ONLINE dating became more challenging in the developing world, say Pakistan, after the authorities blocked access to five platforms, most notably Tinder.

The ban is somewhat odd, considering nothing can be done on a dating app that cannot be done on any other social media platform.

If anything, dating-apps are just interest-based social media. They are 21st century matchmaking, minus the middle-'auntie'' that keeps complaining about our skin tone, height and weight. And that is good for everyone, except maybe the ''aunties'' - and a few uncles - that have made a business out of it.

Given that dozens of matrimonial websites are still open, we question the purpose of such a ban. Do the authorities believe that people cannot use matrimonial websites for ''immoral'' purposes?

Most dating apps have various forms of content filters to block out explicit content, so pornography cannot be the problem that the authorities has focused on.

Alas, given the history of bans, we can only assume that some intrepid locally connected party has made their own local dating site. After all that is precisely what happened when YouTube and Facebook were banned.

Both bans were justified over a minuscule amount of abuse of these platforms.

''Terrible clones were marketed, some of which made a bit of money, but people figured out how to circumvent the bans and move back to the originals in due time.

In the meantime, a whole generation of Internet users became proficient in the use of VPVs, TOR, and proxy networks, opening up the real seedy underbelly of the Internet.

Indeed, we are well aware that prohibition does little to stop behavior that the virtuous may frown upon.

Instead, it only encourages far riskier behavior. Instead of futilely banning platforms that actually enforce their terms of service, the authorities are opening the door for users to shift to lesser known and more unsafe apps.

In this way, it is actually contributing to the delinquency of the youth, rather than preventing it.

The World Students Society thanks The Editorial Board of The Express Tribune.


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