This recent question raised debate over the censorship of questions containing offensive language (or their titles, at least). I always understood the offensive-language tag to serve that purpose.

I suggest the following approach:

  • No censoring of posts and their titles, but the offensive-language tag is required

  • Posts tagged offensive-language are displayed on their respective sites, unless a user explicitly opts out

  • Posts tagged offensive-language do not appear in the multicollider, unless a user explicitly opts in


  • What's your question again? "Should we change current practice and start doing what I suggest?" or "What do you think of this?" or what?
    – Mitch
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 14:37
  • No. Jeff already gave the answer to the first bullet. Your points seem like you should post on MSO instead of here thoigh
    – user10893
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 14:44
  • 2
    It's not a question, it's a suggestion. That's why I tagged it feature-request Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 14:53
  • I think the scope of this question is for MSO more than here because you mention "respective sites".
    – user10893
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 15:03
  • Sounds like a good suggestion to me Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 15:59
  • @simchona Good point. I wasn't aware of a central meta. Any way to transfer? Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 16:57
  • 1
    Same way as normal questions--you can flag, or wait for votes.
    – user10893
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 17:27
  • So a "friendly" vote to close off topic would be useful?
    – MetaEd
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 17:37
  • @meta I think it might help
    – user10893
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 17:44
  • Just tried to close, but there is no option to suggest transfer to meta.SE Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 17:49
  • 1
    @the -- I voted as off topic but you could also flag for a mod to ask for migration
    – user10893
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 19:01
  • I would vote to close off topic, but like The English Chicken I do not see the option to designate a site to emigrate to.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 22:13
  • 2
    It is perfectly fine to ask for feature requests on meta sites for Stack Exchange 2.0 sites; Stack Exchange staff normally check those meta sites as well. It can take more time to get an answer, or before they consider adding the feature, but they check any meta site. The fact Shog9 posts here is a proof of that. In particular, this feature request is something to which EL&U is interested, but Stack Overflow would not be much interested: If somebody uses a bad word on a question there, that would be simply removed. It is different on EL&U, where I could ask a question about cunt.
    – apaderno
    Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 6:44

1 Answer 1


Let me preface my answer with an apology.

The dispute about whether to censor the title of the "s——thole question" should never have come up. My reading of past NSFW debates convinced me that the title censorship policy was up to the community, and that there were two major opposing views (i.e., no consensus). In this I was completely mistaken. My statement that the title should be uncensored was based on ignorance, and led to a bit of a mess, and I'm sorry for that.

In reality, the decision to censor titles is not open to debate. It is site policy, established by the business which owns the site. See the third question, "Should EL&U be removed from the multicollider, etc.?", where the site policy is clearly articulated by Jeff Atwood, StackExchange CTO. (And that is perfectly appropriate. It's their site and they can establish whatever policy they think is wise.)

In short, we have a simple, easy to understand policy on title censorship from the site owners, and we also have quite a few people who defend or criticize the title censorship policy as if it were debatable or a matter of community consensus. That is, the primary problem is not lack of a tag; it's lack of communication. The policy needs to be disseminated to the community. Stating it within comments to a question about removing english.se from the multicollider is ineffective. At an absolute minimum, it needs to be part of the FAQ.

  • 8
    +1 "...it needs to be part of the FAQ." Absolutely agreed!
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 17:44
  • 3
    1. You don't tell us what this policy is. 2. Jeff left SE in 2012. He was last seen in March 2013. 3. Jeff has told us that ELU is "bad and worthless" and insulted our moderators in a personal manner; I don't think his words should be taken as "site policy". 4. I believe we grudgingly agreed on censoring titles but not bodies. Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 18:05

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