back to article What the @#$%&!? Microsoft bans nudity, swearing in Skype, emails, Office 365 docs

Microsoft has advised customers that offensive language on Skype, in an Outlook.com email, or in an Office 365 Word document is a potentially account-closing offense under its updated terms of use. The tweaked services agreement, which comes into effect on May 1, 2018, now includes the following code-of-conduct item: Don’t …

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      1. ravenviz

        Re: WTF!

        Re: mirth and merriment

        No, that’ll be myrrh and merriment...

        </no-coat>

    1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

      Re: WTF!

      This is nothing less than another attack on free speech.

      Use Libreoffice and all of those issues go away.

    2. onefang Silver badge

      Re: WTF!

      "the lawyers having multiple orgasms"

      I think that would count as porn, and not be allowed. Something good may cum of this after all.

  1. b0llchit
    Childcatcher

    Fuck translates to Fick, Bolle, and what more

    So then, which language needs this foul language to be in? I'd almost want to create an account just to use a whole set of foul languages and try to find that out.

    Unfortunately, my aversion against cloud services is preventing me from telling them to go fuck yourself in their language document.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fuck translates to Fick, Bolle, and what more

      It will do what always happens in these cases. Clean language will become offensive, again.

      You know 'special needs' is used abusively by school children these days?

      1. BlartVersenwaldIII
        Windows

        Re: Fuck translates to Fick, Bolle, and what more

        > Clean language will become offensive, again.

        Nothing new under the sun it seems, as MS were supposedly tackling this back in 2009.

        Oblig. Penny Arcade

        The attached blurb includes the following nugget:

        "A year ago, we saw a quiz thing that asked you to determine which of four odd phrases were euphemisms for sexual acts. By the time we had discovered this question, every item on the list had developed a carnal reputation. That is to say, every item. We are fast approaching a point where ordering a sandwich at a deli will land you in prison."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fuck translates to Fick, Bolle, and what more

          We are fast approaching a point where ordering a sandwich at a deli will land you in prison.

          "Excuse me miss, can I have some of your tuna salad...? wink wink, nudge nudge"

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Fuck translates to Fick, Bolle, and what more

          "We are fast approaching a point where ordering a sandwich at a deli will land you in prison"

          a SAUSAGE sandwich with MAYO, please...

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fuck translates to Fick, Bolle, and what more

          We are fast approaching a point where ordering a sandwich at a deli will land you in prison

          I'll take a BIG LARGE and TASTY with extra JUICY tomatoes.

  2. Teiwaz Silver badge

    nudity as well.

    Nice of them to categorise the default human condition with a lot of stranger behaviour which also includes uncovering parts of yourself.

    Not everyone is born wearing pithy Joe Belfiore t-shirts.

    No undressed salads as well.

    A ban though? But, but this will shrink their customer base....

    MS, give up now and withdraw from the consumer side and avoid the slow death of gradually banning most of it's customer base.

  3. skalamanga

    i'll use whatever monday to friday words I choose you bunch of monkey fighters!

    1. jonathan keith

      Monkey Fighters?

      Sloppy, Mr. Falcon. Sloppy.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Monkey Fighters?

        Monkey Fighters?

        Sloppy, Mr. Falcon. Sloppy.

        As far as I'm concerned, they've just declared war on human nature....and the UK gov with this porn filter...

        sign up for monkey guerillas/gorillas, it's time for Dr Zaius and his ilk to be put in orange jumpsuits.

    2. d3vy

      I Believe that "Mellon Farmer" is the accepted replacement.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "I Believe that "Mellon Farmer" is the accepted replacement."

        Flip you, Muddy funster!

        1. ravenviz

          “Suck my lozenge”

    3. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      At Skalamanga...

      Many many years ago while working at my son's elementary school I used the following to curse around the little ones without getting in trouble.

      "Crunchy Frog!" was a curse akin to what you might yelp after stubbing a toe, getting a paper cut, or whacking yourself with a door.

      "Turtle Harness!" was a bit stronger & used in situations where someone cut you off in traffic, took the parking space you were about to pull into, cut ahead of you in line, or did something that angered/frustrated you.

