The rest of us get our news on the internet and only buy a newspaper when we have a new puppy we need to house train.
Incidentally, I don't recommend actually subscribing to a newspaper in that situation, because they'll keep calling you with increasingly desperate pleas to come back well after the puppy is trained and you've canceled the paper. Even telling them that you only subscribed so your dog could piss on their paper doesn't deter them! It's pretty sad.
Anyway, as printed papers die, the internet replaces them. The smart papers work very hard to transition to a good online format. There are very few smart papers. Most papers just throw together some half-assed online presence.
Obviously, the Sentinel & Enterprise is one of these soon-to-disappear half-assers.
But it's not their terrible site that I'm going to talk about. It's their terrible forum, which is hosted on a third-party provider.
Said forum is a repository of the most idiotic people on the planet arguing with each other about just how badly Hispanics have ruined America. It's a depressing mix of stupid Republicans, stupid Libertarians, stupid non-affiliated racists, tax dodgers, and people who think every single topic has something to do with abortion.
Also, there are a few smart people who occasionally post things there. They usually move on quickly because they actually have jobs and lives and can't just spend all day arguing with some dolt who thinks Obama's birth certificate is fake. Or if they can, they realize the futility of arguing with these idiots fairly quickly.
Of course, like everything on the internet, the S&E's forums (which are linked at the bottom of every article on their website) are full of people being jerks to each other. Name calling and personal attacks are what the internet was made for (masturbation too), so it's no surprise that the forums are full of such things.
What's funny is the way the S&E tries to handle it.
See, Topix.com (the third party hosting the forums) has some rudimentary censorship in place. You can't say "fuck," for instance. You get a little warning message telling you to cut it out. There are undoubtedly several other swears that you're not allowed. Basically the ones you can't say on tv.
This is expected behavior for a forum that's trying to maintain some degree of decorum.
Where it turns funny/sad is that there are a lot of words you're not allowed to say on the Sentinel's little corner of the forums. Words like "sex," "moron," and "bang." Without warning, they all get replaced with "****".
The forum-dwellers noticed this and blamed Topix, but I figured a company that actually runs forums for a living wouldn't be that stupid and it had to be some sort of local S&E filter.
So I filed this bug report (because if you want the truth, talk to the developers):
Hi,I got the following response, which was basically what I expected:
I'm not sure if this is a bug, but I've noticed that perfectly normal words in this forum are being replaced by asterisks (as though they were swears).
For instance, the words "sex," "bang," "rape," and "moron" have all been replaced with ****.
While these words can clearly be misused, they do have perfectly non-offensive uses as well. I have not seen this behavior on other parts of the site (even the URL for the topix sexuality forum was filtered!), and am wondering if this is a bug or if an overenthusiastic local administrator has just gone a bit crazy with a blocklist.
Any feedback you can provide would be appreciated.
Hi there,The admin is making a funny joke here. Contacting the S&E would be about the most futile thing anyone could do. Publicly shaming them, on the other hand, might be worthwhile (and fun!).
Each news source has its own set of filters. You will want to contact the sentinal-and-enterprise directly about this.
Mind you this isn't a first amendment issue like some misinformed people in that forum thread seemed to think. The S&E has every right to censor whatever they want in their forum. And we have every right to bring their idiocy to light.
So, let's see what words are okay with the S&E! I've started a thread just for testing (located here, but I expect it will be deleted soon) what the censor will and will not allow. What words are dirty, according to our local paper? What words are A-OK? Let's find out!
Note that I'm not even going to bother with most of the "big" swears. They'll be filtered by Topix anyway. What I'm interested in are the words that the S&E has added to the filters, because they're ****.
So, here's the list I tried to post. The crossed-out words are ones that the S&E has banned (they became asterisks). The rest are A-OK with the paper!
-procreation/fun related-Holy mudbutt! That's a poorly-thought-out list of censored words!
To collect them into a shorter list, here are the ones that are bad:
sex, sexy, bang, dick, cock, balls, tits, vagina, ass, crap, shit, moron, retard, douchebag, fucktard, whore, chink, rapeNow, some of those make sense to censor. Usually people mentioning a "cock" aren't talking about a male chicken. Shit, fucktard, douchebag, and tits are also not unexpected.
Still, bad news for you if your name is Dick, your sex is male, and you just bought some really awesome golf balls, but then lost one in a chink in your wall. The Sentinel thinks you're a dirty pervert and will censor you extensively.
Also, bad news for you if you have something interesting to say about rape. You're not even allowed to mention the word!
On the other hand, if your name is Jeff McMenemy and you want to blame all of society's ills on the spics and the gooks, after which you'd like a sloppy blowjob from Allah, you're just fine!
In conclusion, the Sentinel's censor list is really bad, and I am entertained by childish things!