The censor, also known as the bad word detector[1], filters certain words or phrases and removes them or replaces them with something else. As a rigid rule, profanity is a violation of the Community Guidelines. As such, all parts of the Scratch Website and Scratch Wiki utilize some type of censor.

Scratch Website

On the Scratch Website, if a blacklisted string is encountered in a comment or project notes, it is automatically disallowed from being posted onto the website until the found word is removed or changed, and the Scratch Team is notified. Multiple offenses, if intentional, have been known to lead to a ban. Scratchers are encouraged to report bugs with the filter in a stickied Bugs and Glitches topic.[2]

Forums

On the Scratch Discussion Forums, censored words are replaced with an asterisk. No notification is sent upon posts with censored words, but if any are found, users are encouraged to report them.[citation needed]

Scratch Wiki

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Censor of the Scratch Wiki

The Scratch Wiki has its own censoring system, using the MediaWiki extension AbuseFilter. It prevents actions from happening if anything contains inappropriate language, and otherwise blocks guideline-breaking actions.

Problems

Until late 2011, any word or phrase containing a censored string (such as "skyscraper", "grape", or "push it") was blocked due to an issue known as the Scunthorpe problem, where a censor encounters a false positive and flags a string not intended to be flagged. Since then, a whitelist was added containing many words and phrases that incorrectly trigger the censor.[3]

The censor technology sometimes causes problems in languages other than English. Swear words in those languages (unless spelled exactly the same as in English) are not censored.[4] Also, censored words in English may have other meanings or be included in words in other languages.[5]

With the spam filter, there have been problems such as the censor stopping users from posting innocent links, such as project and studio links.[6]

Other Uses

  • To reduce commercial spam, the censor has been also known to filter out numbers often used by commercial spammers.
    • This part has been stopped due to problems caused.[7]
    • Similarly, the censor filters out words and phrases commonly used by spammers, such as "escort" and "customer service".
  • On the forums, the censor has sometimes been used for things other than swear words. Prior to a registration list of user-created websites, the domain names of some popular website creating services, such as Weebly, were censored. Alongside, certain shortened links were censored because the shortened link may link to inappropriate sites or pages with malware.
  • On April Fools' Day, the forum censor has been used for some jokes. In 2011, this was primary, but in 2012-13, the entire website had a joke theme (Neigh and Pico, respectively), and the censoring was a strengthening of the joke.
  • Links to sites primarily for private or unmoderated messaging, including Google Docs, are censored.[9]

See Also

References

  1. Hmm...the bad word detector thinks there is a problem with your text. Please change it and remember to be respectful.
  2. topic:235220
  3. Lightnin. (3/11/2011). "I'll add them to the whitelist so they don't set off the filter anymore." ar-post:983156
  4. lisafireball. (22/4/2014). "I can curse and stuff in a different language." topic:36504
  5. Little_sweet_girl. (10/3/2014). "when I am saying about the Vocaloid Song “Fukkireta”, the anime “Kurosh i tsuji” or…" topic:32001
  6. cs96871. (14/1/2016). 'I go to post the link to the studio and what do I get? “Hmm…the bad word detector thinks there is a problem with your text. Please change it and remember to be respectful.”' topic:178341
  7. Paddle2See. (22/2/2016). "I've shut those filters off for now - it should work for you." post:1808094
  8. Mecha11_. (20/4/2017). "Text Sans is classed as inappropriate language[title]" topic:250794
  9. Paddle2See. (7/8/2016). "Please don't do that as it would be considered unmoderated private chatting." post:2237570