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non-business language

by particle (Vicar)
on Mar 22, 2002 at 13:23 UTC ( #153549=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Warning: the content of some links below may contain offensive language.

information security is breathing down my neck because of the *non-business language* in some recent nodes. today with We blame tye. (summary: change your password if you're paranoid, there was a security problem last night), and earlier with this one with a four letter word in the title. (an perl interpreter for Brainf***.)

let's just hope they don't read Professional Employees and Works for Hire or i could be in *REAL* trouble!

seriously, though. the author of the first post used a readmore tag, with a warning beforehand, which shows consideration, and i thank him. unfortunately, i selected the node from Newest Nodes (as is my morning ritual,) thus bypassing any warning i might have seen had i instead browsed Perl Monks Discussion. and with such an innocuous title, how should i have known?

i've smoothed things over with my supervisor, and info security--for now. i showed them that this is first and foremost a forum for perl, and that offensive language is occasional and not the norm. i stated that i have never intentionally or otherwise posted offensive or defamatory language, and continue to use this site for professional development. i showed them how to use super search and view my posts from my homenode or perl monks user search.

i don't expect all users to have the same restrictions (on content, etc.) that i do in participating here. i never expect my thoughts or ideas should count more than others. so i ask: is there something more i can do to minimize my exposure to *non-business language*? i asked info security, and they said to do a better job of filtering out content before reading it.

huh? i left it there, because i wanted to get back to work, but how can i be satisfied with that response? i ask for your comments and suggestions.

~Particle ;

Comment on non-business language
Re: non-business language
by derby (Abbot) on Mar 22, 2002 at 13:50 UTC
    particle,

    While I agree with the overall message you're conveying (which is a nice fit to In defense of civility and In defense of criticism) I must say there is something quite disturbing in having the daily task of checking out who is reading dirty words (...shudder... that's not security that's just plain fascism).

    Maybe you can convince your info security people to do a better job of their filtering. I mean you proved to them the validity of this site in your daily job. Shouldn't they grep out perlmonks from their dirty-words report? (Cripes, you probably can't visit slashdot at all).

    I was tempted to put George Carlin's "seven dirty words" in this post but since I can appreciate your position, here's the man himself (it's just audio, so let's see that show up) and his expanded list (this one actually contains words but they're of the "medical" variety with the good stuff behind the links).

    -derby

    update: Maybe PM needs a module like so (dirty words masked for particle's situation).

    another update: Changed package name from Carlin2Flanders to just Flanders - sounds better IMHO.

    package Acme::Flanders; use 5.006; use strict; use warnings; require Exporter; our @ISA = qw(Exporter); our @EXPORT = qw( repent ); our $VERSION = '0.01'; our %NED_FILTER = ( 's**t' => 'son of a gun', 'p**s' => 'diddly on', 'f**k' => 'son of a gun', 'c**t' => 'diddly on', 'c********r' => 'son of a gun', 'm****rf****r' => 'diddly on', 't**s' => 'son of a gun', ); sub repent { my( $dirt ) = shift; my( $key ); foreach $key ( keys %NED_FILTER ) { $dirt =~ s/\b$key\b/$Acme::Flanders::NED_FILTER{$key}/ig; } $dirt; } 1; __END__ =head1 NAME Acme::Flanders - For I<really> bad potty mouths. =head1 SYNOPSIS use Acme::Flanders; print repent("Holy S**t! Batman"); =head1 DESCRIPTION Be a good child like your parents told you and stop using potty words. This module will filter a string and replace the seven dirty words as documented by George Carlin with acceptable cursing as espoused by Ned Flanders. =head1 AUTHOR derby =head1 COPYRIGHT This module is free software. It may be used, redistributed and/or modified under the terms of the Perl Artistic License (see http://www.perl.com/perl/misc/Artistic.html)
      I remember a few years ago, when the CDA (Communications Decency Act) was the big hot button, someone decided to use the names of the politicians involved with it as substitutions for the indecent words.

      A quick search on Google turned up this description of it. The (suggestive <-- this is your warning) translated text is at the bottom.

      Perhaps we need a user configureable PM output filter where particle could translate the offensive words into the names of the IS dept people {evil grin}

      /\/\averick
      perl -l -e "eval pack('h*','072796e6470272f2c5f2c5166756279636b672');"

Re: non-business language
by stefan k (Curate) on Mar 22, 2002 at 13:59 UTC
    Hi,
    good point you make. A friend of mine was once working in a company where such a content filtering system wouldn't let freshmeat.net through ...
    Still, I don't believe that there is any good solution around. You can never filter things correctly when you're filtering much, as many of us will know that have worked with their own, home-rolled mail filtering mechanism (yes, I have switched back to hand filter all the spam that comes in *sigh*). On the other hand you won't be able to introduce some kind of rating mechanism in a community like PM. Such a community is always the sum of the individuals (probably weighted by their activity) and this particular one is very professional - at least in my eyes.

