Pakistan’s porn conspiracy

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It seems the morality of the state of Pakistan has come under an ongoing attack by the global media who has taken the fight to expose our hypocrisy to undefendable online territory.

First, there was the Fox News report on Pakistan ranking number one in the world for ‘sexy web searches’. Our land of the pure was dubbed ‘Pornistan’ and subjected to ridicule based onGoogle Trends and Insights, identifying us as having a peculiarly high level of interest for racy terms, which included a particular interest in horses. Of course, this report was completely bogus, the numbers were played with, it was a conspiracy to which Google diplomatically responded that “the results for a given query, such as those reported in this story from Pakistan, may contain inaccuracies because the sample size is too small for the results to be statistically sound” (key word, ‘may’).

But this is just scratching at the surface — there are other such plots being nurtured online which have yet to be launched for mass consumption in the global media. Take for instanceAlexa, which collates hard data on which websites are being browsed by internet users from various geographical locations.

A quick glance at the top 100 visited websites in Pakistan, (updated on a daily basis and extrapolated over a period of time) reveals — horror of horrors — that a total of nine websites hosting adult content, ranging from ‘live sexy webcam chat’ to ‘desi delights’, are frequently visited by users in our motherland. To add insult to injury, two of the aforementioned sites rank in the top 50, beating out the likes of Songs.pk, The Pirate Bay, Pak Wheels andWordPress. Porn, Alexa would (mis)inform us, trumps music, cars, illegally downloaded software/films and blogs for parts of our local audience.

To give you a layman’s estimate of the number of visitors, we are looking at hundreds of thousands of our local online population flocking to these listed sites daily. Bear in mind that this is just the pool Alexa is analysing. Adding up the number of ‘sexy’ websites in Pakistan’s top 500 list, and additional users that have either gotten waylaid, are not registered in Alexa or are masked, and we may have a fairly significant slice of our online populace browsing porn (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority cites an estimated 20 million online users in Pakistan).

This is indeed a terrifying revelation for the land of the pure. Even though we all know such data is lies, damned lies, perhaps a statistical anomaly and an obvious conspiracy against Pakistan, could such data not be used by our enemies to falsely build the case that we are after all, not so pure, not so moral and, most of all, not so different from the rest of the world?

I fear it is only a matter of time before this latest online conspiracy is hatched against us in the western media. A lowly media flunky wasting time checking out his/her blog stats on Alexa will chance upon Pakistan’s penchant for porn, write up a 500 word report on the scandal and send it off to Fox News. We must act before it’s too late. Alexa is but one among many sites pulling such data together to bring Pakistan down. It is now the duty of the perverts among us to uphold the name of our fair country by finding the best IP address masking software and uninstall all Alexa-related software to hide our online trail. For the true patriots, it is recommended that IPs be falsely registered as emerging from India. Deny everything and blame our neighbour. Only then may we be truly safe and untainted.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2010.

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