troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Fun with Autocensors
Many Internet forums have an automated censor feature, the intended purpose of which is to bleep out profanity. But in the hands of a playful admin (or a Well-Intentioned Extremist determined to keep the forum clean), the results of the auto-censor can get... interesting.

Like more conventional censorship, this can lead to the Scunthorpe Problem, if the autocensor is designed to look for the prohibited string within longer strings. Compare Gosh Dang It to Heck!.

Examples:

  • At least one LEGO fan board replaces all swear words with "Megablocks".note 
  • Worth1000.com automatically changes "hell" to "New Jersey".
  • Puzzle Pirates has a chat option to turn profanity into pirate-y swearing (see this list for examples); some expressions are also autoreplaced (e.g., "wtf" is changed to "what in the seven seas"). Which led to hilarity when the devs booched and switched the lists.
  • Something Awful has a word filter that replaces profanity with gentle alternatives ("gently caress" for "fuck", "poo poo" for "shit", etc.). The filtered words are only shown to unregistered users. Occasionally, new users will use the alternate forms because they don't realize they're allowed to swear and don't know there's a filter. You'll usually get chided and gently probated if you do.
    • "Gently caress" has become trademark Goon slang because of it, so you see it frequently even when the filters aren't applied.
  • One Guild Wars fan site replaces each letter of a filtered word with "RED ENGINE GO," with no space in between.
  • The Starflyer 59 fan messageboard at sf59fans.com copies Jason Martin's set of Unusual Euphemisms: "shit" becomes "shin", "fuck" becomes "eff", "damn" becomes "D", and so on.
  • The forums of Grand Chase typically replace more offensive profanity with the phrase "Fire Bolt!" which is one of the character's abilities in the game.
  • A few years ago The Elder Scrolls Forums used to replace the word "ass" with "spotted owl" and "asshole" with "spotted owl habitat". They had other odd replacements for various swear words, but the "spotted owl" became so popular that people still typed it in when they went to just using [CENSORED] for everything. They even have a spotted owl emoticon.
  • One The Sims fan forum replaces most swear words with "kleenex". It caused a few problems early on, such as a "kleenex sword" (I.E. a bastard sword) in a post about medieval weapons, so the admins removed a lot of words with non-naughty meanings from the list. Forum regulars so rarely swear, though, that some people have posted for years without knowing there was a filter. (Those who do know about the filter will often type "kleenex" themselves on the rare occasions they feel like swearing.)
  • Neopets:
    • Too bad if your RP character's wearing a bikini — it'd inevitably get switched to "cardigan". The fact that SpongeBob SquarePants was often said to live in Cardigan Bottom was rather less optimal.
    • Among other words censored are fork (which the mods eventually changed their minds about) and hot tub (changed to "swamp"). In guilds, apostrophes are often, but not always, censored. The icing on the cake? TVT, a nickname for the board mods (stands for The Viacom Team, expressing displeasure at the fact that the site was bought out by Viacom), is now changed to "my socks".
      • The funniest and best example was when TNT decided to do a grand Take That at Twilight, wordfiltering Twilight into My Little Pony, Stephenie Meyer into Krusty the Clown, Bella Swann into Clara Chatham, Edward Cullen into Roxton Colchester III, Jacob Black into Jordie, vampire into Xweetok, werewolf into Werelupe, and at least one of the actors from the movie into Nick Neopia.
      • This one borders on 4chan wordfiltering, where "emo" became "bosnian" and where "noes" became "exploitable"...
    • In addition every year on International Talk Like a Pirate Day, TNT activates filters to convert regular speech into pirate speech.
      • For example ''clean" becomes "swab", "yes" becomes "aye", "not" becomes "nay", etc.
  • Truth And Beauty Bombs, formerly the Dinosaur Comics forum, had a number of humorous filters. "ladies and gentlemen" became "cats and kittens", "blowjob" became "lingering kiss on a CRAZY part of the body" and "cock" became "rooster OR reproductive organ (context permitting)". And, as a pun on the word 'filter', "saltwater" became "desalinated, potable water".
