Thread: Censorship

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  1. Baxie is offline I am the passenger....
    Location: Denmark
    Posts: 349

    #1

    Default Censorship

    Something has been bothering me for a while now. So I thought I might as well bring it up.

    As the title might indicate, it has to do with the censorship that is happening on these forums.

    (If anything following falls into the realms of offensive referencing, I apologize in advance. They are intentional, but merely for illustrative purposes.)

    Where do the boundaries go, for what words can and cannot be used? In the joke-thread, there are several asterisks covering over what is usually references to the male and female reproductive organs. Usually it is five or six asterisks, which I can only imagine covers over the medical terms for these organs. Other times there are less, covering for words that rhyme with rock, runt and the abbreviative version of the name Richard. These latter covers are obviously preferable to the usage of words of a questionable nature, which, no offense meant to anyone, younger users does tend to revert to. Not out of spite or because it is funny to use those words, but merely because these words might be in an everyday use around their normal lives, and thus they lack the filters, that others use to provide an acceptable tone.

    However, the censorships of medical terms, and the quite random use of the term *BROTHER* in one of the jokes, while they might not be a profanity filter issue, seems a bit overly zealous by my standards. Being a reporter, I grossly oppose the use of censorship at all, but can understand that certain circumstances does require an amount of control with these issues.

    There are many many reasons for using censorship on public forums. Sadly most of them are commercial. When you look at the Atari forums, the prohibition of use of profanity is solely a preventive measure, letting the company off the hook for any parental complaints that might arise, from Atari subjecting their users to these issues. Furthermore it is has a large deal to do with the public image, they want to project. While not exactly wanting to adopt a "Holy" attitude towards these terms, they surely do not want to be known as the company who lets language run rampant.

    I can understand their commercial interests, and I resent the people who blame whoever they can get away with for bad influences of their children. However, I do think that censorship has run rampant. Even in commercial situations.

    So what does this have to do with these forums? Well, the tone here is generally sober and luckily free of random profanity outbursts. Which I am sure we can thank the moderators for. And as such this is their playground. Workspace. Call it what you will. They are the ones making sure, that we are not pummeled by immature 13-year old rampages of dirty words. And while the forums is "ours" it is in fact, Diablo who pays for it, and who, in the end, has to answer to the content of these boards.

    So my question again: Where does the limit go for what can and cannot be used on these forums? I am of course talking about the borders of what is permissible. I am not crusading for the use of harsh words like the "rock" and "runt" variants, but there has to be a limit. If not where do we stop? Will we be able to say breasts? Chest? Even the word "Member" has a sexual reference implied, and thus in turn can be misconstrued as something offensive?

    And what does the providers of the webhotels say? Do they have excessive rules or guidelines that prevent the users from using certain words and phrases?

    This is not a complaint, merely an observation and a foundation for a discussion. Where do people stand? What do you think is permissible?
    And what do you think isn't?

    I am of course inviting everyone to partake in this discussion and not just the mods.



    3rd TDU Central Competition #1


  2. Baldy is offline Wibble Wobble
      
    Location: Lancashire, UK
    Posts: 5,812

    #2

    Default

    Well hello baxie, someone's been busy. And this thread is a good one, well censorship where do I begin.

    My opinions are that censorship in the modern world, has become too extreme, whether this is too protect children or people that are offended easily i still feel that censorship has been taken too far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baxie
    In the joke-thread, there are several asterisks covering over what is usually references to the male and female reproductive organs. Usually it is five or six asterisks, which I can only imagine covers over the medical terms for these organs. Other times there are less, covering for words that rhyme with rock, runt and the abbreviative version of the name Richard. These latter covers are obviously preferable to the usage of words of a questionable nature, which, no offense meant to anyone, younger users does tend to revert to. Not out of spite or because it is funny to use those words, but merely because these words might be in an everyday use around their normal lives, and thus they lack the filters, that others use to provide an acceptable tone.
    I also agree that the censorship of these words is over the top. There again you have to see it from a parents point of view, they don't want there 10year old child visiting the forum and reading offensive material, any user under 13 must provide an e-mail address for a parent under strict U.S. laws, which means that content on the forum must be suitable for users all of ages.

    But on the other hand surely the use of word's like "Rock" "Rick" "Parse" "barsteward" should be allowed, there not offensive and are used by many in day to day conversations. Even on television these words are used before the watershed.

    However I do feel the use of the word "Runt" is inappropriate on a forum, as i feel it is a bit too strong.

