CPA Censorship

Discussion in 'CPA/WOTC Magic Issues' started by Mikeymike, Nov 5, 2001.

  1. Mikeymike Captain Hiatus

    Here's a topic that is sure to open a big can of worms. I'm very curious to hear other peoples' opinions about this. I'm sure this topic has been done before, but we can use something fresh to get the boards more active (and I'm bored). Plus a little controversy never hurt anyone. I'm not directing this at anyone in particular and I apologize in advance b/c my tone does come off a little more hostile than I desired, but this has been bothering me for awhile.

    Why are certain words censored on the CPA? I understand the 'Big 7' (is that the right number? Ask George Carlin) and why they are bleeped out, but others I don't understand. Granted, I know the CPA is a family oriented in theory, but in reality that isn't the case. About 90% of the Magic community are Males 15-25 (estimation but I doubt I'm not far off). That is not a family oriented audience unless you live somewhere in the world where people get married at 15 and become soccer-moms by 22. The CPA is not family oriented, it is Magic player oriented. I've yet to see a topic 'Teaching your kids Magic'.

    The words I'm going to focus on for my argument are A*S, H*LL, CR*P, and P*SS: or the Small 4. Here are some things I've noticed about the following words. A lot of the following is subjective, but then again isn't everything you read subjective?

    - I can't type the Small 4 themselves but I can type a$$, arse, h3ll, helk, and pi$$ w/o problems. The intention is 100% understood, when you see these alternate spellings you know exactly what's being referred to. Is looking at the complete word (as opposed to thinking it) going to burn my eyes out? I don't get it, to me its just as bad as the real spellings. If anything its worse b/c its putting an unecessary protective shield over something that doesn't need it, giving it a negative connotation to common words. Last time I checked my calendar it was 2001, not 1951 and ducking under a desk isn't going to save your sorry butt from a Hydrogen Bomb.

    - The majority of the intelligent population doesn't even flinch when they hear these 4 words, let alone are they even remotely offended by them. I would also say that on the whole, the majority of the CPA population has above average intelligence and can definitely handle these 4. So by editing out them who are we protecting? 8 year olds? If they are smart enough to find this website don't you think they can easily make their way to a much more offensive .com?

    - They are common in our media. Granted, this probably isn't the strongest arguement considering I saw nipple on NBC 2 weeks ago (Jerry McGuire), but these 4 words are used in advertising and even movie and TV show titles. Jackass, From Hell, Damn Yankees, etc. Like it or not, global society and culture are constantly maturing and desensitizing to everything. Its the way of life. I can really over-emphasize this point but I think you can understand why this is more of a good thing than a bad thing. Times change, you gotta change with them.

    - Usually, a statement loses a lot of its value/mood/resolve when 1 of these words are removed from it. Colorful language is simply more fun. To say a person is simply an a$$ implies so many things that an alternate word just can't cover.

    - Did you swear when you were a kid? Yeah, I did too. All kids do, its part of growing up and you're can't stop it. They learn their limits as they mature, just like you did.


    OK I'm done. Thanks for reading, now share your opinion.
  2. Zadok001 CPA Founder, Greater Good

    [Some foul language used as examples here. Please do no censor.]

    Censorship, I believe, is in use because, technically speaking, people CAN come after us for cursing. Certainly the worse words, as you mentioned, should be censored.

    The "Small 4" as you call them, perhaps, should be left alone. They are quite commonplace in today's society, and the world is having a harder and harder time trying to draw the line. Television has become more and more riske in the past few years, and cursing is on the rise - Prime time shows use "bitch" fairly regularly, even. So, where do we draw the line? I've over-reacted once or twice. But I'd say the line is drawn right where a post becomes ABOUT the curse words, and not about the message contained therein. I use the word "damn" regularly, because it perfectly describes my state of thought. I don't use "****" or "****" nearly as often, because it takes a more extreme situation to draw them into my vernacular.

    When someone posts something that is basically there to contain the curse words, to give the impression of the power contained in that language, I believe it should be censored. When someone accurately describing their thoughts, well, that's another matter.

    I don't know where we draw the line. I draw it where-ever it seems appropriate.
  3. Apollo Bird Boy

    I've no problem with the censorship. I don't particularly care about it. Rarely is swearing necessary to communicate your view, so it's not like we're losing any content if it is changed to "Oink." I'll adapt myself to the environment; here, I'll virtually never swear (though I got a bit crazy immediately after Sept. 11), but in real life I do swear sometimes (though it's not exactly pouring out of my mouth).

    In short, censoring the swearing does nothing to subtract from the content (and sometimes, it makes it funny). So if the mods feel it's necessary to keep things clean, that's fine by me.
  4. Hetemti The Wide-Awake Nightmare

    I'm Irish. This means:

    1) Dropping the F-Bomb is second nature.
    2) I think the "Oink" thing is the stupidest thing since "Great C├Žsar's Ghost!"
    3) I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. Not what someone else decided to make me say.
    4) I make wooden shoes and chase those kids who are after me lucky charms.

