Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby trodgers on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:56 am

CL is a family friendly site. We think this is important and worthwhile, so we take a great deal of pride in saying that we present an environment in which people are not intimidated and feel they can say what they want without being attacked. To that end, we think that no one should expect to click on a link and unsuspectingly see obscenity. So in order to ensure this latter proposition is protected, we are updating the rules regarding obscene language.

Rule 1. Do Not Use Obscene Language
-The issue is not open for debate. Still, if you require a good reason as to why we adopt this policy, there are several...
--Reason 1: Some words are offensive. You should try not to offend people.
--Reason 2: Obscene language distracts from the argument. You should try to make good arguments.
--Reason 3: There are impressionable minds represented on the board. If you wouldn't say it around children or your grandmother, don't write it. If you would say it around them, that's not a guarantee that you're right to do so.

Rule 2. Use Non-Obscene Alternatives
-Rather than use the obscene word, follow this regulation:
a. Type the first letter of the obscene word. In place of every other letter of the root obscene word, use an asterisk.
b. For example, use "This is such bulls***" (or even BS here!); "you have got to be s***ting me!"

Rule 3. Be Sensible in Determining What Counts
-The CL Swear Filter will catch just about everything inappropriate when it is spelled correctly. Don't misspell words in order to have them bypass the swear filter. The CL Staff will assume a good deal of the burden of telling you when you're screwing up here, but if your bypassing becomes habitual, you'll begin receiving warnings.

Rule 4. CL is CL. Images/Videos are Treated Like Text
-You cannot simply post an image or a video clip that contains words that are forbidden. If you have something that will contribute to the site in a meaningful way and it contains something obscene, take the following steps.
a. post the image or video within a (Spoiler) tag
b. include a clearly-marked "WARNING: OBSCENE LANGUAGE/CONTENT" label

Rule 5. Help Us Maintain the Standard
-If you see someone whose posts are breaking the rules or are questionable, flag the post so someone can take a look at it and determine whether there is a problem.
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby Vasashi17 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:16 pm

Frustrations around this team are at an all time high, but our fanbase and the great members on this site need to start following this s***! :man12:
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby Congo Cash on Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:01 am

I'm suggesting to replace the current censor... Instead of saying [Swearing is not permitted at Clublakers. You must edit this post prior to submitting.], replace it w/ *bleep* or something, it's too long...
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby laker911 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:05 am

you have got to be s***ting me!
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby trodgers on Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:25 pm

Nah; I think it's hilarious to see it keep appearing in posts, honestly.
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby Mr_Hollywood_Line on Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:15 am

I understand and accept that the "no swear" rule is not open for debate and isn't going to change anytime in the foreseeable future, but I felt compelled to offer an alternate view in response to the rationale given for the rule...

I'm doing this because censorship is an issue I have strong feelings about.

trodgers wrote:CL is a family friendly site. We think this is important and worthwhile, so we take a great deal of pride in saying that we present an environment in which people are not intimidated and feel they can say what they want without being attacked. To that end, we think that no one should expect to click on a link and unsuspectingly see obscenity. So in order to ensure this latter proposition is protected, we are updating the rules regarding obscene language.


To equate any or all "obscenity" with "attack" is wrong, IMO.

There's nothing intrinsically bad or evil about a word or a sound that comes out of a person's mouth.

It's not the word itself - it's how the word is used that can be good or bad.

For example, if I stub my toe and yell "_____!" (insert 'F' word) then this sort of use doesn't constitute an attack on someone else.

However, if I say "F*** you" or "you MFer" then that's an attack/verbal abuse and, obviously, should not be tolerated.

Conversely, I'm sure everyone can think of examples of "non-obscene" words being used abusively or to attack someone.

When I was growing up, I had a friend whose father was super-religious and never cursed. Nevertheless, I heard this man say some of the most hurtful and abusive things to his son you could imagine.

trodgers wrote:--Reason 1: Some words are offensive. You should try not to offend people.


That's a slippery slope the logical conclusion of which is book burning and that sort of thing.

"Offensive" to whom?

Answer: A select group that wants to impose its conventions or values on the rest of us (read: those of us who don't find "swear" words offensive and who may even find such words useful or desirable in some instances.)

Who should be the official arbiter of which words or sounds are good/permissible for a society and which ones are not?

Should we forbid every word (not just swear words) to which this arbiter has some negative association or other?