    As for the word brother I have no idea, and that just seems silly to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baxie
    So my question again: Where does the limit go for what can and cannot be used on these forums? I am of course talking about the borders of what is permissible. I am not crusading for the use of harsh words like the "rock" and "runt" variants, but there has to be a limit. If not where do we stop? Will we be able to say breasts? Chest? Even the word "Member" has a sexual reference implied, and thus in turn can be misconstrued as something offensive?
    Another point I agree with and feel has gone to far, I can see in the future the use of the words chest, breast and member being limited as society turns into the over protective bubble rap it has become and begins, to dumb down until eventually all words are censored for some reason. Luckily this has not happened yet.

    As for this forum, I think there are words that are allowed, and we don't make a big fuss about that fact, Pissed is an example if used the correct way.

    E.g.

    Quote Originally Posted by Testaccount
    I just love going out and getting pissed on a Saturday night
    That is acceptable and would not be seen as a problem on this forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Testaccount
    Oh just piss off Testaccount
    This would be seen as unacceptable as the word is being used in an offensive manner, I also think arse is allowed although i am not sure on that and I am sure this is something Diablo will clarify when he reads this thread (which could be a while as he is taking a weeks break)

    As for the content of this forum, this of course comes down to Diablo and what he feels is acceptable, so to be a member we must abide by these rules. When Diablo replies to this thread we must remember that his rules are the ones that matter and that if he feels this is the best way for the forum to be run then that shall be it. (Which by the way I must say this is the best forum I visit and it's not just because I am a moderator here.)

    Anyway that is my two penneth, thanks for reading and lets have a good discussion on this topic. And i hope it makes sense as it's rather late and i'm not in the best of ways to be thinking.
    Another insightful post by Baldy!!

    "Life is like a slush puppy, the longer you leave things the more they melt"


  3. HavockJoker is offline PGR4 Master
    Location: New Jersey, USA
    Posts: 1,532

    #3

    Default

    Just to pick up where Baldred is. I think only words that are not used on everyday television be censored. For the exception of some words. Uhh. I'm sure that a 13yr-old has heard these. "Rock" "Rick" "Parse" "barsteward" .

    But as Baldred said there are words that are extreme. And should be.




  4. TDU 505 is offline Clinically Insane
    Location: Singapore
    Posts: 2,754

    #4

    Default

    hmmm i think diablo gave carboy a infraction for saying "i got pissed" or to the effect

  5. eleKtro is offline Contain Your Orgasms
    Location: Made in China
    Posts: 2,743

    #5

    Default

    First of all thanks you Baxie for taking your time to write a very well written thread. Was a good read.

    I want to start off with Acronyms, I see people on this forum using "wtf", "ffs", "lmfao". I also use them at times, and even though all 3 of these acronyms contain the word associated with "Muck" we are allowed to use them. Is it because they are not intentionally used towards another member and just used as a nature to express out feelings?

    I see why we should have a language filter, there are many different reasons, like Baldred said.

    Quote Originally Posted by baldred »
    There again you have to see it from a parents point of view, they don't want there 10year old child visiting the forum and reading offensive material, any user under 13 must provide an e-mail address for a parent under strict U.S. laws, which means that content on the forum must be suitable for users all of ages.
    But if we were to put that aside, I don't see that much of a problem using strong language, as long as it's with in reason and not used to offend or to be in an offensive manner towards anyone. And like Baldred said words like "Runt" is a strong word to certain people and I can understand words like that being censored.

    But we don't know what the background of every member on the forum is, maybe everyone is brought up using strong language or not.

    When I play games online, and as most games have a in game chat, and a lot of children play these games and there is no barrier, and people will go on a mad one and swear for no reason, or because they died etc..

    There are some servers which will warn you if you swear, and then eventually kick you from the server if you excessively swear. But the reason for this is that clan members children play on the server and they don't want them to see this language.

    I was out with a few friends the other day, and I passed a group of kids aged 10 or so or younger, but I was shocked to hear the language they were using, at that age I never knew half of those words or none of them, children these days are swearing much more than me when I was their age and that wasn't so long ago. Children will grow up hearing these words no matter what it can't be helped.

    There are probably members on this forum who visit other forums and they may see people having swearing rants or what have you.

    Well it is an interesting topic to debate, looking forward to read more into this.

    Thanks Maxx.
    Last edited by eleKtro; 02/03/08 at 08:49 AM.

  6. Nodz86 is offline ____________
     
    Location: Essex, England
    Posts: 3,209

    #6

    Default

    Well I don't think I can add alot more than whats already been said, I can merely agree or disagree with people.

    I agree on the fact that the filter is a bit OTT on some words that have been mentioned and the facted that these words are used on a regular basis on pre watershed prgrammes. The most memorable one is what has now become James Mays favourite word on Top Gear which rhymes with "Rock", But here is **** (yes I did type astrix not the word).

