An experiment: no obscenity filter


Oleg Volk
May 3, 2003, 08:50 PM
After considerable though, we decided to try a different approach to keeping THR civil and non-vulgar. Instead of filtering certain words, we'll turn off the auto-substitution with **** and see what happens.

I wouldn't think of asking anyone invited to my home to disarm at the door. Likewise, I am offering access to my on-line home without any prior restraints. By that same analogy, I would expect guests to refrain from shooting up furniture or from offering fighting words to other guests.

Let's see how well this works. If it turns out that we can use adjectives other than ***ing and nouns other than ***, we'll keep this format. Based on the impressive display of erudition and civil manners typical of TFL and THR members in the past, I hope that everyone would be able to keep up with the standards of this forum.


Oleg Volk

If you enjoyed reading about "An experiment: no obscenity filter" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
May 3, 2003, 09:11 PM
Oleg do you mind If I test it out???:D

I have the list of the FCC 7:scrutiny:

May 3, 2003, 09:25 PM
Anybody familiar with George Carlin's 7 words you can never...........:D J/K

Classy move, Oleg. Hope it works out.

May 3, 2003, 09:26 PM
Sara Brady ...... nope didn't work :D

May 3, 2003, 10:47 PM
Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Sarah Brady, Chuck Schumer, Diane Feinstein, Ted Kennedy, Barabara Boxer! Yup the obscenity filter is turned off.:D

Oleg, thank you for the faith you have in us. We won't let you down.

May 3, 2003, 11:37 PM
Oleg, it's your home and your show. Give it a try and let's hope it works!

May 4, 2003, 12:26 AM
Ok, I'm the 25 year old punk here, so **** **** **** (Subject to editing in 30 seconds, as not even I am punk enough to leave this as is, )

May 4, 2003, 12:27 AM
Yup, he definitely turned the filter off.

Hope people don't abuse it casually.

May 4, 2003, 12:37 AM
wow ... either phyphor edited himself or the filter kicked in a split second before I posted this;

Oleg; I applaud you for your faith in humanity. I always try to remember to wipe my feet before entering someone elses house; this is your house, and I'll respect your rules.

Aside from that, what little swearing I've seen on THR has been limited to expressions or exclamations, not directed to other THR members. I’ve not seen one poster curse out another, but I have seen “holy sh*t” and “cr*p” used as declarations of surprise or shock. Personally I don’t mind the filters, but I understand the need and respect for personal responsibility.

edit: Mmmmm. Ok those were examples, and as such, I have no problem editing. Here's a question though, is it better to 'work around the filter' such as the judicious use of '*' when every one that reads the post will know exactly what the original word was? Or, (as I think would be preferred... by me anyway) express one's self without having to result to profanity?

Now I'm double thinking myself... because there are times when 'dang' 'gosh' and so forth just don't seem to express what he poster is trying to convey.

Ok triple think. If I can't express myself without swearing then I need to get myself to a remedial 'critical thinking and intelligent discourse' class at the local community college.

Mike Irwin
May 4, 2003, 12:51 AM
What the flambe are you doing?

Are you flambeing nuts?

Perhaps it's time to get the CIA after you (the Culianary Institute of America)...

Old Fuff
May 4, 2003, 12:54 AM
Speaking for myself, I intend to see that you don't need a filter (or *****).

May 4, 2003, 01:54 AM

The rules are still in place - even if quoting examples. I suggest you edit.

May 4, 2003, 10:11 AM
Ok triple think. If I can't express myself without swearing then I need to get myself to a remedial 'critical thinking and intelligent discourse' class at the local community college.
Yup, that's the point.

LawDog is the master at this. Whenever he expresses outrage, it is a work of art and well worth the read.


May 4, 2003, 12:46 PM
How bout I use $$$$! Instead of the little '*'s?:evil:

Just a thought for extreme provovation response;)

May 4, 2003, 01:00 PM
I think people will slip occasionally, and that new people may not know better if they don't take the time to read the TOS.

OTOH, I'm an adult and I don't wet myself just because somebody uses adult language. Frankly, and I've mentioned this before so it's no surprise I'm sure, I think there's way too much energy wasted on this topic. I find some political opinions pretty obscene without any reference to body functions or reproduction. I also find euphemisms pretty pathetic. The sight of grown men and women using words like "doody" just make me want to yark.

All standard disclaimers apply.


May 4, 2003, 01:35 PM
Filters? We don't need no stinkin' filters.

Ol' Badger
May 4, 2003, 02:16 PM
Barbara Streisand. Nope. That didnt work either:evil: :neener: :evil:

May 4, 2003, 08:10 PM
Sure it did. You can see it can't you?:D

May 4, 2003, 10:54 PM
Yea, I edited myself, not even 30 seconds after posting. :)

Once I saw that the filters really were gone, I rushed to edit my test-post.

