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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Where would you draw the limits on what sort of language would be used in say a Forum like SitePoint, most people visiting my site, will be of an audience between 14-22 rougly. What sort of restrictions should I put on language, and how would you go about filtering those who disobey the rules, I would really appreciate some feedback from WLuke on this subject as he is continuously having this dilema (i'm guessing ).

    Hell.

  2. #2
    Destiny Manager Plebius's Avatar
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    Hmm.. maybe you could go by the same guidelines as primetime TV.. I'm not exactly sure what those are, but there are some things you can't say.



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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Lanuage = swearing?

    I think mild swear words should be allowed on most sites...assuming the site is not religious or some scholarship foundation, or something else light-natured like that.

    I think "d**n" should be allowed in SitePoint in places like it...possible (rarely) "a**" might not be too bad assuming it doesn't offend anyone and is used in casual way...IE: to enhance a joke or something similar.

    Just my opinion.

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  4. #4
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    The common swear words should not be used on any professional site.

    You can say Ass because its another name for Donkey not really what people think it means. Though I would refrain from using it or allowing it on any of my sites because of its negative connotations. Television allows the words that have actual definitions and are not just slang but television isn't really (business-)professional for the most part.

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    Wayne Luke - Sitepoint Forums Administrator
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  5. #5
    Kat's Meow Senior ******* WebKat's Avatar
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    Not everyone will find the same words offensive - some will complain that the words they have used were okay while others will find the words used inappropriate. Most forum rules have similar guidelines in regard to expletives as they want to appeal to a wide range of age groups and beliefs.

    Mild profanity, excessive vulgar language and even using symbols as substitution or innuendo should never be allowed. Some sites may allow mild profanity as they think that they are 'Cool' - I don't! Most of us, and especially those responsible for quality websites, should be able to tell the difference and know what is suitable and what is not on a professional site.

    The use of profanity, day to day and every other word, has always escaped me. Let alone having no redeeming value, it shows a considerable lack of creativity when expressing oneself.

    Web Design should be no different from any other situation when you consider what type of language you will allow to be published or said. Remember that the content of your forum also reflects upon the professionalism of your 'entire' website. A few inappropriate postings and you can lose your credibility.

    If webmasters don't concern themselves in terms of the use of profanity, they are only lowering themselves and their websites to the lowest common denominator, which once there, their professional status reputation could be permanently damaged and hard to repair.

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  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Thanks for the responses, I was just wondering I'm not sure you see, I don't want to offend any of my visitors.

    Hell.

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  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    I don't know what type of discussion board you are using, but UBB come with a standard leagelese agreement. Everyone on this form would have to press the 'I Accept' button on the agreement in order to start using the forum. Not only does it inform people of what the rules are, it also gives you solid ground to kick them out if they break the rules since they had agreed to them in the first place.

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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Oh c'mon WebKat: you can't possibly tell me you havn't become angry at times and let a profanity or two slip out...the use of it shouldn't escape you at all...what should escape you is why some people use it constantly for no apparent reason. That, in my opinion, is just a matter of habit.

    I think at some point I've probably used the word "d*mn" in here...don't recall anything specific but after 1200+ posts I must have at some point, and I'm not terribly ashamed of this either, considering that I trust myself to have used/use it only in appropriate situations, and obviously no one seemed to mind.

    If SitePoint doesn't want 'd*mn' allowed in here then I won't use it, but until now I've heard nothing on the subject.



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    Chris Bowyer - Programmer in Training
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    "I'm not an insomniac, I'm a web designer."

  9. #9
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    If you do allow profanity on a website, it will start out small, and will probably mushroom into something difficult to control. What one person considers offensive material, may be in the daily usage of another person, so it's difficult to draw boundaries on what is, and what isn't acceptable.

    And yes, I'm certain that everyone at some time has let a word or two slip, that's just human nature and emotions. But in any case, especially where a group of people is concerned, you need to be watchful of what is said.

    I would consider it unprofessional in any setting to allow the use of profanity in a forum or on a website. It reflects a sense of disrespect and rudeness onto the owner.

    Hope this helps!

