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Pakistan’s telecommunication office has ordered its mobile carriers to block text messages that contain words from a list of over 1,600 “obscene” terms. Although the executive order began on November 21, the mobile carriers decided to defer it for now as they seek clarification from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

The new policy, as well as the list of forbidden words, was leaked to the media last week. According to PTA, the policy is in response to consumer complaints about receive graphic text messages.

The list has met widespread criticism, in part because it includes words that appear benign such as “Jesus Christ,” “athlete’s foot,” “poop,” “fairy,” and “harder.” Over 1,100 words in the list are in English, while less than 600 are in Urdu, Pakistan’s national language.

Mobile carrier representatives has anonymously stated that filtering text messages is “not good for the system and may degrade the quality of network services.” It would also be inconvenient to have your text message blocked due to wrong choice of words.

Source: Newsweek Pakistan, via Mashable

 
 

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