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Administrivia / Bluenose Bowdlerizer

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steve: whats your opinion on censorship
insomniacdude007: **** censorship
— # 524037

A wiki "contributor" who does nothing but censor words they find offensive. Neither the circumstances nor the standards of the rest of the wiki matter to the Bluenose — if they think a word is the least bit "naughty", it gets excised. Reasonably intelligent censors will actually go through the effort of rewriting the passage so that the offending terms are no longer needed, but the far more common simpleminded variety will merely replace all but the first letter of the "bad word" with asterisks, use spoiler font, or "safe" anti-swearwords. They may also simply delete the offending words and go their merry way without checking that the resulting text makes sense without what was removed. In short, they are rather #$¢%ing stupid.


They will then sit back and bask in the illusory satisfaction that they have made the world a measurably better place — at least until their change is reverted. Or often, reverting it back to their edit, only for it to be unreverted and eventually causing an Edit War.

The Bluenose Bowdlerizer rarely has anything other than moral indignation to offer a wiki — they are usually too busy making it "safe for children", regardless of whether children are part of the intended audience or not, to actually contribute anything of value.

Not every troper who removes a few curse words is one of these, though. Sometimes vulgar words are gratuitously inserted into articles, making them come off as immature. Removing such words when used inappropriately is encouraged on this wiki, especially since The Google Incident.


On the other hand, replacing them with asterisks or other symbols is discouraged and a bannable offense if done repeatedly. This includes the use of a so-called Net Nanny or Nannybot, automated programs that do the censoring while editing and are just as undesirable as "symbol-substituting" Bowdlerising. Especially because of the Scunthorpe Problem; said filters would break links like, well, Scunthorpe Problem.

A related phenomenon is a troper who decides to make the wiki more (or less) "politically correct" by removing or changing references to race, sexual orientation, sexuality in general, etc. This is just as intolerable and will get that user banned just as quickly.

See Bowdlerise, Profanity Police, Moral Guardians, Culture Police and Scunthorpe Problem. Compare Censored for Comedy. Part of the "No Prudishness" rule in No Lewdness, No Prudishness.


Alternative Title(s): Bluenose Bowdleriser, Bluenose, Bluenose Bowdlerizing