    Sparkie

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    It all depends on the type of site you run. If it is a business site then obviously you would't swear. But if it's a personal site and if you are expressing anger or a joke calls for it then I don't see why not.

    Some people are very prudish when it comes to swear words. For example I don't think the word cr*p is a swear word anymore. It is everyday language. For example I have a lot of cr*p in my bedroom, meaning that I have a lot of stuff in my room (I am using the * because I don't want to offend anyone but I really don't think it should offend anyone in the first place). There is nothing sinister about that. Now some words are very strong and should only be used sparingly when you are expressing real anger.

    There is a woman across the road from me and her 6 year old son comes over to my house to play with my sisters. One day while he was being collected by his mother I said "frigg it" because I caught my finger in the door (i should have used something stonger now that I thing about it ). Anyway the look of contempt the mother gave me nearly knocked me out! She can't protect her son (who is no angel) from frigg it - it's pointless. He is only going to hear language 10 times worse in the play ground and he'll be impressed by it because he isn't used to it.

    I am going off topic a bit so I'll shut up now before I offend anyone.

    By the way I hate people who think that using the f-word in every sentence is cool (except rock stars of course ). I do not swear often but I am not prudish when I hear it - it's just a part of life.



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  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Personally I think that as long as the swears aren't directed at someone or something (company, person, etc.) and they're not any words that might have anything to do with people's religious beliefs they're just fine for the most part, in moderation.

    Don't go overboard and you'll probably be just fine.

  12. #12
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    Most of us have gotten off onto rants before, in which an occassional "bad word" emphasizes the point. This forum is well moderated and wouldn't put up with some ******* posting negative comments all the time, just for the sake of doing so. But, we are humans. Being ripped off by domain registrars and the like is a cause for concern. Having original graphics stolen, etc. usually irks web developers (and rightly so). As long as it is kept within order, I don't think that we have to speak perfectly. When asking for a review, I was hoping that I didn't receive the lame positive feedback as at some boards: "Excellent. Nice job. Good luck." That tells us nothing. If we aren't working on revisions 24 hours day then we aren't getting the right kind of feedback. Sometimes human traits are overlooked in a message board -- something impersonal. But, if you add character then it becomes personal. Even if that means using a few profanities here or there. I am not talking "big ones" or ones that are offensive. Just something to show frustration.

    David from http://www.web-master.tv
    Web-Master.TV: The channel for webmasters.

  13. #13
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Common respect demands that you not use them in any setting. If you use them you show no respect to anyone around you. Now I know that the younger generations don't see it this way but they are also seen as respectful by people older then them.

    Your right in saying that I have said an occasional swear word in anger but 1) never around kids, 2) never in public, 3) never near people I didn't know intimately (i.e. friends and family).

    There are thousands of other ways to express yourself that they are not needed. And considering the fact that 9 out of 10 swear words are derogatory to someone why take the chance?

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    Wayne Luke - Sitepoint Forums Administrator
    Digital Magician Magazine - MetaQuark Creations (Coming Soon)
    sitepoint@digitalmagician.com

  14. #14
    Kat's Meow Senior ******* WebKat's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Originally posted by TWTCommish:
    Oh c'mon WebKat: you can't possibly tell me you havn't become angry at times and let a profanity or two slip out...the use of it shouldn't escape you at all...what should escape you is why some people use it constantly for no apparent reason. That, in my opinion, is just a matter of habit.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Sure I admit to letting a word 'slip' - as when I almost dropped my laptop when my feet got wrapped around the cords - but that happens occastionally in private. But I don't swear when I am with other people, friends, family and especially with children out of respect. Swearing is not a 'habit' children need to pick up and we need to try to be a better influence whenever we can.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Originally posted by WebKat:
    The use of profanity, day to day and every other word, has always escaped me. Let alone having no redeeming value, it shows a considerable lack of creativity when expressing oneself.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I stand by my views when I posted that it is the "day to day and every other word" use that is becoming all too frequent and said out of habit. And although it may be considered by some to be 'casual language' and 'cool' it does take extra effort to write it down, so it is not just 'letting it slip'

    You don't have to be typecast as a Prude or be Religious to find certain swear words objectable...Language can be so expressive and creative beyond 4-letter words!

