Commentary on WW's Censorship

Written by msmornington on 8/30/2009 8:31 AM | COMMENTS (20)

The WW's ground rules for the community pages promise "this is now your community" but quickly add that "vulgar or obscene language will not be tolerated in our community."

So, WW, which way do you want it? 

"Tsk! Tsk! Now ladies, let's not use foul language!" One can almost see the long, bony finger-wagging as they decide what words we can and cannot type.

To get around this foolishness, we write "p00p" and "sh*t" as if we are pre-schoolers whispering dirty words out on the back porch.

The interactivity--its essence--of social media is informal and unpredictable. The trade-off is the ability to listen, to learn, to reach out in different directions, and, ultimately, connect in ways we never have before.

WW will need to reconsider their decision to diagram the boundaries of acceptable interactions if they want to live up to the promise that this is our community.

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  • Post Image 1virtualgenie (stephanie)

    10/23/2009 5:36 PM
    Thing is .. when did p00p become a bad word? LMAO

  • Post Image recreateyourself (linda)

    9/19/2009 1:57 AM
    The alternative of internet trolls using the free Community area to drop shock bombs does not appeal either. I think WWs censorship has everything to do with wanting to remove the incentive for the trolls and prevent their paying customers from getting hurt and offended and angrily demanding that WW *do something*. They've likely purchased a ready-made database of any words that ever offended anyone anywhere. It's business, impersonal, imperfect.

  • Post Image jmcordell

    9/18/2009 4:17 AM
    Amen! I don't understand the concept of censorship since we can all choose to participate or not. We should be allowed to make those decisions, as we are all adults here.

  • Post Image cacox1

    9/7/2009 1:18 AM
    I don't normally use "language" but understand the need sometimes. So why don't they put a rating on our post's if it contains a restricted word it could have an X and the text not show up on their lists of blog posts (or other posts) until someone clicks on it and if someone clicks on it, they do so knowing that the X means it has language in it. No complaints and a simple system.

  • Post Image etheln

    9/6/2009 5:58 PM
    I'm very new here but already had a blog post censored when I wanted to say I was bleeping compulsive. I forget that the word A - dash - dash - L could be considered offensive. Well, I'm learning.

  • Post Image damarisr

    9/6/2009 5:51 PM
    Does one really need to express themselves by using foul language all the time? I dont get it.

  • Post Image msmornington

    9/6/2009 9:01 AM
    Prompted by fatmomma78's comment, I just had a thought: Perhaps the techies should give us that X option for comments to our blog posts. That way, we could immediately erase comments that seemed cruel or mean, rather than having to "report this post" and wait for a response from the website manager.

  • Post Image msmornington

    9/6/2009 8:21 AM
    fatmomma78, you make an excellent point. This web has offered us a place to open ourselves safely and we have done so. I am not advocating cruelty or meanness. Sometimes I just want to be able to say I've had a sh*tty day without a censor inserting that I've really had a **** day.

  • Post Image fatmomma78

    9/6/2009 7:40 AM
    Most blogs and message boards end with meanspirited cruel comments. People are downright nasty and cruel, especially trolls. To me this website is about feeling safe talking about ones weight issues and not a forum for anything but that.

  • Post Image dragon-rose

    9/4/2009 10:17 PM
    All great points - have any of you emailed the wunderkinds behind this new community? They have come through for us when we asked for upgrades, why not request less restrictions? And if you have emailed, what reply did you get?

  • Post Image mrs.newbody

    9/4/2009 4:48 PM
    With respect to everyone's rights, I think it is an image thing for WW. Maybe more people would be offended and leave the site if it was loaded with profanity while those who use profanity would be less likely to leave the site because of the restrictions. However, there are so many words we CAN use, why should we worry so much about the ones we CAN'T use? I guess it's because profanity sometimes describes people's feelings better than others.

  • Post Image msmornington

    9/4/2009 4:13 PM
    Good point, simplyabundant. Twitter gives us 140 characters. This site has 50.

  • Post Image simplyabundant2007

    9/4/2009 12:50 PM
    And they need to give us space enough to express ourselves adequately! Sometimes there's a very restrictive feeling here...and sometimes I'm just too freaking wordy!

  • Post Image msmornington

    9/3/2009 8:39 PM
    In my world, censoring words like d i k e and q u e e r would be reported to Affirmative Action in a heartbeat.

  • Post Image msmornington

    9/3/2009 8:38 PM
    How are some of us to ever feel confident in ourselves if who we are as people is censored by this WW site?

  • Post Image msmornington

    9/3/2009 8:37 PM
    One of the most unfortunate posts is from denisegil, below. On this site, there are women who want to use the words d i k e and q u e e r to describe themselves. This is who they are. This is who WE are. WE are the diversity of this site. These are not vulgar or obscene. This is US.

  • Post Image timothynohe (timothy)

    9/2/2009 10:10 AM
    Or maybe, WW could simply provide me with a dictionary of words they have banned. And I can still say tit, but not **** One is OK but two is a problem.

  • Post Image timothynohe (timothy)

    9/2/2009 10:08 AM
    If so do we allow fa99ot to refer to a bundle of wood or a cigarette (honestly in American English I have never heard that usage). Probably not. Or do we allow common "swear words", common words with double meanings, but not highly inflammatory words. And what to do about words like qu33r which I have always used to mean "odd" or d¡ke to describe the system of dams in Holland? Do I merely need to make more intelligent choices?

  • Post Image timothynohe (timothy)

    9/2/2009 10:03 AM
    The c-word and the n-word, it seems to me have nothing but derogatory meanings, but once I have allowed k*raut, d¡ke, mick (m¡ck), why not those two. After all, in spite of my French-German-Irish heritage frog, k*raut, and m¡ck do not offend me. My sons are not offended by the n-word but it makes my hair stand on end. Ditto the c-word. So where to draw the line? Common words that may have double meanings? More ...

  • Post Image timothynohe (timothy)

    9/2/2009 9:57 AM
    I get the need to be able to use "language" because I use it all the time myself. And I get that we find a way to bypass the censor program: sh¡t, fμck, etc. But as in many thinks, where to draw the line? If I allow those, why not allow me to say k*raut for sauerkraut. Some Germans may be offended. If I allow that then why not d¡ke for a dam, but not to describe a homosexual woman ... who decides that? More ....


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