Bottom line: The arbiters of such conventions don't always censor because they have good reasons or sound arguments for doing so - quite often they censor simply because they can.

If a certain word or sound makes me uncomfortable, then it's easier to use my power to prevent you from using that word or uttering that sound than to examine and/or confront the root cause of my discomfort.

trodgers wrote:--Reason 2: Obscene language distracts from the argument. You should try to make good arguments.


Such language can distract from the argument, (e.g., in those cases where the speaker uses profanity in lieu of an argument) but it doesn't have to. Once again, it all depends on the use.

trodgers wrote:--Reason 3: There are impressionable minds represented on the board. If you wouldn't say it around children or your grandmother, don't write it. If you would say it around them, that's not a guarantee that you're right to do so.


I think it's more important to teach those impressionable minds the distinctions explained above.

I'm not going to begrudge my kid a healthy "______" ('F' word) when he stubs his toe, but I will certainly forbid him to say "F you!" to another person.

Anyway, that's my manifesto on "obscenity."

Hope it was OK to post this. If not, then feel free to round file it.
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby trodgers on Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:00 am

Because morality is something I care a bit about I'll respond. I'm speaking at Travis Rodgers here, not exactly as the moderator known as Trodgers. I'm in the mood to argue about this.

Mr_Hollywood_Line wrote:
trodgers wrote:CL is a family friendly site. We think this is important and worthwhile, so we take a great deal of pride in saying that we present an environment in which people are not intimidated and feel they can say what they want without being attacked. To that end, we think that no one should expect to click on a link and unsuspectingly see obscenity. So in order to ensure this latter proposition is protected, we are updating the rules regarding obscene language.


To equate any or all "obscenity" with "attack" is wrong, IMO.

Good thing I didn't do that!

There's nothing intrinsically bad or evil about a word or a sound that comes out of a person's mouth.

It's not the word itself - it's how the word is used that can be good or bad.

For example, if I stub my toe and yell "_____!" (insert 'F' word) then this sort of use doesn't constitute an attack on someone else.

That's not quite right. Some words are analytically bad. There's no place on a privately owned Lakers site for the discussion of whether we should permit the use of the N word. That's all there is to the matter.

However, if I say "F*** you" or "you MFer" then that's an attack/verbal abuse and, obviously, should not be tolerated.

Conversely, I'm sure everyone can think of examples of "non-obscene" words being used abusively or to attack someone.

We have rules against doing the latter. I think you're mistaking a sufficient condition for being offensive for a necessary condition for being offensive. I wrote the policy; I didn't make that mistake.

trodgers wrote:--Reason 1: Some words are offensive. You should try not to offend people.


That's a slippery slope the logical conclusion of which is book burning and that sort of thing.

"Offensive" to whom?

Answer: A select group that wants to impose its conventions or values on the rest of us (read: those of us who don't find "swear" words offensive and who may even find such words useful or desirable in some instances.)

There's no slippery slope. Where to draw the line is vague, but we haven't run into any problems with this rule. BTW, I imagine I'm included in this "select group" that "wants to impose its conventions or values" on others. In fact, I use swear words all the time in my public life. I grew up in a town where everyone, from a young age, uses foul language. I don't do it in my professional life, and I didn't do it around my young children though. CL isn't "society" - and I'm not imposing my views of how society should be structured.

Who should be the official arbiter of which words or sounds are good/permissible for a society and which ones are not?

You're making the mistake of supposing that CL is society. CL is a privately-owned site run by moderators. We make the decisions based on what's good for a family friendly message board for Lakers fans.

Bottom line: The arbiters of such conventions don't always censor because they have good reasons or sound arguments for doing so - quite often they censor simply because they can.

Is this a complaint about CL? If you can point to a situation where we have censored someone "simply because" we "can" - let me know. In other words, you're saying "Things like CL make this mistake sometimes." If CL doesn't make that mistake, what's the point?

I'm not going to begrudge my kid a healthy "______" ('F' word) when he stubs his toe, but I will certainly forbid him to say "F you!" to another person.

This isn't a site for you to raise your kids by your standards. I think you're mistaking CL, a privately run board, for a global meeting place supported by the public. It's not the latter. BTW, shouldn't you let your kid says "F you!" to a friend as long as they're joking? I mean, what's the harm; right? Aren't you imposing your arbitrary standards on him in doing so? (BURN)
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby Mr_Hollywood_Line on Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:36 pm

trodgers wrote:Good thing I didn't do that!