      But the abosolute pinnacle of cursing vulgarity was uttered by the McDonald's Hamburgler. If you remember he never got to eat anything. Every time he tried to get his hands on some food, that giant clown would prevent him from getting any nourishment. What did he say every time that happened? Those words were the equivelent of screaming "F4!" at the tops of your lungs.

      So if you *really* wanted to curse in front of the kids but didn't want to get in trouble for doing so, "Robble Robble!" was the most vulgar of the bunch.

      My son & I always drew laughs & smiles on the bus when someone would do something stupid, get me to exclaim "Crunchy Frog!", & my son would clap his hands over his ears & shout "DAD! Watch your language!"

      Crunchy Frog, Turtle Harness, & Robble Robble. Words that are fun to say, can replace actual curse words, & can be said around impressionable young children without getting you shouted at by their parents for being vulgar.

      =-)p

      Now go Crunchy Frog yourself, you Turtle Harnessing Robble Robble.

  4. Chronos Silver badge
    WTF?

    Four bloody days...

    ...too fucking early, dozy bastards.

  5. arctic_haze Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    What that tells us about Skype?

    If you had any doubts every word you say on Skype is recorded, this change should be a wake up call for you. You were thinking the curse words were meant for whoever you talked to? No, the ones that complained were puritan NSA employees who had to listen to your cursing.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: What that tells us about Skype?

      That was my thought - how do they know or verify if you have been using foul language on Skype?

      Doh, of course just take a look at the voice-to-text slurp logs...

      1. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: What that tells us about Skype?

        Given that anyone without an American or Southeast England accent can't get any voice activated devices to work (car hands free, phoneline options etc.), I would like to think that casual swearing can continue in a Glaswegian/Geordie/Belfast accent....

        1. John G Imrie Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: What that tells us about Skype?

          Point of order,

          All Glaswegian is swearing.

        2. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: What that tells us about Skype?

          Glaswegian/Geordie/Belfast accent....

          The Belfast accent(s) are quite mild * in comparison to anywhere west of the River Toome.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What that tells us about Skype?

      Yes, they do.

      A UK nightclub held a 'shag a ginger' night where redheads got in for free. This angered a friend who suggested a complicated revenge involving extreme flatulence in the club.

      I replied, through Skype, "I do not support gassing gingers." and Skype froze for over a minute. Coincidence, or some keyword requiring intervention?

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: What that tells us about Skype?

      if some cold-caller that violates the 'do not call' list by calling MY phone using Skype, and I use profanity at them [a typical response from me], are Micro-shaft going to ban *THEM* for having "profanity" on their line?

      [I doubt very much that Micro-shaft is policing this kind of activity with respect to the 'do not call' list]

  6. Just A Quick Comment

    Could this form of censorship be applied retrospectively?

    I've written stories, using Word and Publisher, that contained naughty/adult words in the past. Have Microsoft been spying on me and my stories all this time?

    So, is it tin hats at twenty paces, or (and more simply) switch to LibreOffice?

    1. d3vy

      Re: Could this form of censorship be applied retrospectively?

      No

    2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: Could this form of censorship be applied retrospectively?

      I wonder when they'll start editing content. It kinda gives 'autocorrect' a whole new meaning.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Could this form of censorship be applied retrospectively?

      Maybe.. it's their software, their servers, their rules. And rules can be changed at any time.

  7. Potemkine! Silver badge

    When I read...

    ... "We are committed to ", I know a big load of PR BS is coming.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: When I read...

      "We are committed to "

      Yes, they bloody well should be,

      ...complete with confining clothing.

  8. Lysenko

    Office365...

    ... no material involving offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity? Well, that's every police force on the planet off to Google then, along with the rest of the legal system and news media. Quite a bit of nudity in the medical profession, so they need to switch as well (especially A&E and Gynaecologists). Oh, and Quentin Tarantino? Back to the typewriter and postal system for all future scripts.

    I'd like to think they're just dumb and never heard of the law of unintended consequences, but the fact is they're not that dumb. What they're actually doing is reanimating the old totalitarian dictatorship trick of making existence itself illegal and then employing arbitrary enforcement to eliminate anyone and anything that becomes 'inconvenient'.

    1. d3vy

      Re: Office365...