  • The xkcd forums have been known to have fun with this. Among other things, words such as "lol' and "Chuck Norris" are filtered to suitably humorous alternatives. One xkcd IRC channels also considers AOL to be a swear.
    • The "suitably humorous alternative" to 'lol' — "This cheese is burning me!" — then became part of the forum's vocabulary. Posters will write "The cheese really burned me today" for a particularly funny strip, or "My cheese is lukewarm."
    • Another set of filters included the word "filters", replaced with "cheesegraters". And replaced any instance of "also" with "ALSO YOU GUYS:". If you decide to actually type "ALSO YOU GUYS:", you end up with "ALSO YOU GUYS: YOU GUYS:".
    • One section of the forums were also re-dedicated to "superabacus mysticism".
  • The Talk About Comics forums will replace 'aroma' with 'Iron Maiden'; maybe because their music stinks.
  • The Survivor Sucks message board censors seemingly random words, such as "tears", "dudes", "petition", "ipod", "heart" and a bunch of random others. No actual curse words are censored.
  • The Jack webcomic forums replace "Matt" with "dolphinfucker", referring to a stalker of the comic author's wife who had a fetish of performing sexual acts on beached dolphins.
  • The forum for pro wrestling fan site Death Valley Driver converts "gay" to "manly beyond my wildest expectations" and, oddly, "product" to "stuffing instead of potatoes". Even odder, although perhaps due to prior overuse, the expression "Meh" now expands to "I take umbrage at your previous assertion but cannot be arsed to respond appropriately."
  • Certain Imageboards do this on purpose and censor words that aren't actually offensive while not censoring the offensive words. This leads to things like turning "7" into "over 9000", "femanon" into "cumdumpster" and "peanut butter" into "niggers". For a while "source" was wordfiltered to "sauce".
    • "Wapanese", a slur for Occidental Otaku, was once wordfiltered into "weeaboo". This substitution became so popular it completely supplanted the original term.
    • The LURKMORE wiki has more information (EXTREMELY NSFW) on the 4chan word filters.
    • Fark.com filters "first post" to "boobies", which has become something of a Memetic Mutation. Especially since it resulted in things like "Benjamin Franklin was the boobiesmaster General of the U.S." instead of "first Postmaster General."
  • Rangerboard, the Power Rangers fandom board, once had "meh" filtered out as it was being overused, changing it to "gaygaygay". Which caused the word "sogaygaygayow" to keep popping up in every other sentence.
  • Allakhazam has fun with word filters (besides the standard swear filters), and the resulting in-community Memetic Mutation arising from such.
  • The TV Tropes forums filter "tl;dr" to "laconic version:". In the past they filtered it to "Sorry, I skipped some posts.", and earlier it was I am too lazy, or possibly too incapable, to actually read anything. I resent the fact that this makes me seem like an inconsiderate person and hereby pledge to resume taking my ADHD medication. It had to be changed because often the original post ended with "tl;dr: summary of the post", so "tl;dr" had two possible meanings.
    • "Titular", for a time, was completely filtered out of all pages on the wiki because of perceived overuse. It was very shortly undone for both the "perceived" part (nobody could agree on whether the word was actually being misused), and a variant of the Scunthorpe Problem (complete filtering only served to screw up sentences that used the word, and made it hard for editors who wanted to fix the issue to actually search for affected examples).
  • On one politics messageboard "Republican" was changed to "Elephant" and "Democrat" was changed to "Donkey". Tended to cause some confusion amongst new posters.
  • In Bob and George, the phrase "There is no Plot Hole!" is something of a Running Gag. The forums reflect this by automatically filtering "plot hole" to "spoon" (because, as The Matrix taught us, there is no spoon, either).
  • The Hello Cthulhu forum used to have an autocensor which took phrases popular with spammers and replaced them with phrases popular with Lovecraft. This was deemed to have reached perfection when an actual spammer, with no moderation, posted:
    The only crypt shop you'll ever need! Dismembered corpses available with squirming maggots! Safe! Legal! Cheap! note 
