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Cleaning up Thunder Bluff 524

An anonymous reader writes "Colleen Hannon at Gamers With Jobs is mad as hell, and she's not going to take it anymore. 'Unless you're playing Neopets, online servers are full of foul-mouthed, racist junk-monkeys. The hate-filled miasma they spatter around them has reached the point where many people who could be on those services won't go, and those who do brave it won't go without a posse and riot gear.' She plays out every side of the argument: why things have gotten as bad as they've become, what publishers have and haven't done about it, and why she thinks things are now at unacceptable levels of incivility. She's calling on us gamers to get together and figure this out, because: 'If we wait for the new sheriff in town to fight this battle for us we might not like the town we're left with.' Is it as bad as she says?"
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Cleaning up Thunder Bluff

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  • by WinterSolstice ( 223271 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @12:13PM (#19180101)
    Seriously - it's the only way to retain any hope for mankind :)
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      If only. I've seen so many atheism vs. Christianity debates over the trade channel. And that goes to all the cities. It's so irritating.
      • by fotbr ( 855184 )
        Leave both, sell things in the AH, and leave the 13 year olds to themselves.
    • by OglinTatas ( 710589 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @02:05PM (#19182027)
      I have left general chat. I also left trade channel and defense channel, because there are few on topic postings if any. Trade and defense are mixed in with the garbage on general chat. I've never been to LFG channel. Face to face talking and obviously /p or /g are about all that are not full of trash talking. (Or not.)

      That takes care of all the profanity, but now I get in-game spam-mail and spam-tells from 'xssdfjbv' or 'jwedexxsd' about gold prices. And if I /ignore, in 5 minutes I get "xlxsow removed from ignore list--no such player" then another spam-tell from 'wossdddd'

      Blizzard needs to do 2 things: 1) a "mark as spam" button which automatically logs a complaint and the evidence, and ignores the user for chat, tell, and mail; 2) as another poster put it, if I /ignore a player, I want the option to ignore the WHOLE account, no matter how many alts the guy uses--chat, tell, mail, duel spam, plain talking, yells, and emotes.

      • by Judg3 ( 88435 ) <jeremy@ p a> on Friday May 18, 2007 @02:39PM (#19182503) Homepage Journal
        Actually in 2.1 that's being implemented. If you get a tell, you can right click and 'Report Spam' it - this automagically also ignores that user, not just that particular player, but the entire account.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kozz ( 7764 )
          Phew. Hopefully that "ignore" action is based on consensus (multiple reports). Otherwise it could be easily abused, couldn't it? Imagine a scenario where two players meet: Player A decides he doesn't like Player B for whatever reason. Later, Player B sends Player A a "tell" (maybe annoying but not spammy), so Player A decides to smack him down with a spam report. Insta-boot!

          Of course I'm speaking from a position of ignorance, never having played the game (*gasp* blasphemy?).
  • If you want to control this problem, you will need moderation. That is simply the only way to achieve it. You can be just as offensive typing fvck as you can typing fuck, and it won't get caught by the majority of filters. And in terms of speech, well, why would you ever want to hear anyone who isn't on your team? And why would you want to play with a bunch of foulmouths unless you were one?
  • I was just threatening to yank the impromptu slashdot chat room [] after a (literally) 12 year old chatter was getting out of hand. You know, I remember being a young teenager with loads of "hacking" scripts. I *don't* remember being so annoying about them.

    On the other hand, it's always funny when they fall for the "Alt-F4 to kickban" trick. :P
  • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @12:19PM (#19180175) Journal

    the hate-filled miasma they spatter around them has reached the point where many people who could be on those services won't go
    That's me. I prefer not to surround myself with all that negative energy, I generate enough myself. If an online game company wants my business, they should run a "play nice" server where players who act like that can be bumped to a regular server. I enjoy competition -- but I can't stand the racist, misogynist etc chat to be found in most games.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Saxmachine ( 1045648 )
      Me too. I worry about what the future of video gaming holds for me when I read review after review forgiving a game's insubstantial single-player mode because "online play is what it's all about." What about those of us who play video games (as opposed to sports, board games, etc.) as a way to have a bit of fun without human interaction? It looks like the best I can hope for is that I'll become too busy to play before everything becomes a foul-mouthed back alley wrapped up in a thin MMO tortilla.
      • I like to play multiplayer games, so I'm in a bit of a different boat than you. But there's always the 'no chat' or 'friends only' options in most MMOs; whether they have good solo content is another matter.
  • obPA (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @12:22PM (#19180215) Homepage Journal
    Gabe said it best. []
  • And it's the one that one of the people who commented on TFA proposed: do away with anonymity. Require the account holder's real name, address, and phone number to be publicly viewable. This would result in some real-world repercussions for the griefer, when those who had been griefed got torqued enough to go to the kid's house and beat him up. That happens a few times, and people will start being more careful.

