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A censor filters certain words or phrases and removes or replaces them with something else. Swearing is against the Scratch Community Guidelines, so all parts of the Scratch Website censor swear words (with the exception of the Scratch Wiki). It is also known as a "bad word detector."
On the Scratch Website, if a blacklisted word is encountered in a comment or Project Notes, it is automatically blocked from being saved until the offensive word is removed and the Scratch Team is notified. Multiple offenses, if intentional, can lead to a ban.
On the Scratch Forums, censored words are replaced with an asterisk. No notification is sent upon posts with censored words, but if any are found, users are encouraged to report them.
Until late 2011, any word containing a censored word (such as "skyscraper", "grapes", or "assessment") was blocked due to an issue known as the Scunthorpe problem. Since then, a whitelist was added containing many words that incorrectly trigger the censor.
The censor technology sometimes causes problems in languages other than English. Swear words in those languages (unless spelled exactly the same as in English) are not censored. Also, censored words in English may have legitimate meanings or be included in words in other languages.
With the spam filter, there have been problems such as the censor stopping users from posting innocent links, such as project and studio links.
- To reduce commercial spam, the censor has been also known to filter out numbers often used by commercial spammers.
- This part has been stopped due to problems caused.
- On the forums, the censor has sometimes been used for things other than swear words. Prior to a registration list of user-created websites, the domain names of some popular website creating services, such as Weebly, were censored. Alongside, certain shortened links were censored because the shortened link may link to inappropriate sites or pages with malware.
- On April Fools' Day, the censor has been used for some jokes. In 2011, this was primary, but in 2012-13, the entire website had a joke theme (Neigh and Pico, respectively), and the censoring was a strengthening of the joke.
- Censorship on Wikipedia