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[profanity] why starring out the whole word is a bad policy

Discussion in 'Communications' started by tom, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. tom

    tom Chosen One star 7

    Mar 14, 2004
    have you ever seen the louis ck (at least i think it was louis ck) bit about the "n-word" and how whenever someone uses the term "n-word" you're making the other person say the actual n-word in their head? well starring out the whole word is like that. any time someone posts "****" i say the f-word in my head (not the term "f-word", the actual f-word). i'm sure i'm not alone in this. and anyone who has ever seen 'a christmas story' knows, the f-word is the big one, "the queen-mother of all swear words". but sometimes a more innocuous swear word is intended, only we often don't realize it until we reach the end of the sentence. at that point we've already said the f-word in our heads and now we have to go back and mentally replace the "****" with the appropriate, less offensive swear. in some cases maybe it's not completely obvious and you have to go through the whole mental catalog of swears that you know until you find the one that fits. this amount of cerebral cursing seems excessive and more than anyone should be comfortable with.

    so i propose that when someone feels they need to say the f-word they should still have to star out the whole word, but when someone means to say a less offensive word, something that could be found in harry potter or mad men, they should be able to indicate that they are doing so. maybe just by typing the first letter of the intended word followed by stars (or asterisks, whatever). that way people can stop dropping unintended f-bombs on our brains. what say you esteemed administrators and fellow jedi council posters?
    DarthTunick and Debo like this.
  2. Boba_Fett_2001

    Boba_Fett_2001 Chosen One star 8

    Dec 11, 2000
    Man, **** this ****.

    Seriously though, I've been thinking for a while now that we should kind of ease up on the swearing in not having to star them out at all. Of course insults and any swear word that is derogatory towards specific groups of people, like the n-word, should not be allowed at all. But something like what I said above is generally harmless especially since I'm obviously being sarcastic (btw f-word and s-word in that order :p ). Do I really need to partially star out the word when I say something like, "That movie ****ing sucked"? Yes, it's a swear word but like I said I'm not being insulting or flaming anyone here. Are we still operating this place as a family friendly forum even though the majority of us are bitter oldbies now? :p

    Perhaps that's a separate discussion but going back to the original topic, I agree with tom on this issue.
    DarthTunick likes this.
  3. I Are The Internets

    I Are The Internets Force Ghost star 8

    Nov 20, 2012
    Can we at least get rid of starring out swear words in the JCC? The JCC is many wonderful things, but referring to the JCC as "family friendly" is:p [face_laugh][face_rofl]
    Healer_Leona likes this.
  4. Grimby

    Grimby Technical Consultant & Former Head Admin star 7 Staff Member Administrator

    Apr 22, 2000
    I don't see this site ever coming to a point where uncensored profanity would be allowed. Star Wars has always been family-friendly entertainment, and will continue to be into the foreseeable future so long as it's owned by Disney.
  5. tom

    tom Chosen One star 7

    Mar 14, 2004
    i wasn't suggesting uncensored profanity, just a very slight relaxation of the current policy that could help streamline and clarify communication.
  6. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    I cuss like a sailor but I'm OK having to star it out. I'm just glad we can use WTF and GTFO now.

    That said, I can see benefit as far as clarification in being able to at least use the first letter of the word. I've actually been asked which four-letter word I was trying to use in the past. :p
  7. Grimby

    Grimby Technical Consultant & Former Head Admin star 7 Staff Member Administrator

    Apr 22, 2000
    Understood. I just didn't want this discussion to get out of hand right from the get-go, since the first two replies were suggesting something else.
    We do allow the acronyms now, and we do allow people to say things like "the f-word", so your request is a valid one.
  8. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Jul 13, 2008
    I seem to recall this being something of an old vulgarity complaint and, honestly, I believe it's making increasingly less sense for us to keep the old policy in light of more recent changes. Ergo, I think it would be reasonable for us to slacken the guidelines (Not much of a slackening, even, IMO) to allow, say, "****," considering:
    1. FFS, for example, is okay but somehow "For ****'s sake" - which ironically looks less offensive - makes it bad.
    2. Autofiltering to, say, "****" "****ing" "****ed" - or even "****" "*******" "*******" - would make the prohibited words list readable again. Right now I'm advised to direct users to a list that says they cannot use the words "****" "*******" or "******."
    3. I think most people who have not yet grown accustomed to our own policies naturally tend to use "****" and the like, and frankly speaking as a moderator there's nothing that feels quite as silly as "You have to star out the whole word" edits.
    4. My understanding is that this is the manner in which our sister site Rebelscum handles the issue
  9. JoinTheSchwarz

    JoinTheSchwarz JC Head Admin & Community Manager star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 21, 2002
    Couldn't have said it better. I agree, both from a mod and a user's point of views, that the starring-out rules should adopt the Rebelscum standard.
    Ender_Sai likes this.
  10. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Soliloquist of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008
    I agree with tom. It's the same with bleeping out words on TV or in music. We all know what's being censored, so why even bother? Better to replace it with a less offensive word.

