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Improved offensive/swear word filter?





watersoul
I read quite a few posts here which are well thought out, with reasoned and (at first glance) rationally argued points, but they are often badly let down by the use of swear/cuss/mature/expletive words which, to be fair, I feel are sometimes inappropriate for a forum which has many younger folk as members.

I totally accept that most of us swear in casual conversation with our friends (myself included), but there are some members here who often tarnish even a philosophical argument by using swear words which I personally do not think sets a good example, and even damages their own credibility regarding their knowledge of the particular topic at hand. Why choose a word which you would be unable to use in school/college/court of law/in front of your parents etc, in an online public forum?
To me, it points to either a lack of vocabulary, a lack of consideration for other readers, or perhaps even just plain old fashioned misplaced aggression.

I don't know if any words are actually banned here (I've rarely used any which would provide me the experience of learning if any are filtered), but I do feel that an automatic system which replaced offensive words with ****** would be useful.
At the very least it would show other users that members who choose the lame and lazy option of rude linguistic expression are not encouraged or condoned as being acceptable for Frihost discussions.

Interested in anyones thoughts about this, perhaps I'm too concerned with setting a positive example for younger folk, but I truly believe if an argument is strong enough it should be able to be delivered without the use of commonly offensive words?
catscratches
There is suck a filter already. ****** <- I actually wrote rooster here.
watersoul
catscratches wrote:
There is suck a filter already. ****** <- I actually wrote rooster here.

Sorry Cat, didn't get what you meant there, the 6 *'s could be 'rooster' but 'rooster' isn't a banned word surely?!
deanhills
watersoul wrote:
I read quite a few posts here which are well thought out, with reasoned and (at first glance) rationally argued points, but they are often badly let down by the use of swear/cuss/mature/expletive words which, to be fair, I feel are sometimes inappropriate for a forum which has many younger folk as members.
Totally agreed. In everything you said in this post. I feel strongly about this too. I once made a suggestion about this in the Proposal to Posters Phil&Rel Forum thread as well and it did not go very far. It detracts from the standards, and as you have pointed out, sets a bad example.

What do you think about the use of asterisks to hide the swear words, as for me it does not really make a difference does it?
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
What do you think about the use of asterisks to hide the swear words, as for me it does not really make a difference does it?

I really think the ***'s indicate to the reader that the author was too lazy/unable to compose his/her message in a way that could truly complement their intended message. That, in itself, usually tells many stories!


*reason for edit - to correct spelling lol
catscratches
watersoul wrote:
catscratches wrote:
There is suck a filter already. ****** <- I actually wrote rooster here.

Sorry Cat, didn't get what you meant there, the 6 *'s could be 'rooster' but 'rooster' isn't a banned word surely?!
Apparently, the word filter doesn't care for how many letters the original word had and just placed 6 *'s regardless of length. The original word was 4 letters.
ocalhoun
I kind of like having a more liberal filter in place.
I've participated in forums with very strict filters, and they can really get in the way sometimes.


And, anyway, as long as it isn't used excessively -- to the point where it makes reading the forums a worse experience -- I don't see the problem with profanity.


(Also, the ****** is better than trying to replace the filtered words with other words... Which is responsible on another website for getting a laugh out of me when someone posted 'nubianrdly'... because the filter replaced the word. ^.^)
Though, I must say, the most entertaining filter I've seen replaces words with inline emoticons...
ie. 'homo' replaced with
It just makes things more fun.
watersoul
ocalhoun wrote:
[...]I must say, the most entertaining filter I've seen replaces words with inline emoticons...
ie. 'homo' replaced with
It just makes things more fun.

Lol, yep that is funny I'll admit, and other such emoticons do add to the experience for sure, one of my favourites is the popcorn eating smiley, used especially when folk are in conflicting conversation which is voyeuristically entertaining to read...