Hope Oleg's not offended by it. :)

May 4, 2003, 11:49 PM
We tried it on the Beartooth Bullets forum, but a few people kept crossing the line. Good Luck.

Jack Monteith
Beartooth Moderator

May 5, 2003, 12:30 AM
I belive we should have Hardcoretalk style speech rules, as I am against restrictions against ANY of the amendments!!!!!!

May 5, 2003, 12:31 AM
that's a ****ing good idea!:D

May 5, 2003, 12:52 AM
I belive we should have Hardcoretalk style speech rules, as I am against restrictions against ANY of the amendments!!!!!
As has been said many times before:
It is impossible for THR to violate the BoR. Only the gov't can do so (as the BoR exists only as restrictions to what the gov't can do).

May 5, 2003, 12:55 AM
What cordex says is true. THR is a private organization, and they have the right to control what type of language is used here. The only people who can infringe the BOR are the government.

Al Norris
May 5, 2003, 01:22 AM
I don't entirely understand the problem.

Either we can discuss things as intelligent adults, or we really are the troglodytes that the anti's view us as.

Of course, a good dictionary/thesaurus would help some of us....

May 5, 2003, 01:35 AM
I know they have the right, but I also would like to see them put a little more of the free speech to practice.

May 5, 2003, 02:30 AM
What? No filter??????

Ohhhhhhhhhh, Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudge.:what:

May 5, 2003, 03:16 AM
There was a filter? I never knew, really.
DO you have numbers you are willing to post on the usage? That is, how many times it was needed and how many post didn't need it?

Al Norris
May 5, 2003, 08:43 AM
Blain wrote:
I know they have the right, but I also would like to see them put a little more of the free speech to practice.
Why is it that some people seem to equate Free Speech with the indiscriminate use of what, for lack of a better term, is nothing more than gutter language?

May 5, 2003, 09:39 AM
I haven't ever been offended by anything I've seen on TFL or THR. I even edit in my mind what the writer is trying to say that the filter covered up.

But I grew up on a ranch and it is my firm beleif that you cannot work with livestock without developing a colorful vocabulary, despite my mother's best intentions.

I have however been shocked at some of the language used on other boards, I didn't think it was possible but it has happened. I have faith that the people of THR are of a higher caliber than the gunsels that frequent other sites.

Take the filter of and be rewarded with the integrity of the members of THR.

P.S. I think the only word I ever had filtered was "crap"

May 5, 2003, 09:50 AM
Either we can discuss things as intelligent adults, or we really are the troglodytes that the anti's view us as.
I really don't think that what supports the antis view of us is whether or not someone says something is a crock of fecal matter. I think it's the very fact that we insist on our rights vis a vis guns.

Oh, and the borderline literacy I see here doesn't help our image, either. If people really want to be taken seriously, worry less about adult language and more about spelling simple words correctly. We're depicted as Cro-Magnon bumpkins not because we may use adult language, but because we can't even spell our own terms... "rifel," "cartige," "gun's" instead of "guns," etc., etc. :rolleyes:


Oleg Volk
May 5, 2003, 09:51 AM
Can THR members make sailors and ranch hands blush, if they so desire? I am sure that we all can. Just a few choice allusions to the hillaryclintonesque aspects of life ought to trump any scatological or sexual references. Would that be fun? Yes, it would be.

It would also be elsewhere.

THR is an impressive collection of knowledge, experiences and humor all in one place. I and others here constantly refer lurkers and outsiders to it. For instance, parents of a certain 14yo in SF might be checking on it to see what kind of people share his interest in guns. I'd be much happier if they were reassured by what they saw. This forum depends on the motivation of a few people to provide the service. If they get frustrated with the misuse of that service, they can grin and bear it (unlikely!), close shop and give up or bounce the mis-users. Neither solution is appealing, so don't frustrate the moderators OR other members. After all, moderators are people who were observed to be persuasive and intelligent and thus claimed as "THR's own" but they aren't the only such people on this any ill use of THR is likely to annoy those other nice, bright and persuasive people. Is the use of a few oaths so dear that anyone would AD/AD their mouth in a private gathering and disregard everyone else present?

I think I know the answer, which is why the filter is off. Some folks disagree with my opinion on the probable results. Back me up with your actions!

Oleg Volk

PS: Clarification on the reasoning: the forum rule on the language has not changed. Obscenities are still viewed as NDs, understandable but undesirable. The whole idea behind the elimination of the auto-substitution for * is that I expect the censorware to become unnecessary. In effect, it is the difference between running a cold range and a hot range. I dislike cold ranges and I dislike the prior assumption that * will be needed. Maybe I am dreaming. We'll find out.

