to submit monthly reports on the implementation of the block.

    Reminds me of the old joke, now a Redbull commercial, about the kid in the confessional saying he had lust for a girl, and the priest asking if it was [names several girls and women], and then the kid leaves and tells his friend, “I got a bunch of new leads.”

  5. 7

    So new slang will come into being within like a week. This is an arms race between censors and human ingenuity, one which “They” will always lose. So they might as well not bother. A whole lot of wasted resources for no reason other than to feel “more moral than thou”. Sad.

  6. 8

    I was going to mention it on the previous post on censorship, however I never quite got around to it (something about a 2-month old in the house, methinks…), but I wanted to highlight Skeptical Science as a good example of a heavily moderated site where the moderation can be shown to improve the discourse.

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