When ideas fail, words come in very handy.
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A few days ago, my husband tried three times to post a comment to my blog. Each time, his comment was rejected because it looked like spam. The poor man was completely perplexed. What had he done to appear as if he were spamming my site? He had no idea, but like the little train that could, he just kept typing away and eventually wrote a comment that was not rejected by my spam filter.
The first three times, he had apparently used a dirty word. But not any old dirty word, a BHW dirty word.
My spam filter, MT-Blacklist, works by screening comments for text strings, URLs, and regexes [fancy geek-speak, I think, for a method of matching sequences of characters or words] that are on a blacklist. I can set each blacklist entry to either block the comment or force it into a queue where I have to approve or reject it. MT-Blacklist also forces moderation for comments posted to old entries and for suspicious-looking comments, such as those containing a bunch of URLs.
Make no mistake, MT-Blacklist is a censorship tool. In addition to banning URLs, I have had to ban specific words from the comments to keep my site from being overtaken by spammers. I hate banning any words at all. But if I don't use MT-Blacklist, I might as well shut the whole site down because it would become nothing more than a huge gambling-prescription-drug-mortgage-refinancing-dick-stiffening advertisement.
Oddly and pleasantly enough, however, George Carlin's seven dirty words are still legal. So go ahead and comment to your heart's content about shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. Say 'em loud and say 'em proud, motherfuckers.
But don't you dare write about casino, credit, equity, online, poker, or Texas. Those are the new dirty words, the vilest of the vile. Put just one of them in a comment on my blog, and feel the wrath of the BHW anti-spamhole rejection message, beeotch.