    This is not a good idea, of course, but it would solve the problem.
    • This is very stupid.
      Internet anonymity is a core principle which enables online communities.
      WHat we need is system of reputation:
      e.g. if you get ignored by 5 players,you get -5 score.if by 10 ,-10 etc that way player can judge people by their previcious interactions.
      It needs to be more abuse-proof then simply counting ignores.
      Auto-ban filters and auto-ignore filters,would be bettter in real-time.
      Say something stupid,and you're banned/ignored before the message even reaches user screen.
      • Yes, it is very stupid. To quote myself:

        This is not a good idea, of course, but it would solve the problem.

        If you're playing along at home, that's the last line of the post.
  • by Kaffien ( 635219 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @12:23PM (#19180231) Homepage Journal
    Back in the day, and still up until now even on this board. We have moderators. They should have chat moderators in games such as wow. Repeat offenders should be banned from chat rather than the whole game. Someone starts lipping off incoherently, they get kicked and if they keep it up banned until further notice. Being banned from general and shout etc would be a server pain. Theres ways around but still ... it might be a start.
  • ...But what the hell is this article about? One more iota of randomness and the summary could be used as an entropy bucket for a PRNG.
  • by wbren ( 682133 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @12:25PM (#19180259) Homepage
    But Thunder Bluff is full of easy-going Tauren. I mean, I've had people moo at me rudely, but I wouldn't call them "racist junk-monkeys". I'm sick of people stereotyping Tauren! First it's "Tauren are stupid cows" and "Tauren aren't allowed in my house because they'll break the china". Now it's "Tauren are racists". When will it all end...
  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @12:26PM (#19180271)
    If the video game industry wasn't an extended boys locker room where everything goes because there's no parents or teachers around? I worked for six years in the video game industry where such childish behavior was the norm. The supervisors called each other "douche bags". A woman lead tester was fired for calling a tester an "a**hole" for screwing off on her project, never mind that male testers routinely called each other "hos" and "bitches". Maybe it's time for the video game industry to clean up its act.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Or maybe, just maybe, that woman lead tester was fired because she was assaulting the person she called an "a**hole" whereas the people calling each other hos and bitches were joking with each other. It's the difference between arresting someone for trying to beat someone into submission and arresting a few guys who are wrestling with each other for fun.
    • by Spy Hunter ( 317220 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @04:38PM (#19184339) Journal
      I think the real problem is that online games are almost exclusively about aggression. In almost all online games, the primary way you interact with the game world is a weapon. Even when you're in a party you're sometimes competing with your own party members. Until we have games that are founded on cooperation instead of competition, where your primary tools are something other than guns and swords, players of online games are going to be aggressive toward each other.

      It's the nature of the games themselves, which is of course a side effect of the people who work in the game industry, but also a cause. It's a vicious cycle. However, there is hope on the horizon, and it comes from the (unlikely) direction of Valve software and Team Fortress 2. Have you seen the latest trailer for Team Fortress 2 []? The facial animation software is nothing short of incredible. This is a key tool that has been missing from games for years. If it can be merged with a procedural animation system, Valve will have finally brought down the barriers to creating movie-quality character development and plots in games.

      Team Fortress won't have a movie-worthy in-game plot, to be sure, but the personality and above all *humor* infused into Valve's characters is already a welcome change from typical FPS fare. OTOH, something like Portal could be a breakthrough game.
  • by grapeape ( 137008 ) <mpope7 @ k c . r r . c om> on Friday May 18, 2007 @12:26PM (#19180283) Homepage
    Try Settlers of Catan or Uno on Live, i guess they are too boring for the teeners every game I have played so far has been civil and even pleasant.

