leetspeek 2.0


Algospeak refers to code words or turns of phrase users have adopted in an effort to create a brand-safe lexicon that will avoid getting their posts removed or down-ranked by content moderation systems. For instance, in many online videos, it's common to say "unalive" rather than "dead," "SA" instead of "sexual assault," or "spicy eggplant" instead of "vibrator." [...]

Sex workers, who have long been censored by moderation systems, refer to themselves on TikTok as "accountants" and use the corn emoji as a substitute for the word "porn." [...] More recently, users on TikTok have started to say "cornucopia" rather than "homophobia," or say they're members of the "leg booty" community to signify that they're LGBTQ. [...] "You have to say 'saltines' when you're literally talking about crackers now," [...]

TikTok users now use the phrase "le dollar bean" instead of "lesbian" because it's the way TikTok's text-to-speech feature pronounces "Le$bian," a censored way of writing "lesbian" that users believe will evade content moderation.

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7 Responses:

  1. g051051 says:

    Didn't we used to call that "slang"?

  2. prefetch says:

    Hmm - maybe the same can be applied to audio clips to stop them being DMCA'd. Insert detection-breaking noise every x seconds, maybe even something as simple as pitch-shifting or tempo-changing the track?

  3. Jason Kaczor says:

    So... the "safe word" scanning algorithms are essentially training humans to avoid triggering them...

    This timeline sucks.

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