The first paragraph does exactly that. It gives the rationale that certain words shouldn't be used because they might make some people feel "attacked."

The gist of my argument is that there's a difference between a rule that forbids verbal abuse, personal attacks, etc., and a rule that imposes a blanket prohibition on specific words.

trodgers wrote:
There's no slippery slope. Where to draw the line is vague, but we haven't run into any problems with this rule. BTW, I imagine I'm included in this "select group" that "wants to impose its conventions or values" on others. In fact, I use swear words all the time in my public life. I grew up in a town where everyone, from a young age, uses foul language. I don't do it in my professional life, and I didn't do it around my young children though. CL isn't "society" - and I'm not imposing my views of how society should be structured.


The "select group" reference wasn't directed at you personally. It's easy for anyone in any communications medium to be pressured into doing the bidding of the aforementioned select group (read: people with old-fashioned "values" who are uncomfortable with certain words or other forms of expression) because that group usually wields some considerable power.

In fact, you could argue that much of conventional morality is just one dominant group imposing its will on all others and has little to do with actual "morality."

Just to clarify: I don't see you as "Big Brother" - if you were, then you wouldn't be allowing this discussion to take place right now.

We're talking degrees of censorship here (and the principle.)

trodgers wrote:
You're making the mistake of supposing that CL is society. CL is a privately-owned site run by moderators. We make the decisions based on what's good for a family friendly message board for Lakers fans.


Forums like this one can be viewed as microcosms of society inasmuch as (almost) anyone can join and participate in the community. They are open and public, albeit privately owned, meeting places in that respect.

The "privately-owned" argument is a way to say "I can and will use my legal right and my territorial imperative, as it were, to control speech." My response to that line of thought is to point out that just because I can do 'x' doesn't mean I should do 'x.'

By analogy, I pose the following question: If I were hosting a party in the "real world" and if all the members of CL were my guests, would I constantly circulate through the crowd, police my guests' language and tell people "don't say that...no, you can't say that," etc? The guests would write me off as some sort of obsessive/compulsive lunatic.

I, for one, wouldn't want to treat my guests on an Internet discussion forum in a manner that was different from the way I would treat them in "real life." (Which isn't to say I would dispense altogether with rules of conduct.)

trodgers wrote:Is this a complaint about CL? If you can point to a situation where we have censored someone "simply because" we "can" - let me know. In other words, you're saying "Things like CL make this mistake sometimes." If CL doesn't make that mistake, what's the point?


Not a complaint - just an observation that you have chosen to do the bidding of those who are uncomfortable with the use of certain words or other forms of expression and who seek to repress those words and/or forms.

The idea of forcing others to modify their speech to save me the trouble of examining why certain words make me feel uncomfortable is repugnant to my sensibilities.

trodgers wrote: BTW, shouldn't you let your kid says "F you!" to a friend as long as they're joking? I mean, what's the harm; right? Aren't you imposing your arbitrary standards on him in doing so? (BURN)


That's actually a really relevant and important question, and I'm glad you asked it.

The answer is no - I wouldn't allow my kid to say "F you" to another person - even in jest.

You've heard the expression "never point a gun at someone unless you intend to use it?"

Same rule should apply to hurtful or abusive language, IMO.

That is to say, don't say "F you" unless you really mean it and are prepared to take responsibility for the impact of such words.

Claiming "sarcasm" is just a sneaky way of saying "it's acceptable for me to say something abusive or offensive as long as I do it with a wink and/or a smile on my face." It's a mixed message.
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby Kasumi on Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:55 pm

Mr_Hollywood_Line wrote:The idea of forcing others to modify their speech to save me the trouble of examining why certain words make me feel uncomfortable is repugnant to my sensibilities.

And yet, people do this all the time as a show of respect to the community. People censor their speech in front of children, in front of grandparents, in school, in the workplace - it's really not a radical idea.

Think about the purpose of speech - the purpose is not to convey an idea or concept to yourself, it's to convey an idea or concept to another person(s). Feel free to cuss to yourself all day long, that's perfectly okay. But when people are conversing, a person should tailor their speech to the recipient so as to paint the picture that they intend. You would likely speak differently to a literary professor than you would a 5-year-old, because the 5-year-old wouldn't understand the words that you would use in speaking to a professor. You would speak to a Japanese businessman differently than an American businessman, the Japanese culture is much more formal and polite.