    The way I see it, if you don't like what you see, stop looking at it.

    However, these forums are a free service provided under a set of rules. And these rules govern what words may and may not be employed.


    As for the "color" of language argument, no curse has ever been required in any truly poignant statement. Oft they are a crutch that one falls upon when a valid statement proves elusive.
  5. Goku Sylvan Warrior

    I agree with Hetemti... this is a free service, with a set of rules. And if one can't follow them, well then... that's too bad.

    And I also agree with the fact that curses are never required to make a statement.

    I've often found that those who curse the most (aside from the Irish :) ) are usually those who can not express themselves any other way, which is also too bad. A little bit of culture never hurt anyone.
  6. Almindhra Magic's Bitch

    But Goku...Some people like swearing as a way to be expressive...I am a person who swears many times daily (so ladylike, isn't it?), and I just feel its a part of my language...Just like someone who flails their hands about while talking (which I think I've been accused of before)...

    On here I've swore before, was edited a few times, and now can get oinked...And a lot of swearing in a post is distasteful, using it every once in a while can really be effective...But, public board, not owned by me, I have to play by the rules...
  7. Chaos Turtle Demiurgic CPA Member, Admin Assistant

    I'm no fan of censorship myself. But as Hetemti points out, there are rules involved, and I follow them (and when necessary, enforce them). I personally have no problem with the "Small 4" here, and whether I bother to edit them usually has to do with their legitimacy in-context. In fact, with the exception of "ass," I generally leave them alone altogether, as long as the "bad" language is not pervasive in a post.

    I'm over-analyzing. Sorry.

    Anyhow, there's no reason people can't find a way to appropriately express themselves. I swear frequently and colorfully " in real life," but here, and in polite company (at work, at Magic, say...pretty much everywhere but with the pals) I keep it to a minimum.
  8. TomB Administrative Assistant

    When this site came into being 2 years ago, it was made clear to us that the provider we were on would not tolerate inappropriate language or subject matter, and that violation of their policy would get our benefactor, ChasDen, and us, kicked off of the Internet altogether.

    We saw this as being a Bad Thing, that should not come to pass...

    So we've enforced a policy which does not allow profanity as a matter of self-preservation. We've also actively frowned upon inappropriate subject matter (ie: personal attacks, homosexual references, spam, etc.) in an effort not only to stay online, but also to preserve this place as a serious place where people can come and have their voices heard on any number of subjects in intelligent conversation.

    Trust me on this: Nobody takes your argument seriously once you start swearing, or if you attack someone personally. And since this place was created with the thought of giving us, the Casual players of Magic, a soapbox upon which our thoughts about the game of Magic could be carried to the ears of WotC, it only makes sense to try and sound as intelligent as possible here.

    And WotC does read what we write here, make no mistake about it...:eek:

    But, honestly, I don't see what your beef is here Mikeymike. Really, as long as it seems necessary to what you've written I don't think anyone here is censoring out anything except for sh*t, f*ck, and G*ddamn, and as far as I'm concerned those words are unneccessary in an intelligent conversation anyways.

    You may disagree, and you may not care about how we sound to people like WotC either, but when you get right down to it is it worth being silenced altogether over?

    I thought not...;)
  9. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Sorry, I just have to laugh due to the oinking references. Just as a little tidbit, when there were some users here a while back that cursed semi-regularly (mostly in the Battle Forum, but other places), the mods got together and picked barnyard animal noises to replace them with. I picked oink. Since I happen to be on most of the weekdays, I see a lot of the posts as they occur and edit accordingly, so because I get there first, my oink is all-persuasive.

    Anyway, back to the issue at hand. Like Zadok, I don't have a problem really with the "Small 4" except ass, and pretty much only when it is not used in the context of "kick-ass". Anything like "he's an ass" or the like is similiar to "he's an f-head" and I edit. It's probably my personal preference here, but I feel if you can see "he's an ass", you can also say "he's dopey" or such and thus it's not warranted. Use your imagination instead of cursing, for Pete's sake!

    And like others say, I feel you express yourself without cursing. You say cursing's a part of your life or nature? Sorry, I gotta say "Get real". I'm around someone who curses almost every second, in everyday conversation, and it's annoying as heck. Not to mention it sounds really stupid and you're uneducated. So curse in your real life, but please not here.
  10. theorgg Slob

    Just to que ya'll in, there's been three threads about this in the Founder's Forum. Auto Edit was decided against, since @$$#*!@ or such other would get around it. replacing the "offending" word with somthing rediculous seemed to be the best choice.

