Saturday, May 17, 2008

Censorship gone mad

I've been playing the game Verbosity which is an online game where you play co-operatively with a partner: one of you is given a word and has to describe it and the other one has to guess the word.

The problem is that Verbosity has a very aggressive word filter. I was trying to describe comrade and wanted to use the word "communist". I was stopped by the word filter. Then I was trying to guess a place of worship with a spire but was stopped from entering "church". "Church" for goodness sake"! Who on earth wants to object to the word "church"!

I'm not particularly in favour of censorship. I think that advising people of content that might upset them and then leaving it up to them is a much better plan. But even if I supported censorship this is just plain silly. What will they filter next: "liberal"? "democratic"? "freedom"? All those words could offend somebody I'm sure. If I thought the filter was at all self-aware I'd try out the word "fascist" on it.


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