List Of Offensive Words

September 4, 2013Comments Off on List Of Offensive Words

Some communities take the insane step of
banning swear words on the platform.

Any swear word is automatically
recognized and removed from a post.

Community members react by adding stars.
For example,  f**k.

Then these words are banned too. This
gets ludicrous fast. How many times will you allow a member to call another a duck-king glass whole before you need to
begin banning those words too?

Some software platforms block swears automatically. I’m told they’re
very effective.

But what’s the point?

Is banning these words going to affect members at a psychological
level? Is it going to make members nicer and more tolerant of one another? Is
it going to stop insults?

At best, the comedy of changing the
words might soothe the edges of the insult.

At worst, you’re gamifying swearing. Swearing becomes more challenging
and more rewarding.  Worse still, by
telling members what they can’t do you automatically create the desire to do
it.

Communities aren’t
alone
in this. If members want to swear, they will. It probably won’t do
enough harm to justify the effort it takes to prevent it. Far better to either
allow swearing but ban explicit personal insults, remove those that overuse
swear words, or simply focus your attention on the battles you can win. 

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