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- List of bad words for filtering purposes
March 6, 2006, 9:38 pm
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I'm building a page for a website that will allow for anonymous users
to post comments. I want to filter out words deemed offensive or
obscene. I know HOW to build this feature but I'm wondering if there
are any examples of a list of bad words that I can present to
management as a starting point for words that we'd filter.
Yes I've googled and haven't found a whole lot. I found George Carlin's
extensive list of words and one other smaller list but would like to
see if there's any semi-standard list of words that are usually deemed
I know that what constitutes a 'bad word' is subjective (damn) and that
other words that are sometimes considered cursewords (hell) can make
up other, non-cursewords (shell) and that some words can be cursewords
or not depending on usage (bitch).
I'm just looking for a starting point here.
Re: List of bad words for filtering purposes
I haven't seen one, but you can always make up your own list. For
example, you can take George Carlin's list and also include the
'leet' spelling of obscene words: 4$$ or 455 = ass, 5|-|17 = shit,
etc., which are fairly common ways to get around filters. See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leet for the common transliterations of
alphabet characters to other symbols that look enough like alphabet
characters to be human-readable, but not machine-readable.
Other ways people get around filters is be to separate the letters
of an obscene word by spaces or hyphens. There are also obscene
words folks use from other languages. Kuso and shimatta, for
Most importantly, some anonymous users won't even post obscene
words, but rather off-topic advertisements and links to porn sites,
including child porn sites. And once one of these miscreants finds
your site, and discovers it allows anonymous posting, they set up
a robot to flood your site with anonymously-posted advertisements.
I've seen it happen in almost every place that allows anonymous
Based on the above, I personally think that trying to control what
anonymous visitors post is an excercise in futility. The best you
can hope to do, in my opinion, is to set up an initial filter and
then expand it as you monitor what people post. Personally, I think
your management is a bit naive.