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Pakistani authorities ban common words from SMS, MMS

The Pakistani Telecommunications Authority has ordered the nation's mobile networks to implement a list filtering out almost 1,700 words described as "offensive and obscene" - but the chosen words have left many confused as to how the list was compiled in the first place.

Distributed to mobile networks on the 14th November, the list includes words and phrases deemed to be unsuitable for written communication by the nation's leaders. Sadly, while the list of Urdu words seems relatively straightforward, the banned English words are causing slightly more confusion.

"There are more than 1,600 words in the list including indecent language, expletives, swear words, slang etc, which have to be filtered," an unnamed source at a Pakistani mobile provider told AFP (opens in new tab) on the promise of anonymity, describing the censorship as "not good for the system."

In addition to a variety of obscenities too blue for publication here, the PTA has insisted that any SMS or MMS messages containing the words "creamy," "dome," "finger food," "glazed donut," "hobo," "hoser," "K Mart," "kumquat," "oui" and "Stagg."

As a result, Pakistani citizens will be prevented from ordering a dome constructed from tasty glazed donuts with creamy filling from a major US retail chain for use as finger food at a French-themed party to feature a main course comprised of a famous brand of chilli con carne with added fruits from a small tree in the Rutaceae family, to which travelling gentlemen of no fixed abode are welcomed alongside stereotyped Canadians.

Other perfectly innocuous terms filtered by the list include "backdoor," "breast," "Budweiser," "cocky," "deposit," "dope," "drunk," "femme," "harder," "headlights," "hostage," "hustler," "idiot," "joint," "period," "pussycat," "red light," "showtime," "spit," "tit," "tramp," "trisexual" and "virgin."

Two interesting entries on the list are "Dahmer," presumably a reference to notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, and "Jack The Ripper," who find themselves on the same list as "gay" and "gay pride" as being objectionable to the Pakistani authorities.

A version of the list containing just the English - and, occasionally, French - language words and currently circulating on the web appears itself to be censored: entries 1,072 to 1,074 inclusive, which can be found between "upthebutt" and "urinate," are missing.

Thus far, the Pakistani Telecommunications Authority has not responded to a request for comment on the list, which is believed to be due to go live later today. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.