Last century censorship

Last century censorship

Are you an inveterate prude? Does naughty language on television leave you clutching your pearls? Have you longed for family entertainment where a friendly censor has silenced all the things you wish people wouldn’t say before they reach your ears? Good news! The Television Guardian is (still?!) here to protect and serve. Well, it has been censoring swearing on TV since 1998.

Does vulgar language on television make leave you clutching your pearls? Have you longed for family entertainment where a friendly censor has snuffed out the naughty words people use? Are you still living in the past century? Good news! The Television Guardian is here to protect and serve. By decoding the captioning encoded in the television signal ahead of when it is played as audio, the device mutes the sound before the objectionable language is reached and replaces it with an “alternative” on-screen caption. Of course, all the things being shown on screen could not be censored, so if you wandered out of the room, it is entirely possible your children would have been tuning in to watch things you would never knowingly have let them watch but at least you won’t have to hear anything offensive blaring out across the living room. To date, the device has never been developed to the point where it is able to filter out anything else you would rather not hear, such as political opinions that offend you but I am sure that somewhere someone is developing an AI-powered device for this purpose, so that the harsh truths of the world – or indeed what passes for facts these days – need never again trouble anyone seeking reassurance that they are never wrong.

What surprised me is that TV Guardian is still going strong. I kid ye not – their website is still current. Do these parents imagine that their children will never take the bus or train, will never meet people who turn a curious shade of puce at the utterance of crude language in real life? What kind of sheltered, nay, gated community do these prudes aspire to live in (and never to leave)? Let’s watch the video and find out!

h/t Laughing Squid

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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