The internet lit up with cries of censorship and war on Christians in the past few days due to an unfortunate software error.
The Kodak photo printers located in K-Mart Australia stores were censoring words including Christian, Jew, Jesus and Bible.
But then it was allowing Islam and Muslim making people jump even further down the “war on Christians” bandwagon.
The morning TV shows even got on board debating and demanding an immediate apology from K-Mart.
K-Mart came out saying it was a “software glitch”, which people have claimed is not possible.
However as a programmer, how about some evidence.
The first thing is that programmers don’t get tasked with implementing a “bad word filter”, then go and sit down trying to think up every word.
There are numerous word lists available on-line. When time is critical, copy and paste is the way to go. The lists are generally better than any one person can come up with just by sitting down and typing.
Given that I am 100% certain the programmer copied and pasted, it was a matter of doing a Google search for offensive word lists and some of the censored words.
Within a few minutes, here we are.
Offensive/Profane Word List
Description: A list of 1,300+ English terms that could be found offensive. The list contains some words that many people won’t find offensive, but it’s a good start for anybody wanting to block offensive or profane terms on their Site.
File Size: 11Kb
Tags: Bad words, offensive words, profane words, profanity.
This list contains all of the Words that reports have said were censored and all the words that were reported as not censored.
I am 99% certain this is the list which the sole programmer at Kodak used. It may not have even been from this site. This site may not even be the original source of the list.
I can say this because it is listed in numerous other places, eg.
This is not a K-Mart attack on Christianity, this is not a Kodak attack on Christianity, this is not a anti-christian programmer at Kodak.
It’s purely a copy/paste situation without looking into the words in the list.
Then the question comes why does it have things like Jew, Christian, Canadian as reported? Because it also contains every other type of person like Australian and American, go back to the description. “terms that could be found offensive” and “The list contains some words that many people won’t find offensive”.
It seems the list was designed to stop people talking about race or religion, but it’s unclear why Islam/Muslims were excluded.