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After govt ban, Facebook unpublishes Pakistan’s underground gay group

Queer Pakistan reinvents itself, new website sees traffic shoot up by 2,000%

A ban by the government and abeyance of its Facebook page has seen Pakistan’s underground LGBT website emerge stronger, reporting a 2,000 per cent increase in traffic in just 48 hours.

Queer Pakistan, which operates from Pakistan, where homosexuality is punishable with death or imprisonment, was shut down by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Tuesday, just two months after it had started offering support and counseling to the Islamic nation’s persecuted LGBT community.

However, the resourceful group came up with a new URL, www, soon after the ban, thanks to which there is now an immense surge in viewership.

While the new website is yet to add new contents, the group’s Facebook page remains dynamic, receiving both support and curses with equanimity.

There was some trouble with the social network site as well.

The founders said the Facebook page was briefly unpublished by Facebook after receiving complaints.

‘Ironically, our content was flagged to be "hate speech",’ they said. ‘Yes that's the level keyboard-warriors would go to in order to protect their bigotry.

‘But much to their dismay, Facebook restored our page within an hour upon our appeal. Suck that, haters ...’

The founders have also reported that “creative bigots” are setting up fake websites with similar names, like Queer Pakstani, to mislead people looking for the banned site on search engines.

Plus there have been attempt to hack into the site and flood it with spam.

While fans are ecstatic to see the resurrection of the group, it has been facing hate mail as well.

Some of the latter say last month’s quake in the Balochisan province, in which over 500 people died, was due to the wrath of God over the mushrooming of homosexuals.

Others are holding homosexuality responsible for the destruction of Pakistan's economy and even terrorism.

However, the loyal fans are ready to defend the group in ingenious ways.

Along with the hate expressions circulating on the internet, there is also an amusing spoof, naming other organizations that too should be banned for being offensive and un-Islamic.

These include conventional banks which are not yet following Islamic banking, television soaps focusing on family drama, and retails selling revealing dresses for women.

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