FanDuel - WFBC

November 05, 2009

Should SportsFilter Think of the Children?: Kerrycindy, a new SportsFilter user with an 11-year-old son who reads the site, is upset that profanity appears here. Although we discourage some profanity and delete most profanity that's personally abusive from one member to another, we've never had a rule here to keep it as clean as a PG-13 movie. Our archives will show lots of examples of George Carlin's seven dirty words. Should we reconsider this policy and clean our act up?

posted by rcade to editorial policy at 11:38 AM - 37 comments

No.

posted by rocketman at 11:53 AM on November 05

There are no bad words, only bad intentions.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:04 PM on November 05

No. I can't imagine many 11 year olds read this site. Not our core demographic.

posted by tron7 at 12:11 PM on November 05

Please read my last post on the Thursday huddle. Gosh darn heck fire! Did not mean to cause such a fuss. Just want to enlighten some. By-the-way, My son, who is 11, did I point that out?, has Asperger's Syndrome, an Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is always trying to model neuro-typical behavior so that he will fit in better with so-called normal people. This led him to say yes F@#$ing sir to his middle school band director a couple of days ago. That resulted in me being called in to talk to the Vice-Principal. Not saying that reading the huddle made him do it, but it most likely did not help.

I realize it may be asking a bit much to ask people to think before they talk, but....

He led by example.

posted by kerrycindy at 12:13 PM on November 05

I'll second rocketman. While there is undoubtedly "some profanity", on the whole, SpoFites are a relatively clean bunch who self-police already.

I think of it this way: I attend sporting events (football stadiums, hockey arenas, basketball courts, etc.) on a very regular basis. People talk. Children are present. If someone starts blarin' out filth-flarin'-filth, somebody says, "Hey, not in front of the kids." If somebody slips the odd cuss word into a normal conversation ... c'est la vie. He's (the 11 year-old) gonna hear/read it somewhere. Rather than try to eliminate it entirely, I say we set the example and continue to engage with those who exceed our established norms.

posted by Spitztengle at 12:16 PM on November 05

No. I like moderating that keeps the discussions civil and mostly intelligent, but not censored for any and all use of a curse word.

Kerrycindy, there are kids specific sports sites like SI Kids where young people write blog stories and such. If you think that any exposure to curse words would be harmful to your son, you could encourage him to use a site like that.

posted by bperk at 12:29 PM on November 05

You also might want to look at ProCon, a filter for Mozilla Firefox that can apparently filter out bad language and leave the rest intact.

I'm not questioning your decision to be mindful of profanity. I do appreciate the fact that your kid's reading the site. I am just not sure that the site wants a hard rule to be PG-13.

posted by rcade at 12:34 PM on November 05

My son is 11 years old. He watches movies with profanity in them, he hears it from his friends, and sometimes (when I'm fixing plumbing) he hears it from me. He has been taught that just because he hears something doesn't mean it's o.k. to repeat it in school, mixed company, or society in general. There's a time and a place for profanity like when the fucking Yankees win the World Series and a time to refrain from it. Teach your child that, and he'll be fine. If his Asperger's makes that difficult, then so be it, perhaps you should refrain from allowing him to peruse sports forums. But to condescendingly tell longtime members here that your son is more educated than them because they swear in a sports forum is ridiculous. And to browbeat them because of your apparent lack of parental control is, quite frankly, bullshit. I won't swear on the Nickelodeon website, and I bet tommytrump is willing to make the same deal.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:36 PM on November 05

We should all just relax and watch a movie.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:40 PM on November 05

You can throw me in the "of course not, don't be silly" group, but I'm kind of an asshole and don't much care for children.

posted by Ufez Jones at 12:53 PM on November 05

I won't swear on the Nickelodeon website, and I bet tommytrump is willing to make the same deal.

My ignorant and poorly educated hand to God.

posted by tommytrump at 01:08 PM on November 05

tahoemoj, i could care less how long you have been on here. sorry to have caused you such pain.

posted by kerrycindy at 01:19 PM on November 05

kerrycindy, I think you miss the flavor and tone of what 'moj is getting at; specifically that many of the members have been here for years and have given this site a particular flavor and tone. I can tell you that by far this is hardly the worst offender of language you can find on the internet. I go to other sites that have language that even I have to shield my eyes from time to time. If you can read between the language you will find that there is a tremendous amount of great, intelligent people here who are quite entertaining writers. As this site was never intended to be kid or family friendly we have come here for the quality of discussion and the distinct personalities that each member of the group brings. As rcade has pointed out, there are tools that you can use to block and filter the language you find offensive. But it seems just a bit off-putting to come into a room where everybody has been having a long conversation and tell them that you don't like their language.

posted by THX-1138 at 02:37 PM on November 05

tahoemoj, i could care less how long you have been on here.

It's not at all helping your point that you're combative about it. You've insulted several people's intelligence without any grounds to do so, despite mod intervention you continue to push your point and you show no care for the community in the least. The fact you haven't been banned is a testament to the patience of the admins.

There are 159 million mentions of the word Fuck on Google. Perhaps your son should not be on the internet if he's so impressionable.