...I do think that some arguments are damaged by members using cheap swear words though.
As I said in the OP, if an argument is strong enough it should be able to be delivered without the use of words which are commonly deemed to be offensive by most people. This is especially the case when a member is presenting themself as an 'expert' in the particular field.
I totally understand the situation in a fast-moving spoken word setting, but in an online forum we have time to choose the words we type, so when an otherwise intelligent post includes offensive words I tend to assume they are meant to be offensive?
Bluedoll
I am not sure filters work that well. I mean technically they can but all to often the user who feels that something is being imposed on them will rebel against it and find ways around the filter. How ever they do help. Declaring what is acceptable or not is another approach and if reasonable can be effective.

I believe there is an attitude as well that goes along with the foul mouth junkies and if and when it is brought to their attention will mock any attempt to regulate them.

I do agree that it damages their credibility. For me in my reads I find myself beginning to block out the posts that offend and eventually desire to ignore a particular member completely. At that point I will not be enticed to read those kinds of posts because I feel I do have good reason not to be required to.

Can you smell someones frustrations when it happens? I am not always sympathetic though! Why not grow up and be an adult if that is what they are? After all, vulgarity for any age group simply sucks lemons.
watersoul
Bluedoll wrote:
vulgarity for any age group simply sucks lemons.

Well, yes, kind of, to a point, but if you heard me with my mates chatting you'd probably think we lived on sucking lemons! I've no problem with swearing in the appropriate situation, and certainly in face to face conflict some swear words are wholly effective to make a point.
It's just in the written word such as an online forum (for discussion) there is less of an excuse because we all (I assume) take at least a moment to consider what we type before we click 'submit'.

That said, I shall always assume that any poster who uses offensive words has done so willfully to cause offence in their message. Either that, or their mastery of the English language is so weak they could think of no other alternative? Rolling Eyes
adri
As far as my knowledge for phpBB2 goes, it comes with a 'Banned Words' system that replaces the words that are in the 'Banned Words' list with something that you use...

I even did the trouble of creating a phpBB2 forum on my Webhost to show it. Razz
I also found out, well it's written in the description on how to use it, that you could use wildcards (*) for words.

So here's a picture, screenshot:

P.S. Sorry for using those offensive words in the picture.



And I have noticed that Bondings does use this system, when makingthis Blog post.


adri
saratdear
Bluedoll wrote:
...who feels that something is being imposed on them will rebel against it and find ways around the filter. ....


But that is actually not allowed, because the forum rules specifically say do not attempt to bypass the filter.

To the OP, as catscratches pointed out, there is a cuss filter, which might prevent words like ****** ( I used the 4 letter word just to see whether it would work, however if that breaks the rules I will remove it) being posted. However it also seems to have its problems. There was one thread made by ocalhoun which was about moving to a different part of the U.S or something (I can't find it now) and I saw some word, which could only be a place's name, being replaced by asterisks. Not very well versed with U.S geography, I can't guess which that place could be. Smile

EDIT: This was the thread by ocalhoun I was talking about. As you can see, the first option in the poll is full of asterisks, I don't think he did that on purpose, did he?
deanhills
watersoul wrote:
...I do think that some arguments are damaged by members using cheap swear words though.
Agreed. Also, sometimes swear words don't come across as swear words, but in other cases they do. The ones that are used to hit at people (like motherf***ing hell) and going into a rant, are genuine swear words, whether those who don't and are sometimes used with smileys, don't have the effect of swear words. It is easy to see the difference.
ocalhoun
saratdear wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
...who feels that something is being imposed on them will rebel against it and find ways around the filter. ....


But that is actually not allowed, because the forum rules specifically say do not attempt to bypass the filter.

Yep, better to just have the word filtered out than to have a moderator need to edit your post.
Quote:

EDIT: This was the thread by ocalhoun I was talking about. As you can see, the first option in the poll is full of asterisks, I don't think he did that on purpose, did he?

Well, actually, I did do that on purpose. The removed word was Alaska (A*****).
I self-censored it to prevent the discussion from revolving around that, as I didn't want to talk about it.
saratdear
ocalhoun wrote:
Well, actually, I did do that on purpose. The removed word was Alaska (A*****).I self-censored it to prevent the discussion from revolving around that, as I didn't want to talk about it.

*facepalm moment* Embarassed

There goes my swear-filter-is-stupid theory, but I still believe it needs some tweaking.
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