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Overprotective, Non-Inclusive Profanity Filter
The newly implement profanity filter currently blocks several COMMON words in lots of non-english languages.
These include, but are not limited to:
- "com" ("with" in portuguese) and every sentence started with any word containing these three letters.
- "como" (comparative "like" in portuguese).
- "fica" (verb "stay" in portuguese)
*Device, OS:* This bug that affects both Niantic games that allow nominations to be submitted (PoGo and Ingress) as well as the Wayfarer nomination edit form.
I'm assuming both games and edit form are using the same service (makes sense), so I'm condensing here the report.
Besides being non-inclusive, this is also a terrible user experience as:
- When nominating a candidate in the games, an error is shown BUT no hint is given to the user to highlight which words are deemed as being so called profanities. This penalises mostly users who like to submit a rich complete nomination, which are left guessing to whatever might be wrong.
- While editing the nomination in Wayfarer, no error is shown if the edit contains deemed unacceptable words.
Steps to reproduce:
- Edit a nomination in queue status to contain a title/description/statement that contains any of the aforementioned words. Save the form. Notice it doesn't error out or actually save or persist the data. You can double check that the edit is not persisted by refreshing the page. OR
- In the games mentioned, try to submit a nomination (or edit a POI) containing these totally fine words.
Please revisit this filter contents and UX to make it more informative, less overprotective and broad-matching and/or provide an avenue for the community to collaborate on the tweaks.
First, we have some towns in Italy that are 'banned' just because they're ended with '-ano'. Later, we have a province in Spain that is also banned because of Spanish translation of 'black'. Now, this.
Yes, Niantic should fix their filter already.
Thanks for providing your feedback, I spoke with our Trust and Safety team, who are responsible for managing this list and its implementation. They're aware of the challenges and are working on an update to account for some of these words with multiple meanings.
I'm helping a friend creating a nomination, I really don't understand what could be profane in this text, translated after the original text:
Tunkafeen i Dale
Åpnet i 2014. Kommunen kjøpte huset for å rive det på slutten av 70-tallet, men i 2013 ble det innvilget penger slik at frivillige kunne pusse det opp på dugnad og lage kaféen. Den driftes i dag på dugnad og har et tilbud til alle aldersgrupper.
Viser til punkter om lokale samlingssteder i nye guidelines Nov2020. Laget og driftet på dugnad. Lokalhistorisk verdi. https://www.firda.no/nyhende/star-samla-om-a-verne-huset-som-skulle-rivast/s/1-51-7516897
Tunkafeen in Dale
Opened in 2014. The municipality bought the house to demolish it in the late 70's, but in 2013 money was granted so that volunteers could renovate it on a voluntary basis and make the café. It is operated today on a voluntary basis and has an offer for all age groups.
Refers to points about local gathering places in new guidelines Nov2020. Made and operated on a voluntary basis. Local historical value. https://www.firda.no/nyhende/star-samla-om-a-verne-huset-som-skulle-rivast/s/1-51-7516897
According to my friend, for some weird reason it appears to be the Norwegian word for "the municipality" that was the banned word, "kommunen"
Cant even post two words w/o filter restrictions )
I’m having the same problem here submitting in French, I’m not sure what word is triggering the “banned word error” but the following simple description supposedly contains banned words. I really hope this gets fixed quickly as it has made nominations nearly impossible.
“Le Sentier Rapides des Hêtres est situé dans un lieu exceptionnel au cœur de la ville de Shawinigan.”
A team that is aware of the challenges of the product but isn't aware of their own challenges. Yup, sounds like Murica to me.
How about you simply disable the filter? Because that would mean that offensive nominations would be reported and you'd actually have to do your job for once? I can only imagine how dreadful of an outlook that must be, actually having to do the job your company pays you to do.
Another example of a banned word used in the portuguese language:
Found this one when trying to edit the tittle of a wayspot.
Hey everyone, I'm having a similar issue.
Every nomination with the name of my hometown in it "Senigallia" doesn't get accepted because of the presence of banned words.
I don't know if its because "seni" means "br*asts" in italian or because the second and third sillable form the word "n*ga" but either way it's making it very difficult to create accurate POIs descriptions.
Edit: actually now that I read this more carefully I'm sure it has to be because of the presence of the word "n*ga" even though the two sillables are inside a completely different and innocent word.