    But the extreme words that rhyme with "runt" are to far. Saying that alot of people think the word that rhymes with "duck" are a bit far but as MadMax pointed out "ffs", "wtf" and "lmfao" are deemed acceptable. I presume that the letter "f" may be seen as different words by different people.

    I must admit on the subject of the "p" word is a bit of a grey area and dependant on the mood of the mods. I got infracted for using it in the phrase "piece of p" but I did get round the filter by using doller signs. I thought in that phrase it would not cause offence to anyone the same as the phrase i'm geting "p" as i wasn't directing it at anyone but I still got an infraction.

    Anyways swearing is something that I do not want to become a common place on this board as I think it would ruin it. As I have said above certain words I would not bother me as long as they were not used in an insulting way towards people on or off the board (members or non members). But the use of the stronger words is a no go.

    Thats my opinion.

    Also well done on the people who have already contribute some well written replyies and well done on Baxie for approaching this subject.

  7. Pherelas is offline I'm Going Slightly mad
    Location: The Dark Side of the Moon
    Posts: 3,278

    #7

    Default

    Agree with most people here. The 'p' one I don't really get, Ihave never even seen that as anywhere near rude, must be the way i've grown up. 'Runt' is to far yes and things like wtf isn't really aimed at anyone yet the F word hardly ever is, its more of a thing to say in frstration so in a forum other words can be used so there is no point.

    "Rock" "Rick" "Parse" and "barsteward" are no more strong that 'crap' really which is allowed. Who knows.
    -----
    [imglink]http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r289/pherelas/SigCustom.jpg[/imglink]
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  8. Mb
    Mb is offline The Photographer
    Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
    Posts: 8,136

    #8

    Default

    I think it should changes them into nice words. It would say "Muck" you, which get changed into Love you!

    It doesn't matter how much horsepower your car has, it's about the smile on your face when you drive it.

  9. Andreas¹ is offline Crazy Duck
     
    Location: Jönköping, Sweden
    Posts: 7,385

    #9

    Default

    Gosh, I wish it could do that in my school Then we would have much love there :P


  10. BensonJutton is offline Rusted Banger
    Location: Southend-on-Sea
    Posts: 76

    #10

    Default

    Hi guys
    I feel that Mad Max hit the nail on the head (for me anyway) and it's the reason I wholeheartedly enforce the no swearing rule on the Atari forums

    "We don't know peoples backgrounds"

    we don't know what the parents of our younger members are like ,lets just say little jimmy goes to the Atari forums reads the word "Rock" or Pissed off and then uses the term to a parent ,the parent could react in so many different ways ,including beating that child.Now if me being over zealous inforcing the no swear rule prevents that happening as far as I'm concerned
    Job Well Done!

    We must remember that this is a forum and not the real world ,where free speech must be defended at all times but I'm affraid that by agreeing to forum rules you sign away your free speech

    BJ

  11. Iced_Bullet is offline Cheese=Milk's Death Route
     
    Location: Norfolk, UK
    Posts: 6,310

    #11

    Default

    You have all written good responces, and as I was reading MadMax's reply, I was thinking the same as you Benson, so I can't really add much more to this thread, except I am aa strong believer in the swearing filter, as my brother views these forums occasionally, un unsupervised.
    Quote Originally Posted by BensonJutton »
    by agreeing to forum rules you sign away your free speech
    HAHA this made me smile, as it's very true.
    Quote Originally Posted by BensonJutton »
    BJ
    Anyway, Benson, you really should think of a new sign-off as us immature users giggle at it
    Life is good. Simples. Cccchhhhh.

  12. BensonJutton is offline Rusted Banger
    Location: Southend-on-Sea
    Posts: 76

    #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Iced_Bullet »
    Anyway, Benson, you really should think of a new sign-off as us immature users giggle at it
    Oh grow up!

    I don't mind mate giggle away ,Tenebra used to use it until Diablo explained it to her

    Benson(better?) lol

  13. eleKtro is offline Contain Your Orgasms
    Location: Made in China
    Posts: 2,743

    #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BensonJutton »
    Hi guys
    I feel that Mad Max hit the nail on the head
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iced_Bullet »
    Benson, you really should think of a new sign-off as us immature users giggle at it
    Dirty little immature git

    I think the forum should stay the way it is, but using " * " to hide strong language, we have had no problems using it, I haven't seen any complaint posts about not being allowed to swear, and there is no need to really swear. People just use strong language for no reason most of the time.

    And if you do need to swear, instead of "Runt", "Rock" or "Muck" just replace them with less abusive words like "Poo", "Shivins" or even "Doh".

    Or if you really want to show your feelings by swearing, just say it loud in front of your computer, or go outside. No need to write it down

    Lets keep it a friendly community.

