'Your post contains words that aren't allowed' ... but which ones?

(Sam Saffron) #24

I am joking and … not joking…

I will be explicit here and tone down my sarcasm.

I find the concept of “auto replace” both dangerous and anti-user. It teaches nothing, it only causes confusion and support. I am against building an “auto-replace” feature and think it belongs in a plugin if anything.

Not my call though.

I just don’t agree that magic substitution is a valuable feature in the first place. Building it properly now is simply an extension of censor, cause you would want to amend it so it shows up in preview. It really is a feature no customer ever asked for. (but to be fair just-in-time was never asked for by any customer as well)

(cpradio) #25

Yeah, I sort of got that after you add the smiley (I was fairly certain you were being sarcastic, but wasn’t quite sure till the smiley jumped in) :slight_smile:

(Jeff Atwood) #26

Sort of, if you want to automagically replace “damn” with “darn” I don’t think that’s the end of the world, for example.


I broadly agree with you although it’s been requested a couple of times by potential customers. The use case I remember is replacing proprietary drug names with generic ones.

(Jeff Atwood) #28

Word substituion is a fairly standard feature in other forum software, I’ve seen it for many years. Can it be abused? Sure, but then so can a zillion other options. It has legit uses without a doubt.

(cpradio) #29

Oh interesting. I hadn’t thought of that example.

Yeah, @hawk’s example makes sense. I was just looking for how it would differ, and I get it now. :slight_smile:

(Kane York) #30

It’s only a “standard feature” because it’s easy to implement with just string replacements in PHP, so implement they did, without regard for the social impacts of rewriting posts in a sneaky way.

(Michael Friedrich) #31

Maybe the popup text could be generic and just link to the FAQ/Guidelines. This normally is the place where good behaviour is suggested and explained, and blocked words ideally have their origin from bad behaviour.

I was playing around with these words too, and blocked “annoying” to see which influence this has on users. I had only one user who was super frustrated that he also came up with blaming the block-but-not-which-word, he found out about it being annoying and tried to argue. In the end I’ve asked him, why he would use the word “annoying” in the first place. He started to think and apologized. That thing could be maybe obsoleted by popup guidance and of course highlighting the word match.

Background: If one hits a community forum and says: “Your software is annoying”, no-one has the mood to help. Blocked words also can help to improve the initial conversation, that’s my idea behind that. Still not sure if that works out though.

(Gerhard Schlager) split this topic #32

8 posts were split to a new topic: Why is the word “thread” not allowed?

(Nate Mamman) #33

Curious turn of phrase. Does that imply words considered derogatory to a majority would be allowed?

(Blu McCormick) #34

Good point. Of course not. Thankfully, staff picked solutions that avoid those kind of triggering debates.

(Theo) #36

Since watching The Good Place I am coming round to the notion of the hilarity of doing the replacements of fork, shirt and bench (etc.) for swearwords. Whenever Eleanor says, “This is BULLshirt” I can’t help but chuckle…

In the past I’ve seen the ability to replace words be used on popular forums to avoid issues with legal dramas. I don’t have specific examples but this was due to an ongoing lawsuit with a DVD site and also I think a particular person who’d given the site a lot of grief over comments around their name. It’s possible that in the last 10-15 years the online legal situation has changed such that people hosting forums can’t be held accountable for what their users post, but it seemed like they were back then.

(Yvette Hynes) #37

I also received it, and I know I didn’t say anything offensive or curse words.

Why is the word "thread" not allowed on Meta?
(Sam Saffron) #38

Hmmm … this topic somehow got derailed quite a bit, reading this carefully, the OP is sorted now so I am closing it. I don’t see why we should brother keeping it open.

(Sam Saffron) closed #39