    I think it also adds to the randomness that comes with this site, don't you think so, OOOk!?
  11. Zadok001 CPA Founder, Greater Good

    (For the record, the idea of oinking things was originally from MtGNews, where the mods replace bad words with "Rabbit" or "Hampster." I decided it was a humorous idea, and moved it over here, saying we should sounds, instead. I have Mooo. I think I've seen a few quacks. Etc... Just more interesting than going in and putting "****" over every other word.)

    Spidey, I do feel that cursing can be an integral part of someone's vernacular. A friend of mine uses the F-word several times a sentance, and that's useless. But someone else uses instead of the somewhat awkward other options to describe exactly what its supposed to be describing. i.e., using it to mean intercourse. Now, I believe the F-Word has an actual meaning there, and its a meaning not adequately covered by other words with the same technical definition. Thus, I find the word to be a useful and important part of her vocabulary. :) Now, that doesn't excuse using the word in a public forum, but it gives some leverage to those who feel it really has a unique meaning, and is useful for the purposes of expressing that meaning.
  12. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    That's not the impression that I was getting from the above... I was seeing that cursing is part of a person's daily language and why should it be suppressed? Not the situation in that it's used actually in context of what it actually means.

    Although really, what's the difference between "let's F" and "let's have sex"? Nothing... just the former's a bit more vulgar and "low-brow". So to that end, I don't see why one can't substitute the latter phrase, since it means the same and gets the message across anyways.
  13. Zadok001 CPA Founder, Greater Good

    I think one word has a more... hmm... "Violent" or "forced" connotation. "Have sex" and "make love" certainly have different connotations in our language, why couldn't f*ck have a different one as well. They mean the same thing in technical terms, but there's a different FEEL to the word or phrase.
  14. Hetemti The Wide-Awake Nightmare

    One gets you in bed; the other gets you beaten over the head with a purse, charged with sexual assault, sent to prison, and introduced to Sarge, D-Cup, and Bubba who teach you the true meaning of the former.
  15. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I thought both do the latter.... ;)
  16. Mikeymike Captain Hiatus

    Hey this is a juicy thread. I'm glad, I was hoping this would spawn mini-topics which it has.

    Quoting TomB:
    Fully understood and 100% agreed upon. I wasn't fully aware of the regulations the CPA had to follow in order to stay online, but now that I do I agree that staying online is more important than our ability to say anything we want.

    My beef is that I have seen the 'small 4' edited out in the past, and I was trying to list reasons why I personally felt censorship of these words was inappropriate and/or unecessary. I will look for examples, but the edited words will not come up in a search so its going to be tough.

    Quoting from Hetemti:
    Agreed, I got a little carried away with that point. When trying to make a valid point to a more serious discussion, I will refrain from any profanity b/c I do think it detracts from the point I am trying to make. However, sometimes for the more emotionally-charged topics/responses (positive or negative) a well placed swear is exactly the right word needed for expressing my attachment to that topic/statement. This example does fall into the minority, but I've seen others' responses edited where I felt the edit did hurt the integrity of the statement being made. I guess the point I was skating around was that the context of a word, more so than the word itself, is what makes certain statements stand out from others.


    Quoting from Spidey
    To alot of people cursing isn't as much a part of their vocabulary as it is something so engrained into them that it does become second nature, to a point where someone doesn't even realize they are cursing. Yes, I do think a lot of this does have to do with someone's upbringing, but simultaneously most people have the self-control to be able to keep what comes out of their mouth in check. Me, I grew up in a relatively blue-collar, Italian-American family. Maybe that's why cursing doesn't phase me (the other Italian-American in this discussion knows what I'm talking about ;)). Yet I know my limits and I stay respectful of my surroundings, as I feel most people are observant enough to do.

    In regards to "Let's F" or "Let's have sex" they both have their place, but that's a subject I'm not digging any deeper into :D.
  17. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    As I said above, I've only edited a**, never the other three, so I don't know who's doing that, if anyone. I think people just err on the side of caution and do it themselves.

    I realize it may be part of people's environment growing up or whatever, I just think it's sad that it was so prevalent that it had to become part of that person's self, in language or whatever. What can I say, I have sensitive ears :p
  18. Zadok001 CPA Founder, Greater Good

    Well, to some extent, it makes me wonder what the big deal is. You know, if the whole world suddenly stopped being shocked whenever someone used a curse word, I bet people would stop using the things. :)
  19. Azreal the Soulmaster Sorrow's Rhapsody

    I agree with Zadok................well accept with "damn" simply because, well, just because:D
  20. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    In that case, it would just become part of regular speech and accepted, kinda like the "Small Four" have pretty much become (I mean, look at the term itself. The fact that people are questioning its censoring means that it pretty much has become accepted in everyday life, hence, why censor it?). People would keep using them.

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