    If your info security would only block offending documents and not the whole site it should be enough for you, er? In the worst case you cannot follow a thread (which I experience in groups.google.com because of firewall restricitions -BTW) but if you really want to get the info there it should be possible to get access from another computer (home?)

    Finally the nodes you mention are in the discussion forum and thus not absolutely neccessary for your use for professional development; you could be happy without them. OK, this is still a problem if the whole site is blocked. Could that happen to you?

    Regards... Stefan
    you begin bashing the string with a +42 regexp of confusion

Re: non-business language
by fmogavero (Monk) on Mar 22, 2002 at 14:40 UTC
    Brother Particle,

    I feel your pain!

    If your employer is monitoring your communications, which every employer has a right to do, then the only thing that you can do is stop going to Perl Monks and every other working aid that could possibly contain offensive language.

    If your employer has an intranet, you may want to point out to them that there may be references to medical, religious and or political items which could be offensive to some people. For example, the calendars that you buy in stores show religious holidays. Soon Passover will begin. Good Friday is going to happen and then Easter Sunday. Mardi Gras is even based on religious pretense. So therefore any mention of Mardi Gras on your corporate intranet should be filtered out.

    Please don't get me wrong, I am not opposed to religion, but I am opposed to dictatorial management. If your compnay is not willing to let a couple of human mistakes occur, then they are doomed to failure. If they don't trust you to be discreet (aacording to their rules) then maybe you should consider all of the alternatives available, including finding a company that does trust you.

    Perl Monks is free. It is an essential working aid for anyone who uses Perl. It tends along the Democratic lines rather than the Conservative lines. (Thank God!(Oh no a religious reference!)) If your employer wants you to use it then they need to either permit the current filtering you have, or tell info security that this is an OK site and to back off.

    There is no easy solution to a problem such as this. My intention is to contribute and help. Hopefully I have done that.

    Fmogavero

      If your employer is monitoring your communications, which every employer has a right to do, ...

      Not necessarily! In Germany for instance _if_ the company allows private email the company is not allowed to look at the content, even if it may contain viruses in attachments. In this case the personal rights are stronger than the companies rights. And allowing email is not done by explicitly stating that, it is enough if the company just don't checks whether you receive private email or not...

      (all this is valid in case I didn't get something wrong...)

      Regards... Stefan
      you begin bashing the string with a +42 regexp of confusion

        I do not know German law. But I did learn something today.

        Thank You stefan_k!

        Please note that I used italics on the word right in that first phrase.

        IMHO, business is about making money, not monitoring what people read while at work unless it doesn't contribute to the overall picture. If using Perl Monks makes an employee more productive, then use it.

        IMHO, Language is just a method of communicating thoughts and bad words are for emphasis.

Re: non-business language
by tjh (Curate) on Mar 22, 2002 at 15:44 UTC
    These are such strange concepts. Even stranger are the risk assessments that delivered such policies. I can't even realistically say that I disagree with them totally, but the extreme lack of trust, the extreme hypocrisy; these dichotomies just get to me sometimes. If IS ever thought they should expand their purview to cover spoken language, phone call contents, etc., just imagine. Plus, someday, someone will have to publish the "Acceptable Business Language Dictionary"

    "...and they said to do a better job of filtering out content before reading it." --- Interesting sequence if you're not supposed to read it. :)

    - - - - -

    The IS guys left the room, closed the door, took off down the hall. "G**d**n. I lost $27 F**k*n bucks on the **mn game last night."

    ... and particle was left accelerating in his office.

Re: non-business language
by mojotoad (Monsignor) on Mar 22, 2002 at 20:50 UTC
    How about an SSL mirror of PM?

    At any rate, some have suggested, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, that the only thing you can do is stop browsing for information in a professional capacity.

    There are, of course, other options -- not the least of which is to work for someone else with more lucid and sane information policies.

    Matt

Re: non-business language
by buckaduck (Chaplain) on Mar 25, 2002 at 17:04 UTC
    How about a simpler solution? Can't people just tone down the language a little bit? I'm against corporate censorship and government censorship, but I'm all for self censorship. Profanity isn't inherently wrong, but it is very unprofessional and it occasionally detracts from my ability to keep this site open in my browser at work. That's the reality of working in a corporate environment.

    I'm starting to feel a little like Ned Flanders myself. But gosh darn it to heck, these potty mouths need a swat on the caboose! Diddly doodly.

    buckaduck

Re: non-business language
by Silicon Cactus (Scribe) on Mar 27, 2002 at 16:33 UTC

    Well, I am sure that your IS boys (and girls)would like this even less, but depending on how the filtering is done, an external proxy might keep them off your back.

    As an aside however, I think that your corp is a bit too 'touchy' when it comes to things like this, especially if they feel that a site like this is inappropriate- in fact, I might say that their behavior about it is a bit inappropriate.

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