Tuesday, February 01, 2011

corporate email censorship, reconsidered

We know corporations spy on their employees, explicitly or implicitly. It's legit; it's legal. Employers can censor emails and block websites from being visited, etc. Yes, they can.

Companies use software programs that filter out naughty and obscene words. At least I think that's how they do it. I don't think it's Louie and Edith in a back room sifting through everyone's emails. But who knows?

I suggest the attempts at this censorship are misguided. By that I mean the attempts are typically skewed toward George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words [he lost the case, which went to the Supreme Court in 1978; I was working at a newspaper; I recall the Boston Globe printed the words; most papers did not, though the words are in the court documents; British papers freely use such words, more accurately, they use any words they choose to, pretty much, and are not so keen to censor, and I don't just mean tabloids] or variants of words like that. Such corporate censorship has a narrow scope, does it not?

But imagine the censors, or the software they use, expunging these obscenities:

poverty, starvation, hatred, bullying, war, mutilation, rape, bombing, torture, neglect, intimidation, and synonyms too horrible to conjure and many I've missed and others too unspeakable.

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