Censorship Issues Raised in PlayStation Home Beta

A number of common, non-obscene words are being filtered out of text chat on Sony’s new PlayStation Home service, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Reportedly, "gay," "lesbian" and "bisexual" are among the words, as are "Christ" and "Jew." Even "Hello" is being filtered, presumably because it begins with "Hell."

Gamer Michael Marsh told the Chronicle:

I can understand if they’re filtering out profanity, but if feel like it’s discrimination. By blocking a word like ‘gay,’ which is a preferred term by the gay community, you’re encouraging it as a bad word.

SCEA spokesman Patrick Seybold, however, reminded gamers that Home is a work in progress:

The key message is it’s a beta and it’s evolving on a daily basis. We’ve said early on that user behavior and feedback will shape where we go with Home.

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  1. Wolvenmoon says:

    Why not just ban chat altogether?

    people will get around chat filters, always, let them turn them on if they really want to, and then punish for going AROUND the filters, with up to a full year’s ban on chat if it’s a repeat offender.

    PLEASE sony, DON’T encourage more 1337-speak.

  2. Ambiguous says:

    I would like there to be some kind of censorship on the chat, but I’d prefer it to be volntary. I normally don’t mind it, but there are times I’d like to avoid having my sexuality (or someone else nearby) questioned repeatedly while playing chess, or have my text box filled with random crap like that while I’m trying to type to someone.  However, theres not much you can do about the real problem, the voice chat. 

    I hear so many hooting assholes on Home that I think I’m playing on XBL.

  3. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Can you say word "whitelist"?
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes
    of transp

  4. Father Time says:

    "By blocking a word like ‘gay,’ which is a preferred term by the gay community, you’re encouraging it as a bad word."

    Show of hands who here hasn’t heard the word gay being thrown around as an insult?


    that’s what I thought.


    Debates are like merry go rounds Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  5. MachShot1337 says:

    Lesson learned: being gay is absolutely disgusting, and christians and jews should be banned.


    Thanks Sony.


    On a more serious note, I think the fact that by the age of eleven, a vast majority of kids know every "word". At least my dad had the common sense decency to tell me all the words when I was 10 and tell me why not to say them in school.

    And if we want to go on the religious standard of what words can and can not be said, I say we use the Bible and Torah as standards. If the word is in there, its okay.

    So feel free to say ass, damn, hell, and depending on what version of the bible you look at, bitch.

  6. finaleve says:

    Filters should be more voluntary than mandatory.  Mostly because people find ways around it, such as using various symbols on the keyboard to the accents (those were fun to use).  It’s more of a hassle than anything when it came down to just saying Hello to a friend and telling someone to go to hell.

  7. Waffles says:

    I’ve always hated filters like that.

    Its like you can’t even say "How do you do?" without asteriks covering the first two letters, which is totally counter productive because then it instantly looks like you’re trying to offend someone.

    ****o, ** do you do?

  8. Arell says:

    Wait, people still care about Home?  I thought Beta had killed all interest…

    Anyway, they’ll work out the kinks.  Although, I can understand why they’d originally censor the word "gay."  It’s the favorite insult of the under-15 crowd, who invariably ruin anything with chat options.  Generalization, of course.  Not that it’s right to bleep out the word, but I just understand.

  9. MechaCrash says:

    Hopefully the filter can be turned off. Bad filters are a pain in the ass, but mandatory ones are absolutely atrocious because you never know what seemingly innocent word it will choke on. I’ve seen filters (in Phantasy Star Online, for the curious) that wouldn’t let you say things like "toss me some shoes on Saturday" ("toss" is British slang for masturbation, "shoes" has <i>hoes</i> and "Saturday" has <i>turd</i>). But you could call someone a sloppy cunt without the filter raising a peep.

  10. Doomsong says:

    Man… all three people whom Home is relevant to are gonna be upset when they read this.


    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" – Benjamin Franklin

  11. TK n Happy Ness says:

    I don’t even get why they have a voice chat on there since all it does is allow old men to hit on young girls or who they think are young girls. The avatars can’t be trusted.


    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

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