    Only you can decide for yourself what words are appropriate and what are not...that can be very influential in determining who returns to your website!

    ------------------
    Dlynn - SitePoint Moderator
    PawPrint Designs by WebKat
    "Let's keep Ethics on the Web"

  15. #15
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    I just want to say that I wasn't implying that anyone here is prudish. And yes I agree that writing swear words down is different to saying them on the spur of the moment. I still think that sometimes a "swear word" is needed to get across a point in print or on screen. When I say swear word I don't mean the f-word but words like c**p and d*mn. I do not think that the last two are offensive at all but then again some might.

    Maybe our cultures are different (even though I presume most of you here are from the US - the capitol of movies which have been known to contain one or two "bad words". In Ireland/UK mild swear words are often very funny under the right circumstances. If you have ever seen Father Ted (a comedy show about priests) you will know what I mean. It was one of the funniest shows on TV.

    You all probably have this picture of me in your head as a foul mouthed yob, but trust me that is not the case.

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    S I F O X - Giving The Internet A Makeover

  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict
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    I think it is up to the host of a forum to decide the rules.
    I think this.... http://www.cerberodesign.com/

    ...is out of order though. It's a web design company that swears on it's splash page!

    Very unprofessional!


  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I need to know about other things other than just the use of language on your Forum, mainly, how to deal with a person, say for example if someone was blatently advertising your competitor, or misusing the Forum, i.e Not actually keeping to the set topic of the Forum. How do you deal with these topics, and what programs (vBulliten/UBB??) would be able to tell me that they were infringing their rights which they accepted when they signed up as a registered user.

    Waiting for your replys in anticipation

    Hell.

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    http://www.supersaiyans.org - The Ultimate DBZ Site For all your needs.

  18. #18
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Here at SitePoint we follow the established Community Guidelines which are listed on almost every page at the bottom. The administrators stand behind these guidelines and back up our moderators decisions. While there is no formal training, the moderators know that they are more than welcome to ask questions if they are unsure of the course of action to take. In the long run though, it all comes down to a judgement call. We review each borderline post on a case by case basis and try to come to the best possible conclusion.

    ------------------
    Wayne Luke - Sitepoint Forums Administrator
    Digital Magician Magazine - MetaQuark Creations (Coming Soon)
    sitepoint@digitalmagician.com

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    WebKat: I can certainly agree with that...my family will swear around each other now and then, because none of us are offended by it and we all know that we have to keep it under control so as not to make a habit of it. I'm not supporting swearing as a habit or anything, but overall it depends on the situation. I think we can all agree that there are plenty of instances were a swear word (sometimes a harsh one, but usually mild) is perfectly acceptable and un-offensive.

    Wayne: that's the way it should be...reviewed case by case...if the word "d*mn" is used in anger towards another forum member, it is definetly a problem. If it used to blow off steam about a bad hosting/registrar experience, then it's a judgement call...if it's used lightly in a joke or casual discussion, then it's probably not a problem. I don't think it's a good idea to say mild words (d*mn and cr*p are the two best examples) have to be fully banned...just used VERY sparingly and only in appropriate situations...



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    Chris Bowyer - Programmer in Training
    DomainMailings.com: Who says all the good names are taken?
    "I'm not an insomniac, I'm a web designer."

  20. #20
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    Effective appropriate use of swear words at http://www.manlyweb.com/

    Just thought I'd show you guys the flip-side.

    Mike

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  21. #21
    SitePoint Addict
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    maybe I am a tiny bit too liberal in my views, so please forgive me....

    I dont see a big deal in swearing around my family, as long as its not directed at a family member. After all, its family, they will understand, and if any one is not comfortable with my language, they sure will say it!

    I __never__ swear around other people's kids, never swear aroung other people (unless they are my close friend and i know they wont be offended). People deserve respect and I really do watch my language...

    As to profanity on the forums, HellFire - I am a firm believer that the web should be kept clean, no matter what kind of furums you are running. It the nature of the web that you cant really restrict people from viewing your forums, and you never know what kind of people with come to your site. You dont want to offend an occasional visitor. If someone uses bad language - give a warning, ban on second offense. For blatant advertisers - I like SP rules - maybe you can have something similar... Good luck


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