May 5, 2003, 09:56 AM
Oleg, if you want to keep adult language off the board, I suggest that you leave the filter in place. As far as I can see, the only reason to remove the filter is to allow such language. What's the point of an imaginary filter, one that exists in theory but not in reality? To test whether or not anyone will forget themselves? To what end? I don't get it. For users to object to the filter but not the reasoning behind it is pointless, IMO. Either you allow adult language or you don't, fullstop.

All standard disclaimers apply...


May 5, 2003, 10:53 AM
Perhaps this already exists, but it would be nice to have a profanity filter that turned on or off by each user.

I prefer the ***'s because it's always obvious (to adults) what word has been replaced anyway.

Just my two cents.


Oleg Volk
May 5, 2003, 10:59 AM
pytron, I don't think software has a provision for implementing your idea.

"Adult language" is a euphemism in itself. Adults might swear in public, but I don't think we'd have GWBush or Walter Williams or Charleton Heston adding ****ing to their public speeches for emphasis. We are in a private venue, similar to an NRA convention but, as with that convention, what we say/write is visible to the world at large. Specific words may be OK for some and not for others, so just keep in mind the intention behind this and try to accommodate us in the event of disagreements.

May 5, 2003, 12:44 PM
Pytron, so if it's easy to figure out what *** means (and I agree it is easy), what's the point of replacing letters with symbols at all? It seems to me just an exercise in mysticism. Don't say the word exactly and you're okay?

If the effect of leaving profanity uneditted is less profanity than if it's converted to *'s, I think that's a reason to leave it unedited as displayed. It's all unedited in the database anyway; it's not like there's no trace of transgressions with auto-censoring enabled.

May 5, 2003, 12:44 PM
i've never really had a problem censoring myself or been offended when others failed to censor themselves. i learned when i was a teenager that i could bottle up whatever was frustrating me and hold on to it as long as possible until i 'snap' and have to release it all. my alternatives were physical outbursts or verbal tirades. neither sufficed, so i became a repressed bottling factory. then i discovered the best thing since autoloading firearms: weight lifting! i get upset, frustrated, irritated at the boss, i go to the gym and focus that negativity on the iron. all i need to do to squeeze out a few extra sets is put the image of my bosses face as he asks me to help him use his godforsaken keyboard to find the 'enter' button and the adrenalin steps in.

hehe. OTOH, i have found that i dislike being in the company of those who use profanity in every sentence. my roommate has that bad habit and it eff this, effing that, eff eff eff eff eff. there may be a few around here that have this bad habit as well, but it doesnt make them bad people.

Jason Demond
May 5, 2003, 06:53 PM
TFL was a clean place, because of it's class of members. I see these same members here on THR, and I have faith in them. I know we can keep with, and exceed the high standards of TFL.

May 5, 2003, 07:02 PM
I think the term 'adult language' is funny. Been to an elementary school lately?:o

May 5, 2003, 07:19 PM
Generally I don't curse in everyday conversation- if I throw in a curse it is intentional to make a point.

However, if I get real angry I can let fly a string of obscenities that would singe your hair- but in a friendly way (think of the father in "A Christmas Story").

Anyway, you won't see much of it here from me, but I am not offended by any words that may appear here- as long as it isn't part of a personal attack.

I don't much care if SHTF is spelled out, ya know?:)

Sean Smith
May 5, 2003, 07:36 PM
One thing that bugged me about the filter was that it was just plain mentally deranged... it would filter stuff I typed that would pass muster for a G-rated movie. :cuss: :D

May 5, 2003, 10:58 PM
zahc is right- the term "adult language" does not fit what it covers. I'm in 7th grade, and I'd realistically guess that the "F---" word alone is used about 400 times a day just by my grade level. Add 500-600 more times if you count 8th grade. I'm serious.

May 5, 2003, 11:27 PM
OK, no bad words.. That's not a problem..

That's what :rolleyes: :cuss: :barf: :banghead: are for right??

May 6, 2003, 01:33 AM
I will be the first to admit that I have a tendency to use VERY colorful language, something that was greatly enhanced by spending most of my adult life in the military. But, I know when to censor myself, for instance when I'm around my mom. It's especially easy when I'm typing and take the time to think about what I want to say. My recommendation is this: act as if your mother or grandmother might be reading this. Would you want either of those ladies to hear you cursing a blue streak like an Infantryman on a 30 day field exercise? (sorry to the Navy, but grunts can outswear sailors)

Just my own two cents, if you don't like the idea, so be it.


May 6, 2003, 12:12 PM
I'd just like to be able to write phrases such as "When the hammer is at half cock" without loosing the word for "to draw back a hammer under spring tension" to the asterisks.

Mal H
May 6, 2003, 04:11 PM
Poodleshooter - I don't think that has ever been the case. Replacing the word cock with *'s on a firearms board wouldn't be very smart. Do you have an example of when that was done?

May 6, 2003, 05:13 PM
You bet our sweet bippie!

If you enjoyed reading about "An experiment: no obscenity filter" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!