The 'filters' assume that the poster is about to start swearing because a primitive AI has noticed this happening many times before.
The mere mention of Virgin Media's chief exec Tom Mockridge is enough to trigger the profanity filter in the UK cableco's customer forum, El Reg has discovered. Typing in the name "Mockridge" prompts the response: "You used a bad word: Mockridge. Please clean up the language and try again." Even referring to the head honcho' …
Back in more primitive times at the 'dawn of websites' I remember the people I worked for at the time being baffled why stuff from Scunthorpe always got rejected. I also remember something that mentioned 'spot welding' getting rejected. This really got us thinking. Eventually, we realised that the previous word ended in 'g' and the filter was being particularly prudish that day.
Seconded - I worked for the neighbouring council to S****horpe at the time Tony B. Liar was giving out wads of cash to schools to get them online. Internet filtering was a big concern as there's nothing teenagers would like more than unfettered access to the kind of pictures they previous had to scour hedges/older siblings bedrooms for. A senior member of staff wondered whether there may even be a way to filter pictures based on their content, but this was the 1990's and things weren't that sophisticated - he wondered if we might have been able to block pictures which featured a large amount of pink, but clearly there'd be a lot of false positives, never mind introducing racial bias...
One of my early jobs was order processing the paper orders that came in to our mail order company.
One day I turned to my colleagues and said "someone's taking the piss, look at this name". The response from the person who had been there before was "what's the matter?".
A bit surprised that it wasn't obvious, I stated, "look they've created an order in the name of Mr [Redacted] Bastard".
Her response - "oh yes, Mr Bastard, he gets lots of orders."
I was flabbergasted that, not only was Mr Bastard real, but he was clearly old enough to have been able to change his name and had *chosen* not to. I can only imagine the number of service calls, that had cut him off on the assumption of him being a nuisance call. Nowadays I bet his family have real trouble using any online service, with the number of automated censors taking issue with that particular surname.
I've always felt that anyone passing that name onto their children should be in breach of child cruelty laws, imagine being a legitimate Bastard child.
"not only was Mr Bastard real, but he was clearly old enough to have been able to change his name and had *chosen* not to."
A quick trawl through the birth registrations for several years from 1900 shows that there were almost invariably a few born each quarter with that surname. Presumably these were mostly not some quirk of recording illegitimate children. Fairly often, however, the mother's maiden surname was given as Bastard so they may well have been genuine bastards.
... that as a child/teenager I would have much preferred the surname Bastard to that of Coward. As an adult, however, I really don't care about an accident of history. My name doesn't define me, it's just a convenient handle that others use when referring to me. Hey, you! works just as well as jake in most contexts.
Back to the woodwork ... pass me that bastard file, please.
'Virgin Values',... say what? ntl: pulled the Virgin brand over themselves after buying Virgin Mobile. ntl: then bought a 30 odd year right to use the Virgin branding via a share swap. It was all smoke and mirrors to reinvent itself after it got thrown off NASDAQ, performed a debt for equity swap with the bank to save itself, and to distance the 'new' company from it's rather terrible customer service record. There never were any 'Virgin' values.
Meanwhile I've just dumped them as my broadband provider, they keep upping speeds and then upping prices, and won't let me pay less for a slower connection, they force me to buy 100mb, which is a bit excessive considering there's just me and my wife, it's not like we have several kids all streaming at the same time.
Were those values so good?
I only know that NTL Ireland was poor, Chorus was rubbish. Liberty Global only rebranded to UPC (the name used elsewhere in Europe) once they had made massive improvements, a few years after takeover. People are baffled as to why UPC Ireland has been rebranded Virgin Media. Though it was before Brexit.
Back in the late 70's I used to get contract work from Marconi in Writtle with the drawings sent from W. Anker (thought he was a William), never met or spoke to him though.
Also worked with Will Drown at Pumpkin Marine in London, nearly fell off my chair when he got a mention on QI by Sandi Toksvig, when he fitted her with a buoyancy aid at Crewsaver. Was very ill in his loo at a party!
Let's face it, you're probably not going to post in the forums how wonderful the guy is. It's going to be a post about how bad Virgin Media have been and how his team have let you down.
Apple has a similar policy of preventing any post that denigrates the company, its support or it's leadership, they just vanish it without warning after its submitted, not before.
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