    It would be nice to play a game against my nephew (the only person I know with an unhacked 360) without having to worry about colorful metaphors. Yes I know its nothing he hasnt heard before and its probably more distubing to me than him, but for grown-ups live is almost unusable for 90% of the games out there.

    While I hate censorship, I do wish Xbox Live had some sort of rating system for games with a reporting structure for violators. I think it would work, they could still allow free-for-all matchups that let the explicatives fly, just allow an easy way to designate gamers that dont want to hear it. Maybe an icon on the gamertag? It just looks like there should be some way to do it that allows freedom for both people who want to hear 12 year olds cuss and those that dont.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by x-caiver ( 458687 )
      Uno on Live is a more civilized game? More mature maybe, but more civilized no. As one of the first camera-enabled Live games, and a slower paced (compared to an FPS) game it quickly became a pool of nudity. And unfortunately not the "hot grits" kind, but the "dude, wtf!??!" kind.
  • Thunder Bluff? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DurendalMac ( 736637 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @12:27PM (#19180287)
    I think you mean Barrens General.
  • Please understand that I curse all the time in real-life, play on PvP servers without problem (e.g. shadowbane), and so on.

    That said, they really should ban people who curse in public chat (no, guild chat is not "public"). Someone who gets banned a few times for cursing ends up with a perma-ban.

    Again, I curse in real-life. But I see no positive reason to allow cursing in general chat channels.

  • by JoeD ( 12073 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @12:33PM (#19180409) Homepage
    The problem is a lack of real-world accountability.

    If someone were to act in real life the way some of those idiots act online, they'd get punched in the face pretty quickly. Unfortunately, there's no way to punch someone in the face over the net.

  • Make a juried legal system part of the game. Let people press charges and sue people, in game. Conviction could mean anything from confiscation of in game resources through "imprisonment" of your avatar, all the way to the "death penalty" of losing your account. Heck, make people pay a month's deposit which is forfeit if you are convicted. Sure, people would try to game the system, but people have been trying to game legal systems since they were invented, I think we know ways to protect against that by now
    • by Renraku ( 518261 )
      Great idea.

      Because a population of mostly fowl mouthed racist sexist kids would make an excellent and unbiased jury.

  • Options in WoW (Score:4, Informative)

    by wuie ( 884711 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @12:41PM (#19180563)
    Since we're using "Cleaning up Thunder Bluff" as the subject, I'll assume that most of this is directed at the text seen in World of Warcraft. Here are a couple of things you can do to prevent seeing things that might be offensive:

    - Use the profanity filter. This will block out the most offensive words that you may come across in chat.
    - Put them on your ignore list. I know that there's a limited number of people you can put on the ignore list, but if one person's irritating you enough, put them there.
    - Leave general chat. You can always rejoin it at a later time.
    - Finally, you can report someone that's being excessively rude and using slurs. Bans are usually temporary, but they can get the point across. Too many temporary bans will result in a permanent one.

    Of course, these are the options that are present in WoW, I can only assume that other MMOs have similar steps. YMMV.
  • by richdun ( 672214 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @12:41PM (#19180581)
    On behalf of the Taurahe people, I for one am highly offended at the implication that our peaceful, majestic city in the clouds needs cleaning up. Our Bluffwatchers are some of the most efficient custodians I have ever seen, and our program to recycle waste products into compost to aid in Arch Druid Runetotem's morrorwgrain research sets an example for capital cities across Azeroth.

    Despite our bovine nature, and its accompanying production of large piles of waste product, we boast of the cleanest cities on Azeroth or Outlands, free from the usual blight of urban sprawl, like the putrid sewers of Undercity, the molten magma "waste processing" of Ironforge, or the dumbasses in Stormwind who let a dragon take over the city just because she could shapeshift into a "hawt bb." Meanwhile, we have continued to maintain a healthy tourism industry, and, unlike our druidic friends in Darnassus, people actually go to Thunder Bluff on purpose, not just because their cat hit the mouse and they were trying to go to Winterspring to farm.

    In summary, I expect a full apology to be delivered to Cairne by the end of the week. Reparations in the form of well chewed grass, some decent low level balance druid armor, or a free pass to /spit on all rogues, both Alliance and Horde, would be acceptable.

