Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Family Friendly Foolishness?

So I was posting some of my reviews onto Hulu the other day. One of the first reviews I tried was for "Bathroom Humor," and I criticized the fart and poop jokes. I was surprised to see that my review was rejected because my use of the word "poop" had been deemed inappropriate.

I thought about it for a moment.

Hulu, as you may not know, has clips with profanity and nudity contained within them (I know where they are, but you'll have to find them yourself). Was this a double standard?

I decided that no, it was not.

The clips all come with a rating, and a warning that it is mature content. There's no way for an obscenity-sensitive individual to navigate through the reviews without accidentally seeing profanity.

Banning the word "poop" was maybe going a little far, but the general concept was sound. Hilariously, when I replaced the word poop with "poo," it passed muster.

Then it got even more ridiculous.

I next reviewed a cooking show, and when I attempted to post my review, I was told that my use of the word "shit" was unacceptable. But wait just a minute here! I hadn't used that word (although I had panned the show). What was going on here?

It turned out that the obscenity-screening software they're using had picked up on my use of the word "shitake," a word that was used in the episode description.

So I understand that an up-and-coming website has to be careful about what image it portrays to the public. But I think Hulu has to relax a little here.

They have to tame their cyber-pitbull if they want to be seen as free-speech friendly.

Otherwise, it's just bullshitake.

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