You may find it repugnant that CL as a community has a rule about clean speech, but you will find that such rules are not uncommon in the real world. You would not likely walk into a performance review with your boss and use cuss words, that would be unprofessional. To your analogy of the party, private conversations would be more akin to PM's (private messages), but if a person stood on a table and yelled out cuss words across the room for everyone to hear, then the host would absolutely be right to ask that person to tone it down. A message board is like standing on a table and screaming because it's in the middle of a conversation for everyone to hear/read.
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby Mr_Hollywood_Line on Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:11 am

Kasumi wrote:And yet, people do this all the time as a show of respect to the community. People censor their speech in front of children, in front of grandparents, in school, in the workplace - it's really not a radical idea.


That's true. I censor my speech in some social situations - not because I agree with the principle, but because I am compelled to do so by law and/or by property owners (intellectual or other) exercising their territorial imperatives.

However, as I tried to illustrate, a word cannot be intrinsically disrespectful or harmful to anyone - only the use of the word can be harmful (or not.)

Sort of like the old adage "guns don't kill people - people kill people." Same thing holds true for words and how they are used.

The belief that a word can be intrinsically good or bad is tantamount to primitive superstition. I'd like to believe we're beyond that as a culture or as a species.

When you press the proponents of this superstition for an explanation as to why a given word is inherently evil, their final answer is almost invariably "it just is." No further examination is allowed. That's just sad, IMO.

Kasumi wrote:Think about the purpose of speech - the purpose is not to convey an idea or concept to yourself, it's to convey an idea or concept to another person(s). Feel free to cuss to yourself all day long, that's perfectly okay.


The use of "expletives" and the ability to effectively convey ideas or concepts are not mutually exclusive.

IMO, what's really crazy is the idea that someone would reject a well-reasoned, compelling argument or a brilliant, superbly-crafted literary work simply because the speaker or author used a "cuss word."

Sometimes it's a style preference. In some instances, swear words are like the spice you add to a stew or an accent you place on a particular note or passage when playing a piece of music. To extend the music analogy, what musician wants to be told "you can use these notes or sounds, but not those ones. Those ones are bad!" (That's exactly what the authorities did in the middle ages, BTW.)

I'm sure we've all watched movies that were censored and came away with the feeling that the removal of all the expletives somehow took the teeth out of the movie.

Kasumi wrote: But when people are conversing, a person should tailor their speech to the recipient so as to paint the picture that they intend. You would likely speak differently to a literary professor than you would a 5-year-old, because the 5-year-old wouldn't understand the words that you would use in speaking to a professor. You would speak to a Japanese businessman differently than an American businessman, the Japanese culture is much more formal and polite.


But here we're talking about tailoring speech in order to accommodate intellectual capacity (i.e., that of children) and cultural differences - "swear words" don't factor into the argument. You're partially accurate in your observations re: Japanese culture. However, have you watched many Japanese films? Some of them have a fair amount of cursing in them (which, FWIW, neither offends me nor detracts from my enjoyment or appreciation of these films in the slightest.)

Kasumi wrote:
You may find it repugnant that CL as a community has a rule about clean speech, but you will find that such rules are not uncommon in the real world. You would not likely walk into a performance review with your boss and use cuss words, that would be unprofessional.


But this is a sports discussion forum - not a workplace.

It's closer to a scenario where you're sitting around with your buddies in front of the tube watching a Lakers game and passing around the popcorn than a job site.

If I can't yell "oh s***!" when somebody misses a critical free throw, then I feel just a bit hamstrung/inhibited.

As for the performance review scenario, I suppose it depends on the kind of relationship you have with your boss, his or her personality and the type of business you're in. I've had some bosses who swear like sailors themselves.

Kasumi wrote:To your analogy of the party, private conversations would be more akin to PM's (private messages), but if a person stood on a table and yelled out cuss words across the room for everyone to hear, then the host would absolutely be right to ask that person to tone it down. A message board is like standing on a table and screaming because it's in the middle of a conversation for everyone to hear/read.


In the scenario you describe here, it's not the use of swear words that's disruptive - it's the fact that the guy is standing on a table and yelling.