In the latest development of this absurd word filter, we (the Portuguese community) have found that you can no longer use the following words:
And plenty more. This is nonsense.
Can't you simply go after who's abusing the system? If someone uses a bad word in a submission/edit, changes should be reverted and acted upon.
Applying a flawed word filter as you did is absurd.
Adding to the vast list, here's another, from my latest struggle:
- "Passeio" = English for "walkway", sometimes used as the name of a specific street or a boardwalk, for example.
Edited to "Avenida" (meaning Avenue), but it's literally the wrong name of the site.
Seixo, in English "pebble/small rock" is also banned.
Preto, in English "black" (yes, the colour) is also banned.
Casey, it's been more than 4 months. The problem is not only unsolved, it's gotten worse.
@NianticAaron @NianticCasey-ING @NianticGiffard sup charrabicos, look into this, it's getting more and more annoying to do YOUR JOB for FREE 🤡
We don’t hear a lot from the Niantic crew, anymore. I wonder if maybe the lawyers have saddled Niantic’s programmers, developers and communications people with the word filter, too.
That would make it impossible for anybody to do their job….
The programmers who did this arent anymore. The people that came after them, i do not know if they know what they have to do. Is someone at Niantic telling them? I cant tell.
This is what you get when you are trying to create a worldwide database of nominations and you have children partaking in the expansion of this database. Everything is censored, almost everything has to be kid-friendly and absolutely everything is subject to a lawsuit.
Like the whole tirade with the statues of confederate figures being removed from the database just because they're offensive. Anything can be offensive to anyone. In the pursuit of trust and safety, you actually become supremely un-inclusive.
I wish there was another organisation that truly valued their Wayfinders.
In fact, there are Things Outside that are Offensive to me.
Has the behavior/implementation of these profanity filters been set in stone?
Would it not be preferable to implement a system that functions similarly to spell-check, with a crinkly underline under the (potentially offensive) fragment, syllable, or word, and perhaps an ‘are you sure?’ confirmation acknowledgment that the user understands Niantic’s (hopefully clearly expressed) policy against offensive hate-speech?
The ham-fisted censorship we have seen thus far simply thwarts communication, and doesn’t seem to guide or protect anyone very well.
I can spot the likely issue for your submission instantly. S l u t is a word used to demean females who have had (or are perceived to have had) multiple partners, particularly if those relationships were of short duration (e.g. one night stands)
What would probably be better is if any submission with a word on the ban list went straight to Niantic to review, if the word was incorrectly flagged or used within context then it’s fine and they can just review it as part of their required checks and if it’s not within context and offensive then they can deal with the submitter and make sure it doesn’t go live
A couple of people in the UK have had issues with Nene which is a place name.
I like the suggestion of "are you sure" with words in this filter highlighted but allowing us to confirm that we are not using words in an uncouth or explicit way
I know that is a "bad word" in English, but in Norwegian with a double t, means end/late part of...
This is a perfect example why this is completely broken...
I add the word vierge (virgin), which in French, if it designates a person who had a **** partner, if it is put with a capital letter, designates the mother of Jesus ... so we find ourselves blocked on many church names , religious monument ... knowing that my region has the Sainte Vierge as its patron saint ... almost everything is dedicated to her
we have to cheat by using another term ... but a Virgin and Child is not the immaculate conception ... it means two very different things
in french we have the concern with the word virgin .... which is the designation for the mother of jesus
»Sainte vierge Marie »
»Vierge à l’enfant »
If no definite fix can be done at the moment, at least, in the error message warn people of the words that are causing the issue.
Otherwise, you'll be forcing non-English players to play a preposterous guessing game while nominating.
Another idea for NIA, in the means of quality controlling the filter: Have you tried to run the filter against the current wayspots worldwide and show that in an heatmap?
If the filter hits too false positives against the current Wayspots and none of them are offensive, then maybe it shouldn't be deployed in production...
it is beyond means that niantic just has this installed, and doesnt know tuppence about the different meanings of words in different countries.
I just would use 1 or 2 words that are universal bad language. Like Fck. I guess after the town was renamed to Fugging, there will be no things submitted that have Fck in the text.
A few neighboring towns still have the old spelling as part of their name, e.g. Upper F*cKing, Norfck, etc., if I remember correctly.
I just wanted to add some more English words that are problems: