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Pakistan bans rude text messages

Words like "flatulence" and "quickie," as well as 17 phrases involving the word "butt," are banned by Pakistan's telecoms watchdog.

The more one travels, the more one lives in foreign countries, the more one realizes that not everyone thinks the same way.

This is a good thing. Because if everyone was, say, American, then the whole world would feel more comfortable with violence, rather than sex. Which would have dire consequences for the world's ability to procreate. And recreate.

One wonders, though, whether there are many countries in the world that would support Pakistan banning rude text messages.

The Guardian has politely informed me that the country's telecoms regulator banished around 1,600 words or phrases that are deemed rude. And when I say banish, I mean that any text that contains one of the these words or phrases, sent by anyone in Pakistan, will be blocked.

Texting censorship might cause some flatulence. CC Dan Zen/Flickr

Your immediate reaction, after a deep, guttural guffaw, might be to text a friend in Pakistan and tell him you hope someone will fondle him today. For "fondle" is, indeed, one of the banned words. You next reaction might be to wonder what other words or phrases might have landed on the list.

I have managed to find a link to the full list for you.

Well, there are 50 phrases that include the word f***. This might seem vaguely, if amusingly, predictable. However, there are others that might alter your Sunday's texture.

For example, "quickie." Or, are you ready for this, "pocket pool." Then there's "deeper" (huh?), "athlete's foot" and "monkey crotch." Oh, and "barf."

Is "Four20" on there? Of course it is. How about "Got2HaveIt"? Yes. Oddly, even "harem" is there. "Idiot" appears. As, quite bizarrely, does "Kotex." Even "MaryJane" gets a mention.

And should you be having digestional issues after a questionable Bosnian taco, then please don't text your teenage lover and tell her you are suffering from "flatulence." For your lover will never get that text.

You might wonder whether Pakistan's constitution enjoys a clause or two about free speech. It does. However, the telecoms regulator reportedly believes, quite stunningly, that this free speech is "not unrestricted."

It might seem odd to many that private text messages might be regulated in such a fashion. The regulators reportedly insist that it is consumers who have complained of receiving naughty texts from persons unknown--who are no doubt suffering serious flatulence and are desperate for help.

For some, though, there might be good reasons for receiving text messages that include words such as "deposit." There might surely be some banks that will be upset at this word being excised from cell phone messages.

Then there's "love pistol." This might be the brand name of a perfectly fine and modern ladies' sex aid that is to be launched in, say, the Punjab. Or Texas.

It would surely be a severe restraint of trade for this phrase to suddenly not legally appear in texts.

Some, though, might truly wonder about the 17 banned phrases that happen to include the word "butt."

Most people can think of two or three somewhat questionable word formations including that word. Joey Buttafuoco, for example.

However, Pakistan's national cricket team has recently been involved in a terrible scandal in which three of its players were banned after consorting with bookies in a terribly venal betting scam.

This was news of the most extreme order in the country. Yet, if the naughty word text ban had already been in force, Pakistanis might not have been able to give their friends all the details--in their own personal style--of those involved.

You see, one of the protagonists, a man who was jailed for 30 months for his involvement, was Pakistan's cricket captain.

His name? Salman Butt.