If you happen to live in Pakistan and own a cellphone or smartphone, then you might be more prudent and careful in your text messages the next time around as the Pakistani Telecommunication Authority has dropped the banhammer on over a thousand words deemed as “naughty”, including “beat your meat,” “fairy,” and “lovegun”. Just more than a week ago, mobile phone companies who operate in Pakistan were served with a list of words coupled with a letter that explains why they needed to block those words on their networks – and in just seven days to boot, or they could be staring down at the possibility of legal action. Not only that, operators will have more paperwork to do such as submitting monthly reports on the implementation of the block.

According to an unidentified official at a mobile operator, “There are more than 1,600 words in the list including indecent language, expletives, swear words, slang etc, which have to be filtered. The filtering is not good for the system and may degrade the quality of network services—plus it would be a great inconvenience to our subscribers if their SMS was not delivered due to the wrong choice of words.” I wonder whether subscribers would get the list of words that they are not allowed to text – otherwise how else are they supposed to know what they can type and what they can’t?

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