  • Make people pay a nominal fee to join. To do that, they'll need a real name and contact information. If Johnny the moronic, racist, foul-mouthed 14 year old gets on and breaks the ToS for spewing more racist filth than a 1940s klan rally, blacklist him for a while. Yes, blacklist him as in ban him from that game, and every game the publisher makes for several years. Go one step better and share the list between publishers. Ohhhh little Johnny want to play Halo 3? Too bad, you shouldn't have been acting like
  • Go home care bear! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by earnest murderer ( 888716 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @12:42PM (#19180605)
    Just kidding... I play on a Roleplay PVP server which is more or less equivalent to asking a bum to emote while he rapes you. Not my first choice, but if I want to play with my meatspace friends...

    I blame anonymity myself. I mean I think that everyone from the Pope down to Jimmy Swaggart is pretty much an asshole at heart. Most of us have a handle on it most of the time and some people even try to avoid pushing other people's "buttons". But lack of accountability is a huge problem, add anonymity and some abstraction to the mix and many people loose their only reason for not being a jerk. It doesnt help that many people refuse to accept or assign accountability based on their own political motivations or worse, whim.

    It is believed by some that many people are perfectly nice in person but for some unknown reason they become animalistic online... I think this is flawed logic. It's far more likely that said person(s) is a jerk, but concequences keep them from acting out.

    So yea, a meaningful identity online would help tremendously. But that's a can of toxic, radio active worms, even if you did open it and balance exposure/anonymity in a way that kept people happy. Eventually (and not very long I'm sure) some politician somewhere would wreck it for everyone in a dead of nigh bill, or simply declare it their purview.

    In the long run I think I would prefer to live with it as-is, and if I want decorum I'll get within arms reach.
  • by moore.dustin ( 942289 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @12:49PM (#19180719) Homepage
    ...the louder the people will get. If you tell an idiot in chat to hush up, does he? No. Instead he doubles his attacks and focuses them at you. You cannot change this, sorry, it cannot be done. Instead, use the functions and tools in game to ignore people and leave chat channels. I am sure there is some UI thing you can get that will help you block people in chat who curse, yell, whatever.

    What a dumb article though. Really, how can anyone believe that they can clean up the chat rooms where people with anonymity reside. It just wont happen. It takes people years of online participation in one community or another to stop using LOL let along stop attacking people.

    You can use this as your litmus test though. If "teh" and "pwn" are still in use, nothing has changed and people are still tards online.
    • Bullshit. Theoretically insightful because you're a troll who's posted but other than that, bullshit.

      Not to put it in the same category but if your reasoning was true, we'd not have stories of civil rights changes for example. We'd be saying, "How can you really expect racism to vanish when it's just a fact that some people are racist. Just live with it, it's there, welcome to the real world."
      • No. It is the factor of anonymity that makes it vastly differently. In the civil rights movement, if you called someone something, people attached a name to the statement. People knew what you did. Online, that is not the case, so things will not change.

        You are the troll who should have read my post and noticed I specifically mentioned the factor of anonymity.
    • by egburr ( 141740 )
      The guild I'm in has a rule about keeping chat clean. We have kicked people out for arguing and escalating after being reminded. We have had people leave because of the rule. Despite that, there are still over 400 people in our guild. We enforce this on our teamspeak server, too.

      If only we could do the same for the world- and zone-wide channels and for yell. Leave "say" alone, because it is local and limited in scope, except maybe in high-population-density areas. As for group chat, well, I can always lea

      • The guild I'm in also has rules that are similar. The other day we had a new person who began to let loose with some pretty mysoganistic and homophobic comments. We called him on it, not by treating him as an idiot and telling him to shut up, but by treating him as a real person and saying, "This is not acceptable to us." It doesn't work every time but just acting like a real person and then treating others like real people is a powerful way to approach it. Sometimes the act of treating someone as a pe
      • You can certainly enforce some changes on the small scale of a guild, sure. My old guild was the same way. It worked well actually, but to think you can apply the same standards outside of the scope of a guild makes you nuts! Really, all you can hope for is to keep your guild chat channels clean. Anything beyond that is a pipe dream.
        • by egburr ( 141740 )
          It's only a pipe dream because Blizzard won't do it. What I suggested is certainly possible to implement, but Blizzard doesn't want to risk losing the monthly payments of a good portion of people who can't or won't exhibit any self-control mainly because there are no consequences to their actions. Behavior like that in real life would get them kicked out if they didn't stop and maybe even arrested if they persisted.
  • I've never experienced anything remotely like that anywhere in WoW. Not even close. The most offensive things I've seen are the chuck norriss jokes in the barrens. While they're annoying, it's a stretch to find them offensive.