    But I'm gonna stop right here, since I have very strong feelings on censorship. All I'll say is that I like Ramza's idea, which still allows users to star out the whole word if they so choose. Considering how most places on the internet don't disallow swearing, new users might be used to one of several methods of censoring swears.
  11. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    This is why the "**** Your Kids Say" thread always weirds me out and confuses me for a second.

    But, yeah, I'm basically okay with allowing the first letter. My only concern is that the pain-in-the-ass/incomprehensibility factor of having to star out everything does discourage people from just putting "****" everywhere, and if we ease it up to let people get their meanings across more easily, it's possible that it could get overused, and we'd see a lot more "****" and "b****" and "****ing ****" around. Which has the disadvantage of being both vulgar and stupid-looking. I wouldn't want PT posters to start a rash of posting about how AOTC is a ****-****ing pile of ****ing **** now that saying so wouldn't just be a meaningless pile of asterisks, or for Lit posters to start harping on how Admiral Daala is being such a ****ing b****. That sort of impact on the level of discourse outside the JCC would be the biggest concern, I think.
    Valairy Scot likes this.
  12. Lord Bane

    Lord Bane Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 26, 1999
    Or certain filtering/censoring guidelines for certain forums. Full asterisks in main series forums, such as EpVII or Lit, given the newcomers and yutes incoming, less restrictive in JCC, Senate, etc. PG vs PG-13.

    Or...accept that, with the full asterisk, you are reading profanity in general and the degree is unimportant. Don't give the word power!!
  13. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000
    edit: (this post was meant in reply to Havac's) Yeah, and that's essentially the problem I have with it. Starring out the whole word is a pain, certainly, and it does allow for mental substitution of words that are a lot fouler than intended in many instances, but there's just something so -- I don't know -- rest of the internet-ish about allowing profanity with the first letter still there. So basically I'm totally on the fence about it, and could see it going either way.

    Helpful, I know :p
  14. jp-30

    jp-30 Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 14, 2000
    You're all a pack of *****.
  15. Mr. K

    Mr. K Moderator Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 23, 1999
    Gum only has three letters, jp.
  16. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Feb 18, 2001
    I proposed what tom was saying years ago. And I'm a big fan of toms, not just his posts but his films (High Road To China) and his shows (the one with him and JoinTheHiggins in Hawaii is awesome) so yes. I support this post and ending racism.
  17. harpua

    harpua Chosen One star 9

    Mar 12, 2005
    I support Ender_Sai's post... as well as the posts of JonTheShorts, Ramza, and of course, Tom. I agree that starring out the whole word is a silly policy. I don;t think anybody is asking for permission to go on swear word sprees, or whatever. I guess I'm saying I'm in agreement that we should have the same policy as Rebelscum, being it's the sister site.
  18. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 6

    Oct 4, 1998
    Stay classy, TFN.
  19. Reveen

    Reveen Jedi Knight star 3

    Oct 4, 2012
    The censorship ain't exactly foolproof, like, at all. You could just exchange an ing for a in' and get by it. Don't get me started on compound swears, I could probably rattle off a giant list of ones that won't get picked up.

    Then again, I know nothing about website coding and don't know whether it's possible to detect and word within another word.
  20. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Jul 13, 2008
    We only have about four words in the auto-filter, actually, the assumption is that users familiar with the rules will star out the words on their own. If they don't, well, there are moderators for that sort of thing.
  21. Only-One Cannoli

    Only-One Cannoli Ex-Mod star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 20, 2003
    I still think the whole word should be starred out. This makes common sense in an area like the JC, but take one step into the E7 forum and you see how many kids are still posting. And as someone who was young + innocent on the JC not horribly long ago, I actually wasn't aware of a lot of swear words nor did I see them all over in real life. Just need to consider that some people hear it all the time and are desensitized, but the rules are there for people who are...young and not desensitized yet. Besides, it's just starring out a word. Takes 2 seconds.

    (also not to be totally contradictory but I think there's another 4 letter word that's a bit more harsh than the f word nowadays)
    Sarge likes this.
  22. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    Oh yeah, there is. I'll use the f-word but I won't use that one.
  23. Dingo

    Dingo Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 23, 2001
    FYI, waaaaaaaaay back the policy used to be that you could use the first letter but then had to star out the rest.

    Then some uptight **** decided to alter the policy for no good reason despite it working perfectly fine for years. Nothing wrong with going back to it.

    Oh, and whichever 4 letter word came into your head when reading this says more about you than it does me.
    JoinTheSchwarz and Grimby like this.
  24. Grimby

    Grimby Technical Consultant & Former Head Admin star 7 Staff Member Administrator

    Apr 22, 2000
    Mine was "bleh".
    JoinTheSchwarz likes this.
  25. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011

    Apparently, I either need to take a laxative or I need to get laid.
    Juliet316 likes this.