He could be yelling the cleanest, most wholesome words in the world and it would be inappropriate to the situation.
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby Mr_Hollywood_Line on Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:34 am

Kasumi wrote:To your analogy of the party, private conversations would be more akin to PM's (private messages), but if a person stood on a table and yelled out cuss words across the room for everyone to hear, then the host would absolutely be right to ask that person to tone it down. A message board is like standing on a table and screaming because it's in the middle of a conversation for everyone to hear/read.


Just one more comment I forgot to add in response to the above quote...

It's true that everything I say on a public forum is visible to everyone who frequents that forum.

It follows that I will occasionally see or read things I dislike or encounter forms of expression with which I disagree or which make me uncomfortable. For me, the occasional expletive is usually the least of these.

As a grownup, I accept that this occasional discomfort goes with the territory, (and with a pluralistic world) and I accept the fact that I can't censor everything I encounter on a message board that rubs me the wrong way.
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby therealdeal on Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:41 am

No, not everything. But we as a staff can certainly censor profanity on this here website.
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby trodgers on Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:00 am

I'm not interested in discussing conventional morality. I'm interested in discussing morality. I'm an ethicist, by training and vocation; I'm not a conventional ethicist or an anthropologist. I don't really care about the rules people agree to; I'm interested in the rules people should agree to.

Of course "'can' doesn't imply 'should.'" But that's never been my argument. There is such a thing as discretion. There is a range of morally permissible agreements people can enter into, just as there are many jobs one can choose to pursue (And it might be false to say that I SHOULD take job X over job Y - sometimes they're on par. You seem not to be aware of the distinction between the justifying and requiring strengths of reason; if you're interested, let me know. I'll recommend an article written by Josh Gert.). As applied to this case, there are message boards where profanity is permitted. There are also boards where it is not. This is one of the latter. I don't think there's anything immoral about either sort, and I don't think anyone is repressed or oppressed or treated unjustly or morally harmed by being held to the agreements that a reasonable adult-language board would permit or to the agreements that this site permits. You are, after all, perfectly free to leave and visit another site. The target audience here is Lakers friends and family. We strive to be family friendly.

To be clear:
1. We have rules against attacking people.
2. We have rules against knowingly offending people.
3. We have rules against bad language.

Those rules are not the same, but they cover many of the same cases. Despite the fact that I listed multiple reasons to be in favor of a swear rule, you seem to suppose that the swear rule conflates #1, #2, and #3. The rule doesn't do that. Bad language is a good way to offend people, but it's not always offensive. I'm aware of that fact.
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby Barnstable on Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:11 am

I don't see the argument here. Discuss it all you want, but the fact that this is a privately owned site, and the owner can set any rules he wishes is the bottom line. If we don't like the rules here we can go to another site. Don't take that as dismissive either. It's just the bottom line.

Seems like you don't think that's a good answer, but its the truth of the matter and not based on whatever opinion you or I hold regarding profanity.
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby TIME on Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:04 pm

#%&*@#+^%$#&*!!!!!
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby lakersyunowin on Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:17 pm

TIME wrote:#%&*@#+^%$#&*!!!!!

i have reported your post to the mods. :man1:
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby John3:16 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:42 pm

Barnstable wrote:I don't see the argument here.


Agree. And everything else you wrote that I didn't feel like quoting.
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby Mr_Hollywood_Line on Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:55 am

Barnstable wrote:
Seems like you don't think that's a good answer, but its the truth of the matter and not based on whatever opinion you or I hold regarding profanity.


As I stated in my initial post, no, I don't think it's a good answer, but I accept that the rule is non-negotiable and I will abide by it nonetheless.

Thanks to the mods for allowing discussion on the topic - a lot of boards wouldn't permit such a thing.
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby Barnstable on Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:19 am

Mr_Hollywood_Line wrote:
Barnstable wrote:
Seems like you don't think that's a good answer, but its the truth of the matter and not based on whatever opinion you or I hold regarding profanity.


As I stated in my initial post, no, I don't think it's a good answer, but I accept that the rule is non-negotiable and I will abide by it nonetheless.

Thanks to the mods for allowing discussion on the topic - a lot of boards wouldn't permit such a thing.

And thank you for abiding by the rule even though you disagree with it.
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Re: Updated Swearing Rule (long)

Postby LTLakerFan on Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:33 pm

Congo Cash wrote:I'm suggesting to replace the current censor... Instead of saying [Swearing is not permitted at Clublakers. You must edit this post prior to submitting.], replace it w/ *bleep* or something, it's too long...


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