03 July, 2007

Orkut + immoral activities = field day for GN

This is not an issue of national importance but still seems important to me. Not because its a threat against my orkut social life but in general against the freedom of surfing the net. The following article was published in Gulf news


Orkut.com 'being used for immoral activities'
By Daniel Bardsley, Staff

Dubai: Calls have gone out for a controversial website to be banned
amid fears it is promoting promiscuity and corrupting young people.
UAE residents have contacted Gulf News to say Orkut.com should be banned by the authorities here because it contains sexual content.

Hundreds of people have posted profiles under the 'Dubai Sex' listing and there are countless indecent pictures on the site, which is used by people across the world.
Other UAE residents say the site is good for tracking down old friends and other innocent activities.

Orkut.com was blocked once before in the UAE, but Etisalat unblocked the site after many people wrote in calling for it to be allowed. A UAE national, who declined to be named, said Orkut was being used for 'immoral activities'.

read more......



Now this is just ridiculous. The internet is such a media that if you want to see 'stuff' online, there is always a way around the proxy of Etisalat. Blocking social sites like orkut won't make a difference to such people. Plus many people like me use orkut to communicate with friends. I've met about a dozen of my old friends who I had lost contact with through orkut. Next thing we know, they'll block yahoo games cause some people promote there personal adult sites there. Okay maybe I am getting a little personal, but its already a pain for a person like me not being able to use flickr, not orkut too......

22 comments:

ShaggyRed said...

Way to go GN...

Perhaps they can apply "selective blocking" as they have done for some YouTube pages. Although, as it is a login-req'd site, it might not be possible.

I noticed it uses Google logins though. Knowing how tech savvy they are, I wouldn't be surprised if they snarf it up completely.

Doubleletter said...

They haven't found time to unblock www.last.fm/user (the main site is unblocked).

I really wonder how much resources they put into this.

I hope to hell they don't block facebook (which mostly quite clean because you have to register with your real name).

Lirun said...

the beauty of the internet is that it is an opt-in facility.. no one needs to be exposed to unfavourable content unless they look for it.. secondly.. if someone does look for it in their own privacy as much of the online use is private why shouldnt someone be allowed to take an interest..

would love to learn more about why private use is a problem.. i can only imagine that pornography in general is looked at unfavourably in the UAE but the difference here is that for online consumption of less than savoury content you do not need a local industry.. whereas for traditional unsavoury (for want of a better word) content you required local participants.. distributors etc which created a grey market etc etc..

secretdubai said...

I do find it odd that Orkut doesn't appear to have an Adult category for communities in which it could corral these groups, allowing easy selective blocking (like the way the YouTube block works).

But I am more mystified by the type of people seeking sex in Dubai. They are all without exception utterly illiterate and stupid (posting their mobile numbers in open forums, putting up identifiable profiles, responding to obvious male porn spammers as though they were female).

What's the link? Are stupid people more likely to be horny? Or does being horny make people stupid?

A fascinating conundrum.

Harsha said...

Orkut is pretty much an easy access to sexual predators. Its pretty annoying when I get uninvited invitations. Notice the number of sex and porn related groups? Also the pictures ppl put up

Frankly.. I wouldnt give a damn if Orkut was blocked.

Anonymous said...

guys!..orkut is blocked!...i just cannot access it..and seriously its very annoying!

ShaggyRed said...

Orkut/Google responded to complaints: here and here

Maltova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
horny guys are stupid said...

guys that are not horny are only not stupid temporarily

Stained said...

orkut is blocked....interesting.
So if we want to ban a site, dig out some *adult* stuff from the site, report to GN & etisalat will block it....quite simple......

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Gulf News!!!!

They have highlighted one of the major problems in the UAE and managed to bring a satisfactory solution to it.

I really hope Google, Hotmail, Yahoo, Youtube are all blocked, because they can all provide access, direct or indirect, to objectionable content.

secretdubai said...

Yeah, I really hope they hurry up and block http:// because all kinds of immoral material is offending my eyes and dignity 24/7.

Anonymous said...

this is really sad that orkut is banned now.I was able to get in touch with all my school frnds,and we planned to have healthy family get-togethers in future.Moreoever I have joined some communities related to history which were quite informative with people posting new articles everyday.People who complain against orkut should know how to CONTROL themselves or their kids from visiting their sites.We can't be deprived of Orkut benefits just because some people are misusing it!

Anonymous said...

Don't tell me banning orkut alone would put an end to all immortal activities in UAE !!
There are so many people who might be exchanging objectionable stuff on emails and messengers too.
So what is the solution-banning the complete internet service in UAE?? Very funny !!

John said...

I want to hate Gulf News for the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

For people who are complaining against Orkut-hey why don't u stop checking such bad communities and profiles? You should rather control urself !!
You people are actually creating problems for people like us who are using orkut for good reasons!

Anonymous said...

The first step i have taken against gulf news is to stop buying any copy of it. i have started with the subscription of khalij times in my home and hope there will a lot more like this and at least this will affect there daily sales.

Anonymous said...

Gulf news please block adult sites like: yahoo, hotmail, gmail, and all other email and friends network site. a lot of adult material is passing through these sites and groups like yahoo groups have a lot of adultry in it.

Gordon Freeman...The Commentor!!!! said...

Its all due to the GN staff reporter Daniel Bardsley. If you look through all articles related to this on GN its been this toiletpapers efforts. His lack of a life is now being transfered to others!...He's singularly to blame. He doesnt even stop there. There were other sites through which Orkut remained accesible and this miserable lowlife reported that stating the websites!!!! What a loser!

Gordon Freeman...The Commentor!!!! said...

Ban Gulf News, Please dont buy gulfnews, its about time that the readership replies in kind to their gestapolike activities

Nish said...

Cant agree more with all comments in here. I moved in to UAE 2 years back and had been battling all the adverse issues facing an expat these days, which include spiralling cost of basic requirements such accomodation and food, dwindling savings, extreme stress from traffic, adverse exchange rates.. the list goes on.
And add on to it realisation that this country has such a weak media system. I had been reading a newspaper called 'The Hindu' back in India which was such an intellectually stimulating read everyday morning. I could never finish even 30% of the paper in an hour, but reading Gulf News (after my own filteration process) takes not more than 15 minutes!
And this newspaper has been able to singlehandedly influence the decision to block such a popular site as Orkut with such flimsy reasons is plain deplorable.
Where are we going - as UAE?

dsi said...

would love to learn more about why private use is a problem.. i can only imagine that pornography in general is looked at unfavourably in the UAE but the difference here is that for online consumption of less than savoury content you do not need a local industry..

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