  • The Kingdom of Loathing forum censors the "word" alot. It's smart enough to only censor the word when it's the entire word, but it isn't smart enough to avoid censoring it when it's part of a url, leading to a Scunthorpe-like problem when people try to link, for instance, here.
  • Genvid's Sailor Moon forum censors "lol" with "rantipole."
  • The Freakin Awesome Network board (formerly the original WrestleCrap message board) filters the usual swear words (e.g., profanity was changed to "Smurf" or "Snork"), and words that their mods don't want to hear (e.g., at one time, Kent Jones, self-proclaimed YouTube "shooter", was filtered into "Can't Shoot" or "I like tired fads", Batista was filtered to "Basketball Jones"note , and "Vintage" became "Vonage").
  • On Warrior's Wish, words get censored to types of fruit, so you'll occasionally get people saying something like: "What a grapefruit blueberry!"
  • Amongst other words, the Allspark Transformers board changes "fuck" to "hug". This, combined with the site's purple coloration, led to a small purple Micromaster called Road Hugger becoming the site's mascot.
  • Though not a forum, in the original Runescape, any swearword was replaced with 'cabbage.'
  • In 2003, the forums for the Gamers' Association of Trinidad and Tobago (G.A.T.T. for short) used to filter out any references to their competition, most notably replacing the word 'Java' (a rival internet cafe) with 'Sip N' Surf' (a GATT sponsored internet cafe). Cue in-jokes about people wanting a nice hot cup of 'Sip N' Surf'.
  • The Steam Users Forums replace "Piss" with "Jarate" and "Fanboy" with "Hammer Legion Member"
  • A couple community forums of the Sonic the Hedgehog series filter mentions of TSSZ News into "Cute Fluffy Kittens". Sonic Retro changes "Pinball Physics" (a nickname for the signature gameplay of the Sonic games) to "I HAVE NO UNDERSTANDING OF THE SONIC ENGINE".
  • The anti-Twilight message board Twilight Sucks has replacements for each individual swear word, such as Mudkip for "nigger" and "Bella" for cunt.
  • Professional Wrestling promotion CHIKARA had a wrestler named Chris Hero leave the promotion under bad terms that are kept very hush hush. On their official forums, "Chris Hero" is autocensored to "John Kerry". Fans get around this by referring to "a certain Heroic figure" or by using the name he was given once he signed with a WWE developmental territory, Kassius Ohno. They also censor the word kayfabe, turning it into "grape jelly."
    • Chikara is also using the autocensor feature as part of an angle involving the shady corporation that (in-character) owns it. The words 'Condor', 'Titor', 'Conglomerate' and 'Conrad' are all blanked out by the autocensor.
  • On the official Gunnerkrigg Court forum, profanities aren't filtered but certain bits of net-speak are, because Tom Siddell hates them. "LOL" becomes "LAUGHING ON LINE"; "OMG" becomes "gosh golly" (formerly, it was "OH MY GIRAFFES"). And "/co/" (as in the comics subforum of the Image Board 4chan) becomes "the Butt Zone".
  • The Awkward Zombie forums will censor "money" to "cheddar", inexplicably. "Damn" also becomes "daisies".
  • The T-shirt website Teefury.com censors "cloud" as "FluffySpam" in the comments, for whatever reason. Hilarity Ensued when they put up a Final Fantasy VII shirt featuring Cloud Strife.
  • Mechatalk.net censors swear words as "Smurf".
  • Many forums and other websites in the UK suffer huge amounts of spam plugging the Alleged Kitchens supplied by the innumerable front companies of Vance Miller, a notorious criminal and con artist who moved to China to evade UK law and employs an army of Indonesians to spam and shill for him on as many sites as possible. The forum "Chew the Fat" responded by using the censor facility to auto-correct "kitchen" to "dildo". Hilarity ensued. At least one other forum was moved to copy the idea. The spammers - being humans rather than bots - quickly worked out means to subvert the filter, so Chew the Fat installed some much more robust software to detect kitchen spam which replaces the spammers' entire post with randomly-generated obscenities and insults directed at Miller. Further Hilarity Ensues when the spammers lose their rag and swear back in Indonesian.

419 ScamNew Media TropesGenius Programming
Frothy Mugs of WaterCensorship TropesGet Back in the Closet

alternative title(s): Fun With Word Filters
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
30632
23