On linguistic sites, for example on Русский язык, it is rather appropriate to discuss obscene vocabulary. We on rus.SE use a special tag to indicate this kind of stuff (in order to allow some people to ignore these questions) but anyway there is a need to hide somehow these discussions. Why? Let me show.

Our site is really useful for pupils of all ages, confessions and views, hence we have children and teenagers as a huge part of users. Now imagine a 15-year-old schoolboy who opened the main page and saw these titles:

Пи..дабол или пи..добол: как правильно? (Which spelling of the extremely obscene word is correct?)

  • The first part "п..да" of the word "пи..дабол" is translated as "c.nt"

Et cetera.

Obviously, it can and—moreover—it will repulse a huge number of visitors. What if a parent, who is not a linguist, notice his or her child reading such indecent topics? Enough said.

To sum up, we, language sites, need an option to get the posts tagged automatically hidden from the main page. Those who want to see the discussions in question should be able to disable the ignore mode. Probably one should be asked during the registration process if he or she wants the obscenity to be demonstrated. Users who already have accounts may be notified by a Meta post or something special (like an email). I also think that a pop-up notification suggesting two options ‘Yes, show me this stuff’ and ‘Do not!’ is a suitable solution. It can be shown to new visitors, just like one about cookies.

From comments:

A moderator should be the one to put the tag, and only moderator, otherwise it gives too much power to ordinary users, even spammers who will use it to hide their spam from public view, while it will likely still be linked from the source code and increase their Google rank.

Maybe it is not the only possible way. Why not to allow something like spoilers in titles?

  • 5
    The option that I think a lot of sites use is to avoid using the obscenity in the title itself, which prevents it from appearing on the questions list directly but still keeps the question visible for everyone.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 19:18
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    What about having a vague title, but the "explanation" inside? Kind of like how Science Fiction & Fantasy or Movies & TV deal with spoilers?
    – Jenayah
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 19:18
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    @Catija that's not enough. The body of the question is also shown (despite all the spoilers, etc.), for example, here: rus.stackexchange.com/questions. In addition, if you spell these words like 'f*ck' (ху..сос, пизд..бол), it obviously does not change anything. They are recognisable. For someone, any spellings are still disgusting.
    – Aer
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 19:21
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    I specifically said avoid using. Replacing letters with symbols isn't avoiding use. The body preview is only on a subset of pages, too. I didn't say it's perfect but it's easy and immediately available without any features being implemented.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 19:34
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    @Catija Thanks for your advice. I got it and, frankly, I have already been using it but you know this way is really inconvenient. 1) A person can open a question which looks like ordinary one and then start feeling detestation. 2) The new feature could allow us to avoid convoluted titles and continue doing what we should do (give answers and ask questions) drama free, couldn’t it?
    – Aer
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 19:44
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    I'm not arguing about whether a feature is needed or not. I'm suggesting what to do in the interim. If you're doing it already, great! I do suggest you improve your request by explaining how you expect these questions to get good answers if 95% of the people using the site can't see them.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 20:01
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    @Catija I added my suggestion :)
    – Aer
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 20:10
  • There used to be Standards for content labeling (PICS POWDER ICRA) but it appears that FOSI has discontinued support for such labeling, though browsers automatically detect these labels and block children based upon parental settings. I can not find a current supported Standard but would advise that you investigate that direction. The tag you use above ought to be OK and one would expect it to be effective, it's when it doesn't work and parents become outraged that the problem occurs.
    – Rob
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 21:43
  • How is this supposed to work? Do you include the [obscene-language] tag on all Q&As that have obscene language? Either the answer is no or you're using it as a meta tag. For example, a question about why an author used a specific preposition shouldn't have the [obscene-language] tag, even if there's an obscenity in the quote. Neither should an etymology question about a non-obscene word where an answer quotes something offensive as the earliest attestation.
    – Laurel
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 21:57
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    You really think "pee and poo" is bad for 15 years old people??? My kids say and hear those words since they are 3 years old. I see no need in hiding such words, and totally against trying to censor all the words Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 8:09
  • And the first example you gave translated to "Pi..dabol or pi..dobol: how to?" which I have no idea what it means in English too, but 1000% sure it's not profanity. Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 8:10
  • @ShadowWizard it's something like "bullshit talker/walker". I'm not sure, why Aer is using profanity in his post, actually. Rather strange word in this context. Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 8:27
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    @ShadowWizard first of all, you are not Russian and Russian culture is not the same as yours. I made a general comment on each of the titles and the fact that you consider something ok does not cancel anything (I think).
    – Aer
    Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 9:27
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    @Aer profanity means "blasphemous or obscene language" in English. The examples you gave are not even close to that. On second thought, this question should be posted on the per-site meta of the site you mean, and not here, since it's local to that site and not general for all sites. Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 9:29
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    @Aer OK, I'll try a different angle here. Your request to auto hide based on a tag makes some sense, but auto detecting "bad words" doesn't. A moderator should be the one to put the tag, and only moderator, otherwise it gives too much power to ordinary users, even spammers who will use it to hide their spam from public view, while it will likely still be linked from the source code and increase their Google rank. If that's what you meant, please clarify this in the question itself. Thanks! Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 9:50