  • Step one is to take the problem seriously. A lot of people don't. "Sticks and stones may break my bones" most properly ends with "but words can sear my soul." That one stupid saying (in its original form) has probably done more damage than good.

    Step two is to create some sort of social mechanism. My suggestion, which I haven't seen yet, is a sort of social network where you can indicate which players you like to play with and which you don't, and automated match-making software will help you hook up with pe
  • Years ago I had a friend make a (completely unworkable) suggestion for cars -- an "Asshole Button". Some jerk cuts you off? Point the remote at his car and push the button, and a light turns on on his license plate -- and yours. The cops would be allowed to ticket (and reset the lights) of anyone with 5 lights lit. Fun, but it would never work in real life. Online, however, it becomes very possible.

    It could be very workable in a MMORPG, though. Tagging someone with one "asshole" point could cost yo

  • STFU nub, lolz, wtf luzer, kthxbye!!!1!

    All joking aside (yes, I meant that humorously), you pretty much have to deal with it. Use ignore. Report offenders. Don't play. Quit the game and make sure you let them know you're leaving because they don't enforce their own policies. Make a guild of tattle-tales. Make up your mind to ignore it and not let it bother you, instead of letting it dominate your game experience.
  • ... named Anonymous:

    If you don't like the language or behavior of the people playing... go play something else? Or, leave the general chat. Or, only talk to people in your guild. Or, go play a RP server (blocking the griefing nubs who bother you when their server is down).
  • by thebdj ( 768618 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @02:02PM (#19181971) Journal
    1) As others mentioned, leave general chat. This should resolve close to 90% of the problems.
    2) Find a game not filled with immature teenagers (or adults, trust me they can be just as dumb) or another server. I played WoW for a LONG time and never had much problem with the discussions on RP servers. I never did play on a straight PvP or general server. I have since moved to Ryzom, and the CSRs are quick to mute or kick off anyone doing this sort of stupidity.
    3) For games with voice chat, turn it off. Seriously, I would not make people suffer through hearing my voice, even for helpful communication. Please do not torture us with yours. Of course, it is muted whenever I do play an online FPS, so I guess I am saving my own ears.
    4) If people are being offensive, report it to the Moderators (or whatever your game calls them). I do not think an MMO exists where there are not moderators of some form. Most of them are willing to help and will resolve issues like this, if you present the issues in a calm and reasonable manner.

    Now, you can almost forget everyone suddenly changing their ways, and unfortunately there isn't much you can do to force them to change. While people can be muted or temporarily banned, you will almost never get permanent removal unless you blatantly violent the EULA. Short of making threats or committing some sort of illegal act, they will probably return. The best you can do is limit exposure using the tools provided by the game. It is not the best solution, but if the people acting like total idiots find out they are without any friends and that no one wants to play with them, perhaps they will finally leave. (Though, that may also be wishful thinking.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aafiske ( 243836 )
      "2) Find a game not filled with immature teenagers (or adults, trust me they can be just as dumb) or another server. I played WoW for a LONG time and never had much problem with the discussions on RP servers. I never did play on a straight PvP or general server. I have since moved to Ryzom, and the CSRs are quick to mute or kick off anyone doing this sort of stupidity."

      So if your neighborhood is getting worse, you should just move? No point in trying to fund the police better to up patrols, etc? Moving is n
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @02:44PM (#19182595) Homepage

    America's Army still has the best solution. Their in-game implementation of the United States Army Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth. They just put griefers in a barred cell from which there is no escape, and keep them there for a while. There's nothing to do in the cell, except peer out the little barred window and watch the sun go down.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Phrogman ( 80473 )
      And thats the best way to do it I think. These are roleplaying games, so institute instanced prison cells, and stick the offending people in them. Vary the amount of time based on the offense, and with a few strikes you are out (ie the company deletes your account and all characters, thanks for playing). People will smarten up really quick.

