Aug 092021

This is related to the Scuntthorpe problem although it looks more at the meaning of a word rather than its appearance. This particular issue cropped up when a Facebook group I’m a member of briefly blew up (in a very English way) when Facebook prevented us mentioning that a particular shop was well known for its faggots.

But perhaps I should explain what I mean by faggots; the word itself has had plenty of meanings from bundles of wood (or any bundle) to a naughty child; in the case we’re talking about it is about a British meatball – the faggot.

Now this isn’t a “freedom of speech” thing – I’m not arguing those who denigrate homosexuals should get off scot free. But blindly banning the word “faggot” can have unintended consequences.

That posting on Facebook I mentioned? It went an interesting way – the blame wasn’t put on naïve censorship software but on political correctness itself. Whilst that was a mistake, there is now a few members of that group that will automatically respond badly whenever “political correctness” is mentioned and start talking about edible faggots.

When the blame is squarely with the censorship software that doesn’t take context into account – when you’re talking about “faggots and onions” or “a faggot shop”, you’re unlikely to be throwing rocks at homosexuals.