3 Answers 3


Practically - this seems like something that folks didn't take into account when designing the platform. Most sites have a no profanity rule enforced to various levels - and that sort of content filtering is usually not needed. We've often reminded folks, anything we say on SE is visible to the world. Admittedly, this can be a little troublesome at times.

In addition, we're trying to explicitly use a meta tag as a content filter of sorts... which is a bit off, and a bit of an off label use of a tag.

In a sense - we're trying to special case a feature to solve a moderation/community feature most sites have solved. We don't allow profanity on most sites specifically for the chance of offense, to the point where much salty language can be a single flag nuke in comments.

Within the current framework - a "soft" workaround might be the use of spoiler tags and warnings - so people need to hover over said language.


🤘 there's no salt emoji. I'm shocked.

If we're doing this - it shouldn't be a specific tag - it should be a designation for a post, since other sites may have specific requirements different from yours. There's a few philosophical and practical considerations here. On SE - posts are visible by default, and that's always been the policy here. We'd be (presumably) hiding posts from new users, unless they're registered, and explicitly set themselves to view it. This is.. something that typically isn't done

  • Well, thanks. It’s a bit sad that SE policy is so inflexible.
    – Aer
    Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 4:57
  • pfft. Nothing I say in a post is 'official'. It could happen - its just unlikely to for these reasons. Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 5:04

First of all, you need to determine if it was trolling. If so, users (or moderator) can close/delete the question.

Secondly, what's wrong if young (actually, the age doesn't matter) people will see this questions? I mean, even if there are offensive words in the question (but the question itself is polite), they still are the part of the language.

And the last one...

Писать и какать — однокоренные слова? (Do pee and poo share the same root?)

What's wrong with it? It's not offensive, it doesn't have obscene vocabulary. You can try to vote for closing, but there is no reason to hide/delete something in this question.

UPD: there is no need to add special tag. SE network sites are moderated by a community. If community doesn't like the question it will be down-voted/closed/deleted naturally.

  • First, писать and какать are obcene, you can look up the term in a dictionary. Second, these questions are on-topic, as it is said in the post. Third, you are not aware of the discussion about the obscenity we had on the site, so you are welcome to get acquainted.
    – Aer
    Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 9:35
  • @Aer emmm, you can close it as off-topic. So, basically, you already have tools to solve the issue. Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 9:36
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    They are on-topic, you see?
    – Aer
    Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 9:46
  • 1
    @Aer ok, on-topic, doesn't violate rules, isn't obscene. Mmm? Could you provide the link to the dictionary where is mentioned that this words are obscene? Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 9:48
  • Well, I recommend you to look only at the first example as it is more impressive. Nothing else to say about the scatological examples, sorry; they are probably not obviously inappropriate.
    – Aer
    Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 10:03
  • @Aer so, I recommend to delete mentioning them from the question (second example). Also, check this english.meta.stackexchange.com/q/446/315118. Similar issue. Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 10:05

i have a simple solution idea: just to replace the words with *** or ### in heading (title) of question, but to use it normally (unhidden) in body of question. thus, they will be removed not only from main page, but also from all lists like tag pages, search results, user pages.

  • 3
    1) Headings are not for ### and ***–they're for the subject of a question. 2) The body is shown in the Questions section so this idea isn't sufficient.
    – Aer
    Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 10:06

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