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back to article Bah, humbug! Virgin Media censors Charles D**kens

Some Virgin Media telly customers attempting to tune in to various programmes over the weekend were greeted with ludicrous censoring of well-known names, such as Charles D**kens and Jarvis C**ker. The cockup was reported by The Media Blog, which posted various screenshots sent in by bemused viewers using Virgin Media TV's on- …

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Just as well Any Questions wasn't in Scunthorpe last week.

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Any Questions?

Is that anything like Question Time?

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Anonymous Coward

You mean the EPG doesn't cover radio ?

*****ing **ers

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Yes, almost exactly like Question Time but without the pretty pictures.

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For Radio 4 listeners

Gardener's Question time always is.

I never understood this sort of censorship anyway: anyone can guess what the missing letters are. Blank the whole thing or don't bother at all.

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Anonymous Coward

probably not

It started as and still exists as, I think, a radio programme (that funny thing where the pictures are in your head), called, "Any Questions". Damned good too, much less photogenic preening and self-importance. It had or has (I live abroad now and am out of touch) a follow up when listeners could write in, something like, "Amy Answers".

Ah children, think you invented it all.

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@Piro

As Tim Minchin point outs: "f*ck" has become the de facto spelling now anyway.

What's worse is that in this case it draws attention to "offensive" words in places I'd never even spotted them before - "The golden age of CA**ls" - very humorous!

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Paris Hilton

A re****al argument

Yeah, these spam filters are a pain in the ****[1], as a magna ***[2] laude software spe******st[3] graduate whoever designed these filters should be ******inated[4] and their body thrown in a c****[5] I want to watch the cookery program about pan fried ****ake[6] mushrooms in ****burn's[7] Port.

Added to which I can’t find out how to repair the ****el[8] engine in my bike.

[1] arse

[1] Cum

[3] cialis

[4] ass x2

[5] anal

[6] shit

[7] Cock

[8] Wank

Paris, see 8 & 7 above

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Devil

I believe that's shiitake, sir

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiitake

Not that it implies anyone should take any of it.

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The worst thing for me

is that it capitalises the first word of the censored word..does no-one do QA these days?

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Anonymous Coward

@Shakje

I think you mean "first letter". Does no-one do QA these days?

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Anonymous Coward

Please tell me you meant first letter and forgot to QA your post.

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Happy

Please tell me you mean QC not QA...

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well it is christmas and I like the odd glass of port.

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Joke

Shakje - putting the 'K' in kwality

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Go

Good old over zealous censors

I recall the PS3 chat would censor odd words like 'punching' and 'engine' because parts of them were naughty words in another language.

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Anonymous Coward

Reminds me of a few years back when our company firewall would prevent us from consulting the timetables etc on the Virgin Atlantic website as it was classified as "sex"

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It gets better

Tech advice forum Experts Exchange (experts-exchange.com) is frequently sent to Coventry by older and more monolithic corporate firewalls, having been blocked years ago before the owners added the hyphen to their URL and never removed.

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Coat

not unreasonable. people are usually fucked if they travel on beardie's planes or trains.

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Mushroom

That place is deliberately blackholed by my machines for being utterly useless and cluttering up my Google searches. "Pay for a result that probably won't be useful anyway". Nope. I'm not going to pay for support from a company I've no service agreement with.

It does look like PigeonRank agrees with me, as it didn't turn up last time I searched on a non-sanitised machine.

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wut?

pay for a result? Just add the HTML to google and look at the cache - most of the time it opens from google anyway.

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Experts exchange...

Just scroll to the bottom of the page

All the 'answers' are sitting there waiting to be read.

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experts-exchange

Nothing wrong with experts-exchange being blocked by a smut-filter. You'd have to block it yourself otherwise.

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Anonymous Coward

I wondered why....

the country "Belgi*m" was blanked on the news.

(Gratutious HHGTG reference)

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pendant

You mean HHGTTG

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zb

You mean H2G2

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testing? that's what customers do, surely?

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ROTFLM*O

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The telly guide?

I could sort of understand someone wanting to put, say, live subtitles through an automated censorship device, but if you trust the output of (notoriously unreliable) censorship software over the judgement of your own staff then I think it is time to find a new line of business.

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Facepalm

The TV guides are provided by each channel

As a broadcaster or publisher you get the data direct from the channels in question.

You can then ask for clips of specific programmes to do the mag writeups.

That said, you're absolutely right that TV guide info should never go through a censorship application. If there's objectionable material in there then that's the lookout of the channel - it's ITV that gets bollocked when the X-Factor offends, not Virgin/Sky/Freeview/Freesat.

Once Virgin re-write any of the TV guide data then they're opening themselves up to a bollocking from OFCOM, as it then becomes easy for the channel to claim they didn't put the objectionable content there, must have been Virgin - especially if nobody on other broadcasters objects!

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Ru
Facepalm

A clbuttic mistake

Has automatic censoring ever worked well for anyone, ever? Genuinely curious here.

Seems like the whole thing is so fragile it would make more sense to have a real human doing the job instead.

(insert rant about the pointlessness of aste***king out letters in the hope they make things less rude despite the word meaning being patently obvious)

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I had to tone down an automatic email filter

After various emails were lost which referred to Temperature Indicating Transmitters and their acronym.

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Facepalm

Brings back happy memories of the /Earth & Beyond/ MMORPG. That censor didn't even pay attention to white space so "Gosh it's here!" would appear as ""Go%! *&'s here!"" leading to hours of fun from everyone trying to work out what the word was. They even added words from other languages which taught people how to swear in Swedish, French and German amongst other languages.

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WTF?

This is from the company with how many Effing pr0n channels

funny though

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Re: how many porn channels

Ah, so *that's* why they felt the need to deploy censorship software on their EPG.

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FAIL

A clbuttic error,

indeed...

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Anonymous Coward

Ah, they have made the clbuttic mistake.

The thing that makes me suspicious, though, is this: the EPG is hardly random untrusted data, it's not like they get it from user-generated content. So if they don't want any swearing in it, why use a filter when they create all the content in the first place? Just tell their employees who write it not to use any swears. Your publicity stunt theory is at least credible.

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Vulture C*ntral?

Vulture C*ntral?

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Panto Season...

Widow Tw**key may not fare too well.

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@Panto Season

Oh yes she will...!

(Mine's the ones with the Buttons!)

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Facepalm

I like the way that the Censored version of Arsenal is worse than the uncensored bit.

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Thats the trouble with Arsenal

They always try and walk it in...

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Clbuttic censorship error

The breastle says it all.

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WTF?

Hello, and welcome to Songs of Praise

which this week, is from the town of Fucking, in Austria.

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Happy

Not...

Twatt in the Orkneys?

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Obligatory Scunthorpe reference

Or Scunthorpe, or Effin, or Penistone etc. etc.

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Following in the BBC's footsteps

Many years ago, the BBC website had an 'email this story' option where the sender could add a message. That too would censor Arsenal, Penistone, Scunthorpe, Cockermouth and even Saturday (shitty reason for that one).

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WTF?

Looks like another...

...clbuttic mistake to me.

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@Shades

Yes Any Questions is Radio 4 version of Question Time, slightly less Tabloid

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Thanks

See left and above.

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