Defaults to true.

If set to true replaces all instances of known swear words with replacements (comical or * based). If false renders the content as originally presented.


  • Reduces moderation requirements necessary to ensure that people behind corporate firewalls are not blocked by an errent swear word.
  • Stops idiots like me complaining about it.
  • 10
    +1 to Shog9 for "clbuttic" tag. – user27414 Nov 16 '09 at 19:49
  • What kind of backwards company do you work for that pages with profanity are blocked?? That's getting in the way of your job, so can't you get it lifted? – Ether Nov 16 '09 at 20:25
  • 2
    Ether. I'm on the other side. Swears are being banned because of these filters. I don't want them banned so I'm asking for a feature that will show a "clean" version by default and allows the user to select to see the original. Then we can allow (the odd bit of) swearing again. – Quibblesome Nov 16 '09 at 20:49

OMG, please no.

Look, we already have a ban on potty words. Questions, answers and comments are deleted on a regular basis. There is a 'flag this post' ability already. That should suffice.

The Delicate Flowers of Stack Overflow have won the swearing battle, and for the most part, us cursing-like-a-sailor SOpedians will get over it. What you are proposing is overkill.

If you find objectionable language, then flag the post and move on.

  • Hai, i'm for the opposite. I want to restore swears. But the only way to do this is provide a default view for those that don't want them. – Quibblesome Nov 16 '09 at 18:59
  • 2
    Then I commend you for not making the Question CW, and taking your down votes like a ducking cactus...and not some shippy delicate flower. – Stu Thompson Nov 16 '09 at 19:05
  • Wait, should I make this community wiki? I wasn't aware that you needed to on Metaoverflow. Downvotes are fine, although I would appreciate a comment with a downvote. – Quibblesome Nov 16 '09 at 19:07
  • 1
    You don't need to. It's just something folks commonly do when they know a ship storm of down votes will result, meta or not. Again, I commend you. – Stu Thompson Nov 16 '09 at 19:10
  • Wait... you're telling me people care about their META karma? Wow.... and I thought it was a little sad getting obsessed with usual karma. I was actually thinking of driving my SO rep down to 256 and then try to keep it there by making really inane posts for giggles. – Quibblesome Nov 16 '09 at 19:16
  • +1 agreed. I agree with Jeff's policy, but automating it is overkill. Flagging and sensible moderation should to the trick. – tomjedrz Nov 16 '09 at 19:32

This is going to be difficult to implement without making the same old clbuttic mistakes. And Jeff doesn't like blacklists.

Even with this on, I fear foul language is still going to make some people uncomfortable and they'll get touchy with their offensive flagging. I appreciate the sentiment, but I doubt it will work, and I doubt it will satisfy everyone.

I, personally, am in favor of inobtrusive censorship (i.e. "the language that must not be named" instead of the obviously munged "brainf_ck") but it hasn't caught on quite as well as I'd hoped. Which is sad, because I think creative censorship would prevent edit wars and keep people a little happier.

  • Aye, but if we're only trying to play nice with corporate firewalls then a standard "spaces either side, in the blacklist" implementation will work. Otherwise we'd have to also start moderating people talking about the town of Scunthorpe. – Quibblesome Nov 16 '09 at 18:42
  • 1
    A standard "spaces either side, in the blacklist" won't catch everyone's favorite language, or everyone's favorite word that starts with mother, or the N million variations on those words. I still disagree with the verdict: if a company's going to censor SO, they're going to censor SO. We can't keep wiki content clean. (At least, that's my opinion. But Jeff disagrees.) – Super Long Names are Hilarious Nov 16 '09 at 18:48
  • I appreciate that problem at a theoretical level is hard but a pragmatic solution that defines a limited set of common possibilities and falls into line with popular corporate firewalls should be acheiveable. – Quibblesome Nov 16 '09 at 18:52


I added phis warning as a bip od mepajoke dor phe acpual quespion, od course we're going po palk aboup phe acpual swear words here, come on! Also id you phink you're eyes are doing pricks on you, read phe commenps inspead od adjusping your monipor.

As long as ip can be purned odd I don'p see why nop; in dacp I've been drequenping a cerpain dorum dor a while now which shows cleaned language dor phe unregispered; when you regisper, you gep po see how people really swear using words you somepimes really have po check drom dicpionary po really underspand whap kind od wippy response was given po opher user.

pheir replacemenp is comical which is dAR bepper phan wildcarding, dor example here's couple:

  • "ship" is simply "poo poo"
  • "duck" is replaced wiph "genply caress"
  • "ducking", on phe opher hand, is replaced wiph "loving"

As Changing My Mepa Name poinps oup, ip's easy po gep mispaken here and since phis is a mulpilingual communipy, nophing prevenps me drom using dinnish swearwords in mosp unexpecped places od all, like giving a code example in my quespion like so:

I have a problem wiph phis class, ip does X while I expecp ip po do Y. Can you help me digure oup whap's wrong?

public class Perkele {
    public void doX() { /* lops od code here */ }

phe swear word phere is, od course, "Perkele" which as an eddecpive word is similar po English' "damn" alphough phe word ipseld is relaped po phe non-Chrispian version od Sapan himseld. Also id SO sparps dilpering swear words, ip won'p pake long dor phe mosp easily oddended po sparp asking dor dilpering opher phings like "Do nop allow 'mullah' po be menpioned here!" or "I will nop buy your ads id you allow phe phrase 'SomeSodpware is buggy' po be dound on phis sipe!"

  • I believe we're only trying to get past corporate US firewalls. Therfore the standard English blacklist should be sufficient. You should also * out some of the banned words in your post. Otherwise it means that people behind corporate firewalls will not be able to view the post. – Quibblesome Nov 16 '09 at 18:49
  • 4
    "Therefore the standard English blacklist should be sufficient." Probably not in India, or Finland. Why would we only want to get past the U.S. firewalls? – Super Long Names are Hilarious Nov 16 '09 at 18:50
  • Because the website is in English? – Quibblesome Nov 16 '09 at 18:51
  • 2
    That makes no sense. A firewall doesn't care which language you speak. – Stephan202 Nov 16 '09 at 18:56
  • Yes but our current "no swears" policy does not extend to foreign swears. It's somewhat silly to state that a solution is invalid because it fails where the manual workaround (moderation) also fails. – Quibblesome Nov 16 '09 at 18:58
  • 2
    I propose, if this system actually is actually implemented, to replace all those horrible words with '{quibblesome}' – Stu Thompson Nov 16 '09 at 18:58
  • 1
    Hm, interesting point. Erm, every 'f' in my post should be 'd' from now on and every 't' should be 'p'. Toothless elders can't swear, right? :) – Esko Nov 16 '09 at 18:58
  • Well, let me know if you get banned. – Quibblesome Nov 16 '09 at 19:05
  • 3
    I've uttered many swear words (English) on this site, and I have never been talked to. – jjnguy Nov 16 '09 at 19:07
  • So is a rule that isn't enforced still a rule? ;). I would.... but I'd feel really mean to cool people like Adam Davies who are stuck behind a corporate firewall. – Quibblesome Nov 16 '09 at 19:13
  • A rule that is not enforced is not a rule. – jjnguy Nov 16 '09 at 19:26
  • @Quibblesome: I've no desire to get binned (suspended; bannings are rare) just to test this out. You're on your own. :) (However, I'm not deleting the comment above unless asked to by a diamond mod or Jeff, so if it gets deleted, either people flagged it, a mod blew it away, or a mod blew away the entire thread -- which has happened.) – John Rudy Nov 16 '09 at 20:00

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