    Thanks MadMax.

  14. Baldy is offline Wibble Wobble
      
    Location: Lancashire, UK
    Posts: 5,812

    #14

    Default

    well said, swearing is not needed so why use it, I've recently told two people off on xbl for swearing too much (won't mention any names), another good word to use is fiddlesticks
    Another insightful post by Baldy!!

    "Life is like a slush puppy, the longer you leave things the more they melt"


  15. Nodz86 is offline ____________
     
    Location: Essex, England
    Posts: 3,209

    #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by baldred »
    well said, swearing is not needed so why use it, I've recently told two people off on xbl for swearing too much (won't mention any names), another good word to use is fiddlesticks
    I wonder who they were

  16. TDU 505 is offline Clinically Insane
    Location: Singapore
    Posts: 2,754

    #16

    Default

    fiddlesticks!
    baldred is that your newcar?
    fiddlesticks!

  17. hesonly5 is offline Hungry Hungry Hippos! :D
     
    Location: UK
    Posts: 2,983

    #17

    Default

    The way I tend to look at it is to limit yourself as to what you see in everyday media. Meaning arse/ass and crap are about as far as it goes, and anything else is censored by asterisks.

  18. Baxie is offline I am the passenger....
    Location: Denmark
    Posts: 349

    #18

    Default

    Good to see, that people have taken to this discussion the way it was intended. And also that people have an opinion about this.

    I find it admirable, that so many of the users here are self-enforcing the language used on these boards. As MadMax said, there is indeed no reason to start cursing and swearing to get your points across. And while it may be aggravating to hear other people's opinions and viewpoints, the least amount of effort you can do is simply not post.

    So far so good.

    However, this is just part of the discussion. While the use and misuse of language is what is most obvious to the user, the rules, and techniques in which these are enforced, is another more vague part of the censorship debate.

    I read an article by danish reporter, Paul Høi, who has been working as a correspondent in America for years. He wrote an article about how the paper he used to work out of issued a memo about how to use politically correct phrases and terms in the articles.

    There were a lot of examples, like how not to call asians, asians and native americans should be called original americans. All of it was wonderously inane since it clearly came from the people who weren't part of the groups who were being "insulted". Not calling a person over 65 for Bluehairs is understandable, but anyone taking offense at the term senior citizens? Or how about the latin-, hispanic, italian or irish communities being called something along the lines of alternative minorities?

    My absolute favourite one was the fact that the term Ghettoblaster was to be substituted with Boombox. Since the former term was clearly derogatory towards... ghettos?

    All of these show the extent to which we're all heading. Hell in a handbasket so to speak, however another example applies neatly to these forums.

    The terms woman and girl. How do you tell the difference between a woman and a girl? Clearly a six year old is a girl. And a 50 year old is a woman. But what about an 18 year-old? Or a 22-year old? 30? And who are we to say that all 22-year olds are girls or women? I know a lot of females between 20 and 30. And I can honestly say, that I have no idea why I call some women and some girls, but I do and I do it with conviction. But it has nothing to do with age at all.

    And there is the core of the censorship debate. When is a word a swear-word and when isn't it?

    Clearly there are words that are, like the 50-year olds, quite easy to define. These are of course the "runt" and "rock" variants. While others are six-year olds. "Wee" and "Fiddlesticks". But there is a huge group of 16-30 year olds who need to be defined, and if you set a rigid age limit, you automatically end up with certain persons who will take offense, that you are not letting them decide for themselves.

    Now in this case, words cannot take offense, but by installing filters that sort out the use of words like "ends-with-gina" and "sounds-like-venus" you limit the expressionism of the persons trying to write, and while limits are good, we have to brace ourselves for one hell of an argument, which I am about to make.

    Words and language evolve.

    Now take for instance the term immigrant. When you hear this word, you automatically think of someone not from your country. Now going out on a limb here, I will bet you, that the term has gotten a negative ring to it in most european countries. I know it has here in Denmark. So what do we do? We use a new term. And for a while this will make do. But mediainfluences slowly grind at this term, since they are obliged to use it, linking it with honour-killings, arrange marriages, terrorism and what else they got to link it with of horrible newsworthy stories. And eventually the words has become so negatively charged, that we come up with a new word, and a new word, and a new and a new... and on and on it goes.

    And all the while here at TDU-C we have asterisks guarding us from the horrors of medical terms for the reproductive organs and other nonsensical phrases.

    Are the forums restricted in the use of these words from the get-go? Is it the web-hosts that dictate these terms? Diablo? The mods?

    What do you think?


    (Again. I am not at all offended or angry or upset, but I would like to keep the discussion going. So let's hear it!)


    3rd TDU Central Competition #1


 

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