Signed,

4.0 Fucking GPA.

posted by dfleming at 02:42 PM on November 05

I have to agree with my fellow SpoFites on this subject KC. There is a way that things have been ran on this site before I even became a member and I had to adjust to the way things were. This site is a lot more casual then other sites out there but with a lot more intelligent and well informed individuals who actually still have discussions whether they agree with one another or not about whatever subject is being discussed.

If you feel that the language is not suitable for your child, there are many proactive ways to block out the language as already have been pointed out to you and/or other sites that you are free to visit that do not allow that sort of vulgarity. There's not need to become hostile towards other members when all they're doing is trying to be helpful to your cause.

I do not believe that we should have to watch our language since this site was made for adults who are passionate about sports and that's the majority of the members here. If children check this site out and read the posts, be a parent to your child and educate them on what you feel is appropriate language in your household.

posted by BornIcon at 02:51 PM on November 05

I'm confused...is it still OK to say "fuck Gary Bettman"?

All kidding aside, I concur with my fellow members. As a fellow parent, the onus falls on me to show my kids right from wrong, good from bad, intelligent from asinine, etc and so forth, based on my own experiences and beliefs. We cannot expect an online community of 17000+ from all over the world to conform to any one set of ideals. Now, as noted in earlier posts, it is possible to filter out language you deem offensive with a simple Firefox addon, and the course seems more logical then expecting all of us to censor ourselves for your (or anyone else's) child's sake.

posted by MeatSaber at 03:18 PM on November 05

Since it looks like I started this, just a couple of points:

I've posted over 2,000 times on SpoFi, and have probably used profanity on a dozen occasions. Almost all of these were trying for some kind of comedic effect. Like most things in life, humour is in the eye of the beholder, and subtlety is often lost in print.

I have children, too. In fact, as some people here know already, my 14 year old son also has Asperger's Syndrome. Like kerrycindy's boy, he used to have problems with the appropriate use of language, especially at school. However, through reading, observing and learning, he now knows the right context for words like 'fuck'. For him, this is mainly to exagerrate the punchline of a joke.

My philosophy (with both my kids) is that they are going to be exposed to all sorts of profanity anyway, so I don't hide anything from them and we discuss the 'right' way to use the range of words in the English language. My son's language therapist agrees with me.

In fact, my children have ended up very clever at English (their mother being a novelist also helps) and they love movies like The Big Lebowski, which we have watched together a number of times. Thanks for the link tahoemoj - the first thing I thought of when this issue came up was the scene where the Old Timer asks The Dude why he has to use so many "cuss words".

posted by owlhouse at 03:32 PM on November 05

I'm confused...is it still OK to say "fuck Gary Bettman"?

Certainly. It is not, however, OK to do it. For anyone.

posted by THX-1138 at 03:37 PM on November 05

You say "I will council my son to realize that not all are as well educated as he is" and "He led by example" followed by "i could care less how long you have been on here."

That's the crux: you could care less, but expect us to care greatly about your concerns, and you insult us in the meantime!

I grew up in a fundamental Christian environment, surrounded by Christians of all kinds. There were good, humble people trying to live their own lives well, and there were the people obsessed over the minor sins of others. I'm just guessing, but from what little I've read of your comments here, you fit into the latter group. You need to take a good look inward and see what you're actually teaching your son with your example.

Peace.

posted by dusted at 03:40 PM on November 05

I've been a (semi)regular member and reader of this site since I was 15, and compared to many other forum-style sites I'd been a member of in the years before and after that, SpoFi is remarkably clean. If a kid has internet access, they're going to be exposed to inappropriate language in some way or another, and honestly, seeing it in a well-moderated setting such as this one would probably be good for them. I've always been really impressed by how mature discussions on this site (usually) are, and it's why I continue to be a member here four years later and try to be active.

That's my two cents on it.

posted by boredom_08 at 03:57 PM on November 05

I'm confused...is it still OK to say "fuck Gary Bettman"?

Of course. Whats wrong with calling the man by his full name?

posted by lilnemo at 05:28 PM on November 05

Since it looks like I started this, just a couple of points:

I've posted over 2,000 times on SpoFi, and have probably used profanity on a dozen occasions. Almost all of these were trying for some kind of comedic effect. Like most things in life, humour is in the eye of the beholder, and subtlety is often lost in print.

If owlhouse started this, I pressed down on the accelerator. I've posted over 1400 times, and I'd guess I've used profanity in about a dozen threads. I'd be surprised if it was that many. It was not my intention to offend anyone, but the administrators here run a fairly liberal site, and as has been stated by others, as long as you don't attack other members on a personal level, you're pretty much free to say what you want.

Oh, and ''fuck Gary Bettman."

posted by tommytrump at 05:31 PM on November 05

So-called "profanity" is a community standards kind of thing. Coming into an existing community and telling its members that they don't meet your standards is not likely to yield the desired results (assuming that was to pull everyone into line with your standards and not to simply alienate everyone in sight).

