Profanity Filtering and How it Can Help Improve Trust and Safety

Profanity Filter - Trust and Safety - Infoesearch

The Internet witnesses approximately 4.6 billion content pieces generated every day. With vast volumes of content, it’s more than likely that a significant portion of it could be termed “inappropriate” i.e., profanity, nudity, abuse, NSFW, hate speech, and whatnot.

As content piles up on UGC platforms, a stringent profanity screening mechanism has become the need of the hour for enhanced user experience and reliability online.

It’s obvious why profanity filtering has become popular in the content moderation realm; we predict a growing need for profanity filters for better trust and safety on UGC platforms in the years to come.

Comprehending profanity filtering can be challenging for beginners in the moderation landscape. We put together this guide to profanity filtering with the reasons justifying its need in the content-driven world.

What exactly is profanity filtering?

Essentially, a profanity filter is a moderation software built for user-generated content platforms, online communities, and social media.

It targets profanity in content and helps moderators take them down effortlessly. So, these programs are nothing but a curse word filter and are essential in fostering purity over UGC platforms.

Moderators train profanity filter software with words about hatred, harassment, abuse, and other types of toxicity. The swear words filter then scans various forms and types of content to identify those comprising such phrases that need to be censored to keep the communities healthy and safe. Also known as the offensive language filter, profanity screening systems have different types.

What are the different types of profanity filter systems?

Since the emergence of profane word filters, they have found extensive utilization to ensure online safety. However, as the content ocean deepens, the internet registers different types of profanity on public platforms.

The need arises for multiple programs, with each profanity filter system targeting a specific concern.

Here is the classification of the Internet content filtration systems based on their primary function.

Trust and Safety - Infoesearch

How do profanity filters work and what are the best ones to use?

1. Black list filters

Manually checking each content submission for profane language can be a Herculean task for UGC platforms. However, by using profanity filters and feeding them with a blocklist consisting of all words and special characters, UGC platforms can censor content on their platforms. Once a user submits content, these swear word filters for websites get into action, scan for censorable profanity, and bar it from getting published with a predefined prompt message.

2. Free form white list filters

Sometimes, many online communities require the opposite regulation of black-list filtering. The profanity filter has a division where it censors posts not having words in the predefined “allow” lists.

3. Restricted entry white list filters

Although this content filtration system shares some similarities with free-form white-list filters, subtle differences separate them. Restricted entry allow list filters are the improvised version of free form systems. It provides users with a predictive list of allowed and acceptable words while they curate their messages. Such a mechanism reduces post-rejection rates and creates a better user experience with filtered websites.

4. Owner-only filters

Some content filter systems allow users to post a content piece but make it visible only to the owners. Such a mechanism enables the stakeholders to review the profanity and block it while giving users an abstraction of published posts.

How do you choose the right content filtering solution for your UGC platform?

The moderation landscape has an overwhelming collection of content filtering solutions, each claiming to be the best pick for your requirements.

However, understanding what your requirements are and the challenges you face on a day-to-day basis can help your UGC platform induct a profanity filtering system that solves your problems and enhances your users’ experience.

Below are a few suggestions on selecting the best profanity filtering solution that you should keep in the foreground.

1. Understand your requirement

The search for the right content filtering system begins by understanding your requirements. For instance, you can go with owner-only profanity screening systems when scanning the comments. However, a black-listing strategy would be a better pick if you wish to leverage it in UGC. Based on your decision, you can pick the best tool for clean content-free unlimited scanning.

2. Monitoring or filtering: what do you need?

The next important checkpoint is regarding your business needs. Can profanity monitoring do the job? Or, do you need a tailor-made filtering solution? It would be wise to get your frontline teams and get their thoughts and what’s needed to get the job done.

3. Understand the underlying mechanism

The right way to select a swear word removal tool is to understand its underlying mechanism and check if it resonates with your exact requirements. So, going for its documentation and getting well-acquainted with its filtering strategy is the key to the perfect selection. Consequently, your users can access clean content online via your platform.

A robust profanity filtering system is a must for user-generated content platforms. It keeps the bad content out, and good content in, and maintains a safe and healthy environment for all users.


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