Internet Blackout, Will it Work?

In last two days, internet sphere is going through lot of developments. Blasphemous drawings are a cause of deep concern for every Muslim. We all are reacting with anger, grieve or whatever power we bear in our hands and hearts.

Internet Blackout (literally)

We saw Facebook disappearing from Pakistani’s Internet then the  YouTube, Flickr is gone too. Some say they have seen “Site is Restricted” message for Wikipedia and Google too.

Talk about Blackberry services: No more!

What were our Demands?

Okay, let’s discuss what are our goals? What we want to achieve? Answer would be: We want to make the western world realize that their drawings hurt our feelings, and we don’t want them to play with our religious beliefs anytime in future.

Also they must talk to other Muslim countries, brief them the situation and take a collective action.

Were Demands Met?

Now let’s measure our actions (internet blackout) and equate them if they are enough to take us to achievements?

Like lot of people think, a ban on Facebook and Youtube will cause them monetary loss, ultimately taking them to their knees. In fact while I am writing this, Dunya News reported that Pakistan has caused Facebook a loss of USD 2 billion, a similar misleading SMS is circulating the country too.

I wish this was the situation, but that’s not true. Facebook revenues are set to reach 1 billion dollar this year, which is, by the way, more than entire telecom industry of Pakistan.

If Facebook has 400 million registered users than it means one users earn Facebook around $ 2.5 a year (roughly). With 2.2 million Facebook users from Pakistan, Facebook earns around 5.5 million dollars in a year. Divide it by 365 to get revenues for one day from Pakistan.

In short, they are so huge that we can’t jolt their balance sheets with our 2.2 million users in Pakistan.

What to Do then?

Now what to do in this situation? Given that our Government’s impression is not very well in western world. I doubt our president is taken any serious in White House, I also doubt that our Foreign Minister is given more respect than just a mayor in US. (Sorry guys don’t want to hurt you but let’s face the fact).

There is no question that Facebook or other web companies are discriminatory, as it’s pretty clear from their deeds and previous track record, but assuming above mentioned circumstances, what are options left for us? Block the whole internet?

NO: Why? Because it’s not going to impact these web giants.


Diplomatic Role?

Diplomatic role: Whatever the repute our government has, it must deliver the message to the right ears and tell them that “look; this is something we can’t tolerate. Okay fine, we are under the load of your favors but this is enough. We can’t compromise over this. Ask your CIA or whatever to stop all this – right now!”

Ignorant Media

Media, guys you are lame here. You bring on all sorts of experts on whatever topic you discuss (be it politics, law, international affairs etc), but what happened here? Why you guys are not highlighting the issue? You think it’s not worthy? Come’on whole web 2.0 is down in this country, and you are giving 2 minutes out of 60 in one hour?

Our Own Web Solution

Along with above two points, our talent must gear up now (maybe backed by government) to get us web luxury of our own. This is a lesson for us that we will suffer if we will keep relying on western technology. Let’s say it will take 5 years to get a Facebook replica of our own, but start it today as time is ticking.

This incident teaches us of actions, wise ones.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK