Author Topic: Overzealous Word Filter?  (Read 5562 times)

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Offline jonny round boy

  • Posts: 3224
Overzealous Word Filter?
« on: January 22, 2010, 09:24 AM »
I know there have been some changes made to the FOG recently to reduce the (already small) incidences of bad language, however I have noticed that it seems to be a bit overzealous.

I made a post a while ago on the thread about re-using vac bags, which now reads:

"I opened it up to find a (please see the forum rules regarding the use of bad language) of a mess inside."

Also, I noticed the other day that one member's (I don't unfortunately remember who) personal text reads something along the lines of:

"Location: Arizona, 30 miles from water, 3 feet from (please see the forum rules regarding the use of bad language)"

Now, I realise and appreciate that the concept of 'bad language' is subjective, but surely this is going a bit too far? The word in question is one that is in common usage, and I do not know of anyone who would consider it to be swearing.

Is anyone offended by the use of this word? Can we not have a 'middle ground', or is this another case of two countries separated by a common language?
Festoolian since February 2006

TS55R EBQ saw - CTL26 - CTL Mini - OF1400EBQ router - KS120 Kapex SCMS - ETS150/3 sander - RO90 sander - DF500 Domino - PDC18/4 drill - PSC420 jigsaw - OFK500 trimmer

Wish list (in no particular order!): Anything not listed above....

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5510
Re: Overzealous Word Filter?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2010, 12:18 PM »
I totally agree with you jonny. I am not a fan of the filter. They say it is to protect people from reading language they find offensive, but to be honest, I find the presence of a filter itself offensive. I'm sorry to say so, but I find it a kindergarten measure. I think using good language is up to the discretion of the users themselves and should not be allowed to be judged by a robot. If I wanted to say bad things to people I could still do so without using one of the so-called offensive words. And a lot of the words the filter (or those who installed the filter) finds offensive aren't really that offensive at all. I visit(ed) quite a number of forums but this forum is the only one with such a filter present.

Offline Forrest Anderson

  • Posts: 1072
Re: Overzealous Word Filter?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2010, 12:32 PM »
I know there have been some changes made to the FOG recently to reduce the (already small) incidences of bad language, however I have noticed that it seems to be a bit overzealous.

Now, I realise and appreciate that the concept of 'bad language' is subjective...

And this is exactly the problem. Words that might be common usage to one person or group of people, for example those who work on a building site or in the Armed Forces, may well be extremely offensive to others.

The members of this forum come from all walks in life - they are young and old, male and female, come from dozens of countries, and have many religions and beliefs.  It is therefore essential that language is kept moderate.

Quote
or is this another case of two countries separated by a common language?

Not just two countries! We have members from all over the world - UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, USA, Canada, Japan, and so on and so on. And many of them have to cope with reading this forum in their non-native language.

Just in case you think it's an American thing to be all "prissy", then out of the Shane, Peter and myself, I am probably the one who comes down heaviest on bad language and rudeness.

It seems a good time to repeat some paragraphs from the General Forum Guidelines for All Members in case they have been forgotten...


Be nice, or don't post.
This forum is meant to be a valuable source of information.  We really pride ourselves on being a friendly forum and we take it very seriously. We do not tolerate rudeness. If you have something rude to say - do it in a personal message (PM). If you don't like what you read, the best choice is not to respond at all to avoid conflict. Any member who is intentionally disruptive or violating this rule will be subject to posting probation or banning.

No political, religious, sexual or racial discussions.
We try to promote a community atmosphere here at the FOG and allowing such volatile topics simply creates conflict. Therefore, we do not allow threads that are specifically about religion, sexual in nature, politics or race. If you wish to discuss these topics, please find a forum that is more open to these subjects. This is a power tool forum, so please stay on topic.

No typing around the word filter.
You may not post words or URLs that are censored by the website. This includes adding spaces, dots, or substituting any other characters that are intended to defeat the censors in place by the FOG forum.

Keep it clean.
Please remember that this forum caters to a general audience and we have members of all types. Posting offensive material including, but not limited to, text, images, and links will not be tolerated by the FOG. No use of explicit, obscene or otherwise vulgar language, images or messages including innuendo.


In summary, if a member thinks that a word might possibly be considered bad language to someone else, then find another word! Simple.


Forrest

« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 12:33 PM by Forrest Anderson »
Compiler of the Consolidated List of Festool Links - the place to go for Festool reviews, manuals, brochures and videos!

Offline Holzhacker

  • Posts: 874
    • www.aic-chicago.com
Re: Overzealous Word Filter?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2010, 02:59 PM »
I'm going to guess this is a disgraceful corporate act of cowardice and stupidity. The idea that this board in particular needs a word filter is very insulting to members. Are we in junior high here or what? How often has anyone read a post on the FOG and been horrified by the grotesque language? Never, for me. Yes a good portion of forum posters are in the trades and as we all know tradesmen are very adept at swearing. My guess is that some posters swear less on this board than in real life (myself included) because we understand the 'rules of the game'. Obviously there might be readers on the FOG who could get offended by typical trade speak or anything else for that matter. I'm sure posters to the FOG who inadvertently offend someone with a different cultural background are truly sorry about such a misunderstanding. Even the english and americans put different meanings onto the same word. So yes, not offending can be difficult at times. A word filter will not eliminate such possibilities. This poorly thought out action would seem far more normal if being instituted by a government entity. 
It's PC nonsense and quite frankly the FOG administrators should be ashamed of themselves for even making this an issue.
"The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

Offline jonny round boy

  • Posts: 3224
Re: Overzealous Word Filter?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2010, 03:03 PM »
Forrest,

Just to clarify a couple of points. I did read the General Forum Guidelines for All Members before submitting my post.

Quote
if a member thinks that a word might possibly be considered bad language to someone else, then find another word

That's my point - I don't see how that word could in all honesty be offensive to anyone. And, I know there are members here from all over the world, I was just quoting a common phrase.

And Alex,

I wasn't saying there shouldn't be a filter, I don't mind if it's there or not. I just think that some of the words filtered, shouldn't be.
Festoolian since February 2006

TS55R EBQ saw - CTL26 - CTL Mini - OF1400EBQ router - KS120 Kapex SCMS - ETS150/3 sander - RO90 sander - DF500 Domino - PDC18/4 drill - PSC420 jigsaw - OFK500 trimmer

Wish list (in no particular order!): Anything not listed above....

Offline richard.selwyn

  • Posts: 631
Re: Overzealous Word Filter?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2010, 05:06 PM »
OK so I tried to reply to your post but Forrest deleted my reply.  I stand corrected and don't mind at all.
This is what I was trying to say, if it gets past the censors this time:

That's a HUGE of a can of worms you've opened about the HUGE mess you found in your BIG bag.  :)
Jonny - what was the word? (you'll have to reply in private to get past the censors - an remeber to keep one foot on the floor when typing.  There are plenty of good old Anglo Saxon words that seem to offend - but then some people are very sensitive and offended by things that to others seem benign.  I would never want to offend anyone (except for my old "Human Resources Director" who I so provoked that he referrred to me in a board meeting by the proto-Germanic monosyllable used to describe a particular anatomical part - a word I then had to repeat at every opportunity).

I am not in favour of a nanny state, but guess I can put up with a filter if it will avoid other's sensitivities being offended so if Forrest feels the need to intervene so be it.  It does make me interested in trying to understand what it is that offends about particlar words though.  Clearly calling me names was insulting - not that I was offended - but the word in itself was just that - a word.  Blasphemy may offend religious sensibilities and therefore should obviously be avoided, but I have never really understood vernile adherence to political correctness nor why the use of the vernacular is so vilified  ;)

When the French locals criticize what they see as my English sense of humour (extracting the "Michael from them) I always say that you need a good sense of humour to live in the UK  :)

Offline WarnerConstCo.

  • Posts: 4076
    • Warner Mill Works
Re: Overzealous Word Filter?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2010, 11:40 PM »
Some of it is BS.

It's like big brother.

Meh, it sucks for the most part, excuse my french. [tongue]

Offline woodtradesman

  • Posts: 52
Re: Overzealous Word Filter?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2010, 12:28 AM »
Gosh, this place is turning into SMC.
People who have no trust in others base those fears on knowing themselves.

Offline rwdawson

  • Posts: 134
Re: Overzealous Word Filter?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2010, 07:51 AM »
Some of it is BS.


I don't understand.  Is that "Bovine Scatology" or am I missing the point?

Perhaps it's time for Cockney Rhyming Slang.


-Richard

Offline Christian Oltzscher

  • Festool Employee.
  • Posts: 157
Re: Overzealous Word Filter?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2010, 03:12 PM »
Hi,

Those of you who have been members for a long time, know that we had issues with foul language in the past. What is acceptable to one person, is unacceptable for other people.

If you want to call it a "corporate act of cowardice and stupidity", fine. For me it is a "corporate act to make sure members of all countries, languages, age etc. feel comfortable posting here".

If you want to complain, don't complain about the moderators, complain about me. I am the one who doesn't want to see foul language here.

Is it so difficult to post without using bad language?

Christian

Offline rwdawson

  • Posts: 134
Re: Overzealous Word Filter?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2010, 04:58 PM »
Is it so difficult to post without using bad language?

Christian,

For 99.99% of the population, it isn't difficult at all, and those are the people who expect to be treated as responsible citizens of this, or any other community.  The feelings of concern, perhaps even resentment, probably stem from the fact that what is seen as arbitrary enforcement, especially via automated means is not simply an intrusion, but an insult.

Forums conducted in a civil manner tend to be self policing and offenders are usually asked to restrain themselves or told to leave.  In more extreme cases the moderator steps in and evicts the offender.  I've seen it work with great effect elsewhere. It can, it should, and it has worked here.

Perhaps a gentle reminder is all that is necessary.  It is much easier to worry about those you know you need to worry about than it is to worry about those you know you don't need to worry about.  Laws and rules are usually nothing but the application of common sense and generally apply only to those few who can't grasp the concept.

There are far more imaginative minds on this forum than mine who are much more capable of producing erudite language that, if understood, would be offensive to many.  I for one can put my time to better use, as I believe the rest of this forum can.

One final point, to take issue with a comment in the Word Filter topic.  The first line of defense is not the software, it is the forum members.  Then the moderators.  Issue a couple of warnings, then an eviction and the message will be clear enough to those few who need it.

Thank you,

Richard
« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 05:04 PM by rwdawson »

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5510
Re: Overzealous Word Filter?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2010, 06:16 PM »
Richard, if we could rate posts, then that post you just made would receive an A+ from me.

Offline justinmcf

  • Posts: 712
  • Queensland Builder
Re: Overzealous Word Filter?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2010, 07:26 PM »
i dont want to see foul language here either christian, but richard has explained perfectly why we do not need a filter.

regards, justin.

Offline WarnerConstCo.

  • Posts: 4076
    • Warner Mill Works
Re: Overzealous Word Filter?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2010, 07:54 PM »
I got what is going on here, I am cool with it.

I am a trades person, I sometimes am around other tradesmen, there is always foul language and off color remarks that go on out in the field.

My grandpa was a carpenter and I remember him telling me one time, if you ain't cussin', you ain't workin'.

Just some food for thought.  Carpenters are not the most political correct or socially conforming people out there.  We tend to be a little brash.