UK cable television provider mistakenly censors Charles D**kens

UK cable television provider mistakenly censors Charles D**kens

Summary: An "overzealous profanity checker" was to blame for one of the UK's largest cable television company's blocking of certain words, like Charles Dickens and soccer club Arsenal.

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Anyone wanting to watch the Manchester City vs. A**senal match might have been confused as to why one of the soccer clubs' name was censored by a UK television and radio provider.

Meanwhile, those in the Christmas spirit were equally confused as to why Charles D**kens' name was asterisked out on the TV programme guide. Anyone wanting to tune into a Hitchc**k classic were also hit by the problem.

Why? Because of an "overzealous profanity checker".

Virgin Media customers in the UK were confused as to why swear-words within ordinary words, from Dickens to Hancock, were filled with asterisks on the television guide.

The UK broadband and cable television giant explained to the Financial Times' Tim Bradshaw that the profanity checker "took offence at certain programme titles", adding: "The altered titles have been swiftly an*lysed and we're fixing any remaining glitches".

Of course, the asterisks in its statement was wholly intentional.

I imagine people from Sc**thorpe were furious.

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7 comments
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  • RE: UK cable television provider mistakenly censors Charles D**kens

    Thanks Jack ... Needed a chuckle ...
    Ludovit
  • RE: UK cable television provider mistakenly censors Charles D**kens

    Doesn't surprise me; I've seen some sites like Fark and Cracked whose commenting sections' filters just look for a string of text, resulting in some stuff like "h**ogenized" or "Ridd**k" because it looks for a specific grouping of characters, and once it finds the grouping, it does its magic regardless of the context.
    Third of Five
  • The dangers of bad automation

    This looks a lot more like incompetence than it does like excess zeal. Maybe there should have been some spaces in the regular expressions.
    John L. Ries
  • I expect its down to ...

    ... a WAN kernel error in the datacentre.
    jacksonjohn
    • RE: UK cable television provider mistakenly censors Charles D**kens

      @johnfenjackson@... I doubt it's anything that severe; it's probably just an overzealous filter. It happens sometimes when they just look for the combination of letters that would make up a particular "bad word" or ethnic slur, without paying any mind to the context therein. It's probably a simple matter of changing the string(s) they search for in the "if-else if" statement they probably use.
      Third of Five
  • I expect its down to ...

    NT
    jacksonjohn
  • RE: UK cable television provider mistakenly censors Charles D**kens

    I think the main problem is that you Brits just love to be ruled. Hence your national anthem.
    nikacat