In our Members' Area, we recently created some glossaries of slang, which feature some language that might be deemed rude or offensive. Therefore, we created a filter that would remove any unacceptable language and people registering have to choose to opt in to see these entries- the default setting is to filter them out. The filter is set to exclude all references to sex, swearing, excessive drinking, drugs, sensitive issues, etc. As it has now been running for a few months, I thought it would be interesting to see how many people have switched the filter off.
The figures show that quite a lot of people have chosen not to view these entries- 30.9%, which means that 69.1% have chosen to view them. If I had been asked to estimate these figures beforehand, I would have thought that the numbers turning the filter off would have been higher, though it may be the case that some have left the filter on accidentally. However, even allowing for accidents, it does show that when given a choice, many people choose to avoid contact with language that might be considered crude, which suggests to me that people should think carefully before using it; such language doesn't seem to appeal to a substantial group, even though they are interested enough in slang to view the other entries. While people have chosen to avoid looking at it, no one at all has suggested that it shouldn't be included it in glossaries of slang- self-censorship instead of censorship.
Categories: General Topics