      And I'd like to think that people would read articles before jumping into the comments and bashing their keyboards like rabid monkeys but apparently we don't all get what we want.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Office365...

        "And I'd like to think that people would read articles... [snip]"

        comments on WHERE THIS IS LEADING are still relevant. It's the whole "slippery slope" thing.

        Today: scan/ban only when someone complains

        Tomorrow: we scan your schhhtuff and are OUT TO CONTROL YOU.

        or something like that.

  9. chivo243 Silver badge

    Skype

    I only use the text function of skype to communicate with the missus while I'm at work. Might look into my own chat server thing... I read about something called Mastodon last week, might be interesting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Skype

      Try LINE.

      1. Uncle Ron

        Re: Skype

        LINE is great. IMHO, better than Skype. But it's banned in countries that refuse to allow LINE's encryption. It's banned where gov't spies want to read and see everything. It's banned in Russia.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Skype

      Mastodon is like Twitter, it is for public chat groups, not for private conversations.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Skype

        @katrinab

        You can host your own private node of Mastodon...

        https://joinmastodon.org/#getting-started

        Install your own

        If you are interested in running your own instance — for your friends, family or organization — you can get started by reading the installation documentation. You only host your own users and the content that they subscribe to.

      2. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Skype

        "Mastodon is like Twitter, it is for public chat groups, not for private conversations."

        Except that people seem to use public twitter for private conversations anyway.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Skype

        USENET preceded them all, you can swear and use profanity and upload pr0n as much as you like, and it's all available to anyone who wants to view it.

  10. Timmy B Silver badge

    Well, not a surprise. We'll all be limited by morality statutes in pretty much all we do eventually. After all thought crime is actual crime nowadays.

  11. Julian 8

    Does that mean that if I tell Cortana to f$ck right off my machine she will ?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      "Does that mean that if I tell Cortana to f$ck right off my machine she will ?"

      if it were so easy.

      I think Micro-shaft should UNINSTALL THEIR OS as well, and set you up with Linux Mint, if you violate their terms of service. It'd be a really convenient way to UPgrade, by telling Micro-shaft, Cortana, or some overly sensitive "target" to {insert graphic sexual activity here} with {large uncomfortable looking object with multiple sharp pointy edges} and {something corrosive and/or abrasive that doesn't even remotely act like a lubricant}.

  12. Julian 8

    Interesting as Offensive is different for everyone

    I have no problems with swearing or most of that list, but I take great offense on other words, phrases that are not covered that some people find comforting.

    One person's good is another person's evil

    1. JakeMS

      Exactly. I find it offensive when people say "Everything is going to be okay.. I'm sure of it!" to me.

      Does that mean I can have those works blacklisted?

    2. King Jack
      Headmaster

      Experiment

      Ask somebody who objects to swearwords what it is that they find offensive about the word? Then ask them why they are not offended by other words describing the exact same thing or act. At that point when their brain is engaged they'll admit they they have no good reason to dislike some words and not others. They'll admit they only object because other people do.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Experiment

        People object to profanity because certain expressions convey either the speaker's intent to offend the listener or his lack of concern over whether the listener is offended, and it is the lack of consideration that is rude and offensive, not the word itself.

      2. Kyle Roberts

        Re: Experiment

        Clever? Most of the 'swearwords' that are multiplying themselves in this post are denigrating of women, men and sex. Why would you denigrate and debase sex, do you not like it? Why name unpleasant or unintelligent people after a slang term for genitalia? Where is the logic in this?

        I regard sex as one of the most marvellous things, capable of creating another human being! Many comments seem to indicate for many here sex is about as meaningful as 'taking a dump'. Lots of people find this treatment of sex offensive, I sure do. Why are so many people reacting in hate against this standard?

  13. Spanners Silver badge
    Facepalm

    If we avoid US "English", will we be OK?

    I am not sure when but, sometime in the past, some bright spark in the USA tried to stop people using certain swear words and substituted "ass" instead or "a4rse" (yes I did self censor). If we stick to not using that Americanism, are we safe from this stupidity for a bit longer?

    I suggest that people spell everything correctly. It will help to confuse the US bright sparks who seem to intend to cause world peace, reverse global warming and solve world hunger by removing adult words from adult conversations.

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