Recently, an unusually persistent troll came into Bugzilla and started swearing at contributors. This was obviously an unpleasant experience for them, and led me to thinking how we can balance Mozilla’s desire to be a place where everyone is welcome (some of our most awesome contributors have started when under 16, for example) and yet we support the general principle of freedom of speech (which is most important in government-related censorship contexts, but is also important in general).
So a couple of weeks ago I wrote Profanivore, a Bugzilla extension which ‘eats’ English profanities in Bugzilla comments, leaving behind instead a trail of droppings (‘****’). The profanity is only eaten where the comment was written by a user who does not have the global ‘editbugs’ privilege. The digestion happens at display time, so the comment in the database is unaltered.
I wrote this very carefully to walk the line between being over-censorious and being protective of our users having to read abuse from trolls. Hence the “you can swear if you have editbugs” feature.
Unless this meets with serious objections, we plan to enable it on bugzilla.mozilla.org some time in the reasonably near future. If we do, please resist the temptation to test it. It uses a standard Perl module for detection so I have reasonable confidence it’ll do the right thing most of the time, but do let me know if it censors your Scunthorpe.