Censoring Words to Appease Google/Ezoic/etc.

Discussion in 'Generating Revenue' started by ripptech, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. ripptech

    ripptech Professional Lurker

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    Any of you using Ezoic may have gotten the blanket e-mail about using the "objectionable content filter" to see if there are any pages not getting ads due to certain words that might cause problems with TOS in their ad networks, Adsense, etc....

    I checked mine out and holy crap. Over 220 pages of results just for this month. If I crunch the PVs and RPM its probably a good chunk of change getting thrown on the floor.

    Granted a whole lot of those words are relatively harmless, words like "porn" and "Whore" not to mention common automotive terms as are being discussed in another thread here. For example, I discovered that for a while, my HOME PAGE was being blocked because the word "porn" was in a thread title "<automotive> interior porn" and it was just pics of various interiors.... until it faded off the front page then it was cool again... over 3k views that could have made a few $ more anyway.

    so the question is: Do you censor those words in order to get ads back on those pages? How do your users react to such a thing? I can see a lot of people getting seriously PO'd. Is it worth the potential backlash?

    Technically: Is there a addon for XF that would only censor words in threads older than a certain age to maybe mitigate some of this? Anyone want to build one?
     
  2. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    Is appeasement the right word? It's holding up our end of the agreement, what we agreed to when signing up to receive revenue from the adverts. They're not demanding anything we didn't already agree to.

    I agree the list of banned words is ridiculous mostly, and doesn't allow for context. But we agreed to keep them out of our content.
     
  3. ripptech

    ripptech Professional Lurker

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    Agreed... Point taken. Just wondering if anyone's found a happy medium, between allowing your users to express themselves and keeping within the agreement, like you said. If anyone's done this, started censoring on an established community that expects a certain level of freedom.... how has it worked out?
     
  4. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    I know of one site that. In the last few years started very strictly enforcing its massive censored word list, and has even explained in detail why, and while its hurt them some for the most part it hasn't, they continue to grow and thrive. Even with a handful of users leaving and starting their own "uncensored" board in the exact same niche. It's where the malcontents go while waiting out their temp bans, then when they're reinstated they go right back to posting on the strict board and abandon the alternate one.

    I know, I'm not answering your question or helping. But from what I've seen, even worst case scenario I've described doesn't hurt ya much. You just gotta splain to the folks playing in your sandbox that the sandbox has rules and why. Most reasonable folks will accept that, especially if they like you and like your sandbox.
     
  5. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Senior Citizen

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    I have been alerted by Google of pages that landed on their "list" only a couple times over the years. The last time was just a month or so ago. I visit the pages, edit the offending words and submit a request to Google to recheck the pages. I don't notify members when I have to edit their posts for this. The last one was a post that was over a year old (I don't know why all of a sudden Google objected to it) and I don't think the member is going to either remember what he posted or even go looking for his old posts.

    My members are pretty well behaved. We've had a rule about foul language for 12+ years and I rarely have to tell anyone about it or censor someone. I do have a few of the worst words censored in the software, so they can't be used anyway. This is not much of a problem for me.
     
  6. overcast

    overcast Enthusiast

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    I think it's reasonable to get rid of those words or have word replacement. For example I remember one forum made add on where any curse word was being replaced with *cough*. Yes, that's right cough is the word they used to hide the objectionable content. So this way adsense and other ad networks had no triggers.
     
  7. Wes of StarArmy

    Wes of StarArmy Adherent

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    I've heard that sometimes you might have words that were not expected, such as when auto forum members use the shortened slang term for transmission, which Google (not having human context) thinks is the rude slang term for transgendered/crossdressing people.
     
  8. palhanow

    palhanow Enthusiast

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    Unfortunately i had to censor a lot of bad words to please Google AdSense. I'm getting around 20 flags (in 20 different threads) per day. My revenue is dropping like a meteor because of this.

    You just need one word in some random post to Google flag the entire page. Maybe is time to search for another Ad platform. Google is paying cents for millions of impressions.

    But XF censor system is not good enough. If you put a bold or italic in some letter in the censored word, the post "hacks" the system. I don't know if Google can read in this way.
     
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  9. ripptech

    ripptech Professional Lurker

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    I've only had a few instances where Google actually let me know about content, it was mainly images and not words (at least that I recall.) This is just Ezoic being "safe" about it and not even presenting these pages with certain words present up to be bid on, if I understand correctly what's going on.

    I'm going to install this: https://www.xf2addons.com/resources/censoring.67/ and then start building a list of words. This way the users still see what they expected to write, and guests (and ad servers/bots) see the family friendly version....
     
  10. TheChiro

    TheChiro Devotee

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    I've used our censored words extensively to make sure I'm in good standing with SE's and ad networks. I've also gone as far as making guests only see the default avatars and no ones signature. Google hit us a few years back for someone's avatar being the chick with big knockers in GTA V, said it was nudity (hint: it wasn't but you can't speak to an actual HUMAN at Google). Since they are changing definitions of what actual nudity (and other things) is, I just make it so guests don't see any of the avatars and signatures to ensure we don't get hit with something silly like that (I mean c'mon, animated bikini girl? NUDITY??? GTFO with this sjw "skinny cartoon girls with knockers are offensive" bullshhhh /rant).

    We allow our premium members to see censored words in their secret section. But since we've had it for so many years, it's our site's "norm" and the users hadn't said a peep probably since the start of doing it.
     
  11. Philpug

    Philpug Aspirant

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    Our readers use "porn" a lot since it relates to ski movies...they are referred to as ski porn. We have no NSFW on the site and no politics or hot topic discussion. Will this use of porn be an issue with Ezoic? Right now doing a search on porn, 132 items came up. It would be pretty easy to replace them all with p0rn and do a replace in the back end for the future.
     
  12. TheChiro

    TheChiro Devotee

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    I'm sure google has that as a synonym for porn...I could be wrong but it would make sense they did.
     
  13. MagicalAzareal

    MagicalAzareal Magical Developer

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    If you're going down that road, then there are many tricks you could do to get around it (e.g. use unicode characters that look the same :p), but I don't know if Google would be too happy about someone deliberately trying to get around them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  14. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    Considering Google's efforts to combat spam, domain name scams and phishing using Unicode characters to circumvent traditional filters, if it were me I'd operate under the assumption that using Unicode is not going fool Google.
     
  15. overcast

    overcast Enthusiast

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    Considering adsense can make you more money down the line. I won't even bother circumventing though. I'd rather self censor for money.
     
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