      Offensive Language/Behaviour - your toon is locked in prison for X number of hours. 2nd Offense, its X *days*. Plus you get fined say 20% of your current bank acc
  • Tseric just quit WoW (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jormundgard ( 260749 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @02:49PM (#19182665)
    Very relevant sidenote is that Tseric just quit his community moderator position after two years at Blizzard. He apparently got tired of the extremely bad treatment he received on a day-to-day basis.
  • by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @02:56PM (#19182789) Homepage
    I don't know whether it is cultural or instinctual, but when boys compete, they "trash-talk" eachother. It is the competitive spirit of the game bleeding into language.

    Think about a street basketball game and the "yo momma's so fat" jokes. The same thing happens in online FPS games.

    Players tend to build up an immunity to such insults, so there is an arms race of conceiving increasingly offensive verbal jabs. It gets worse and worse.

    The solution, of course, is to just ignore offensive words altogether. Think "sticks and stones" and get on with the game! Racism in online games is a joke anyway--nobody knows your race so they can't mean it seriously. There is nothing special or magical about taboo words, either. Hearing "swear" words only hurts your feelings because you let them. You have nobody to blame but yourself.

    If you can't handle trash talk in competitive games, whether they are on the court or on the net, you can either stop playing or stop giving taboo words power over you.

    Alternatively, start a girls league or have referees which enforce a code of good sportsmanship. Pick-up games of basketball and of counter-strike don't have refs, so you will always have boys' competitive spirits showing in the language.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aafiske ( 243836 )
      The difference is, in a basketball if someone mouths off nonstop for 15 minutes about how you are a giant fag for stealing the ball and getting two points, you can go break their nose. The implied threat of such an action generally keeps the taunting and trash-talking on a level that is feather-ruffling, and insulting if you are thin-skinned, but not 'fighting words'.

      Online, there are no 'fighting words'. There is no barrier, no repercussions for actions, no tarnishing of your actual name by your behavior i
  • by PM Guy ( 944790 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @03:00PM (#19182839) Homepage
    Did anyone play pick up basketball games at their local playground growing up? Racist, sexist, homophobic, profane... you name it! It was called smack talk and some people were incredible at it. This is the modern day equivalent. If you are a 30-year gamer with a job (like me) and you go into a game filled with teenagers... guess what? Smack talk. It's no different than heading to your local basketball court and trying to hang with the teenagers there.
  • Filtering Fun (Score:3, Interesting)

    by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Friday May 18, 2007 @04:49PM (#19184493) Homepage
    We once ran a small chat and gaming system where I worked. It had a general chat channel, and when people paired up to play a game, such as chess or checkers, it would make a private channel for them.

    Because this was a family service, we had to try to police conduct in the general channel, and because we didn't have the staff to monitor it live 24/7, it fell to me to try to automate some of this. That actually worked fairly well. We had a very large dictionary of naughty words and phrases. When you said something, my filters basically looked for any of those things, and '*'ed them out. The filter ignored whitespace, and it also considered certain characters to be equivalent, so if you wrote 5h17, that would match 'shit', since it knew a 5 could take the place of an s, and so on. However, before filtering, it did a spell check on your text, and marked all the words that were spelled right and were not on the bad word list as safe. For example, if you said "wash it", it would not see the "sh it" as something bad.

    This worked surprisingly well. It caught it when people tried tricks like inserting spaces to break up the bad words, but usually did not get false positives, because of the spell check protector stuff. Well, unless you were a lousy speller, but if a lousy speller got kicked off incorrectly for profanity, it still improved things. :-)

    One other little trick it did. When it filtered out something in your message, it only did that on the message sent to other people. The copy that echoed back to your system was uncensored.

    When you got caught, it would send you a message warning you to watch your language. If you ignored the warning, an admin bot would ban you for a period of time. Repeared bans would be for longer times.

    One thing that disappointed me: no one ever tried to use Klingon profanity to get around the filters. I had that covered in the filters, and was hoping to see the reaction when the users discovered that.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.