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The word filter

Posted by Sybarite Paladin AxL , 10 May 2009 · 1,619 views

Ye olde rantomaton
After venting in my previous post, I'll try and rationalize as to why the word filter put in place on the 1emulation forum and blogs (and wherever else) is essentially a bad, useless feature.

Purpose: As far as I can gather, the intended use of the word filter is to protect younger 1emulation from words deemed harmful to their fragile minds and psyche.

Dismantling rationale: While this may all be fine and dandy in theory, understanding that kids aged 10+ already have a relatively firm grasp on curse words in today's society is paramount to exemplifying why such a measure is largely useless. Children are already largely exposed to such words to a much higher degree from their normal everyday environment. Places like their household and school and their friends already teach them all they need to know about such words.
Based on that, it is erroneous to think that a simple word filter will: 1. lessen their chances of picking up curse words and 2. discouraging them from the usage of said expletives. Being that emulation is a relatively minuscule niche when taking into account their gaming habits, almost close to non-existent the younger they are, the impact of the word filter is not only absolutely 0, but also presents a much more severe negative side.

Censorship: As any of my fellow opponents of all things created for the purpose of serving censorship will agree, the word filter is dangerous, harmful and completely undesirable. It sets an alarming precedent and a very bad example to other sites, and such a behavior should never be tolerated. It is an infringement of free speech, and is ironically being promoted by a site based in the Land of Freedom. If we factor in the fact that it is a forced feature and in no way an option for the users of this site, the matter becomes worse.

Flaws of implementation: Considering that it acts by changing letters found in a word or by changing the word considered to be offensive to a different one, it may also be considered that it promotes bad grammar and spelling. The end result is also defeating it's purpose, as often times words either synonymous or simply unchanged enough to make any visible difference. The original meaning and intent of the message containing curse words will still be largely unaffected.

Other: Also adding to the fact that the word filter is unwanted is my experience throughout my membership as a 1emulation user that no one actually enjoys this feature at all. This may be speculative at best, but I figured it would be worth to include it as I doubt no one will challenge me on this premise.

Conclusion: I'd like to point out a possible solution to this. As the administrators of this site seem unwilling to completely remove it, I propose a change to make it an option in each user's account settings, thereby enabling other users who do not wish to view such words to benefit from the option, and also giving back the right of free speech to people who do not wish to be censored. As such, for the first group of people, words considered harmful should appear as a series of asterisk marks (*) that have the same length as the original word. I believe this to be the optimal solution to our current quandary.

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