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:21 PM on November 05

That's the crux: you could care less, but expect us to care greatly about your concerns, and you insult us in the meantime!

posted by dusted at 03:40 PM on November 05

QFT.

posted by apoch at 05:10 AM on November 06

chiming in to say I agree with what bperk said: "I like moderating that keeps the discussions civil and mostly intelligent, but not censored".

In fact, rcade, since this has come up as an issue, I would suggest adding a checkbox on the signup page making someone state for the record they are over 13. I know that kerrycindy is the parent with the account, but I think since we aren't PG-13 it is probably a good idea to state that somewhere, so parents can make the decision for themselves without having to comb the archives, etc.

posted by scully at 10:49 AM on November 06

I can only hope kerrycindy's eleven-year old will someday say my name out loud at the dinner table.

Say my name, kid; say my name.

posted by Hugh Janus at 11:28 AM on November 06

Yesterday, the 6 year old son of my friend called his younger brother a "pussy" for liking a Disney character. He used it correctly in context and when asked where he heard it? Kindergarten... at a private school.

So yeah, the 11 year old? He's heard this all before. Probably said it too. Kerrycindy is in denial and needs a better internet filter apparently.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:48 AM on November 06

Okay, I have read the posts since yesterday. I did come across as a jerk. Yes my son has heard the *word* before. As for being an account holder, you do not have to have an account to read what is on here, only to post. Yes I came across too strongly. owlhouse understands the feelings of a parent of an aspie kid. I will now reveal I also have Asperger's Syndrome and am not too good at the social interaction thing. I apologize to owlhouse and the others in the community. rcade, thanks for the patience. As for dusted, maybe I deserved all of it, but I am usually a very tolerent person and do not dwell on the sins of others. I do however fail to understand how the use of vulgarities in public or a public forum enhances anything, but maybe that is my Asperger's showing. We found out about my son's Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was 7. I was just diagnosed last year and am hoping that by knowing about my son at an early age we will be able to help him avoid the hurdles I have encountered in my 52 years.

A final apology, on this subject at least, to rcade, owlhouse, and tommytrump. One request, if you do not know what Asperger's Syndrome is please google it and learn about it. Autism affects, according to the lastest data, 1 in 93. Asperger's affects 1 in 250. Severe Autism is what we are most familiar with. Asperger's is at the other end of the spectrum along with High Functioning Autism and PDD/NOS. www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/ is a great site to explain things.

posted by kerrycindy at 12:30 PM on November 06

Apology accepted, kerrycindy. People have said worse things about me in this place*!

Internet threads aren't really good places to pick up on subleties of communication, so it must be hard for you. My own son enjoys his interactions on the net, although he prefers non-sports forums. He was diagnosed at 6, but with patience and help at 14 he is improving in dealing with reading, processing and responding to emotions, in all parts of his life. He has even developed a wicked sense of humour.

Good luck with raising your boy.

*Something about me and Fidel Castro springs to mind.

posted by owlhouse at 05:05 PM on November 06

Whoa. I don't understand the pile-on on kerrycindy. She is coming from a good place here. It's just that it's a bad idea. That's all.

And context is everything.

And finanlly - this place is one of the most polite places on the whole internet. Seriously. It's a great example of a successful online community.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:47 PM on November 06

Gosh weedy, thanks for the understanding. I must clear up one fact though. I am Kerry and Cindy is my wife. I post and she usually laughs at my posts and brow beats me when I make stupid social faux paus. I post most everywhere as kerrycindy as we are inseperable. I am now going to fade into the woodwork on Sports Filter for a while and study you people for cues on proper social interaction.

And owlhouse, my boy would like to wish you and your son goodtimes ahead, and I second those sentiments.

posted by kerrycindy at 10:15 PM on November 06

Whoa. I don't understand the pile-on on kerrycindy.

There's nothing like a consensus opinion to change someone's mind.

posted by dfleming at 10:55 AM on November 07

And finanlly - this place is one of the most polite places on the whole internet.

He's right. And snootiest.

With that, you can go defecate in a chapeau, good sir.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:58 PM on November 07

I beg to differ jg. The snootiest website is this.

And now I'm off to the fox hunt. Please have someone get the Bentley ready when we are finished.

posted by THX-1138 at 09:05 PM on November 08

Of course we should think of the children, and perhaps take it in turns to go round and wipe kerrycindy's house and wipe their arses for them too. Catch a grip of yourself, KC. This is a website. What your son sees here is your responsibility, no one else's. If you're so worried about what he reads here, then it's on you to vet the content and allow him access to what you deem appropriate.

Furthermore, for what it's worth, swearing is not a reliable indicator of a lack of intelligence or a limited vocabulary - often, quite the opposite. As ever, Stephen Fry makes that point far better than I ever could. [warning: clip may not be suitable for son of KC]

posted by JJ at 07:21 AM on November 10

the last time I watched a PG-13 there was more swearing than on this site.

posted by Monica Poland at 02:37 PM on November 11

Always a bad idea to barge into an existing community and expect it to change because you've got a problem with it. Suck it up, get a decent interweb filter, and deal with it. Nearly every internets browser in the world has a parental control utility. Use it, police what your child does and views, and stop bitching about what happens here at the adult table.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 10:12 AM on November 21

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