back to article Microsoft puts profanity filter on %@!#ing Teams transcripts

Slinging the occasional expletive in casual conversations isn't so unusual these days – and online chinwags are no exception. But if you believe that such colorful language has no place in a professional business environment – virtual or otherwise – Microsoft is giving you a way of keeping it out of sight, at least in …

  1. cyberdemon Silver badge

    Can I opt out of Fucking Teams Transcripts??

    If Teams doesn't want to hear what I have to say anyway, maybe we can mutually agree to not transcribing it for data mining purposes

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Can I opt out of Fucking Teams Transcripts??

      The option is going to be paywalled, but I don't doubt for one second that it's going to be data mined anyway.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Can I opt out of Fucking Teams Transcripts??

        Remember, folks: it's somebody else's computer and you don't control it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Can I opt out of Fucking Teams Transcripts??

          Also, it's done by Microsoft, the ransomware that people install willingly (they just charge less).

    2. b0llchit Silver badge

      Re: Can I opt out of Fucking Teams Transcripts??

      Ehm,... just don't use teams? My private Jitsi install works wonders.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Can I opt out of Fucking Teams Transcripts??

        When the beancounters went all cloudy and got rid of most if not all IT staff there are no servers on which to host it and nobody to install it if there were.

    3. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: Can I opt out of Fucking Teams Transcripts??

      8 out of 10 Cats does Teams plug in required.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or do what the crew of the Serenity do in Firefly. Swear in Chinese!

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      “Hab SoSlI' Quch!”

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You take that back, the woman is a saint, a saint I tell you!

  3. AndrueC Silver badge

    They could reduce the amount of profanity I use by spending some time fixing the bugs in Visual Studio.

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      And the bugs in all the rest of their crapware!

      And removing the advert icons which pop up in W11. No I fucking don't want TikTok, Spotify, etc, to be installed on work machines!

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Pity Scunthorpe Tourist Board

    Unable to have its name live captioned in Teams.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Pity Scunthorpe Tourist Board

      “Next on the agenda: one of our municipal customers near Salzburg is still reporting problems.”

      “Oh no, not Fucking Austria again?”

      (Yes, I know the town in question got tired of amusing the stupid English and renamed itself recently.)

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Pity Scunthorpe Tourist Board

        But Fugging sounds basically the same when said out loud, especially when recorded with a typical laptop microphone, so even if you use the new name, it will likely still get censored.

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Pity Scunthorpe Tourist Board

      What about people who had a holiday going from Shitterton to Cockermouth, via Wyre Piddle and Lickey End?

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Pity Scunthorpe Tourist Board

        The profanity filter will cope, as long as they don’t also go to Belgium.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Pity Scunthorpe Tourist Board

          You take that back sir! How dare you use such vile terms in polite company!

  5. David 132 Silver badge

    “However, what isn't clear is what the filter will read as a profanity”

    I was about to suggest that they use the Urban Dictionary as the source-list, but on second thoughts, that would probably result in all transcripts being completely blank, because as far as I can tell every word or phrase ever in the English language has a NSFW definition on UD.

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: “However, what isn't clear is what the filter will read as a profanity”

      Roger's Profanisaurus

  6. that one in the corner Silver badge

    Well ******* along with ****** ****** **!

    This is simply *** ****** *** ******* in the end, and we will all realise that *** ********* *** **** on Wednesday!

    Pah. Get ***** *** ***** bucket of ice.

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    What about "damn"?

    Might cause civil engineers problems.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Not to mention those nice beavers.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Well played, good sir. Exactly what I thought that link would be.

  8. WolfFan Silver badge

    Ah, yes

    This should work well… or maybe not. I remember when Eudora implemented ‘peppers’ to show how hot your email was. Certain people (who, me? Surely not) went out of their way to get the max three peppers as often as possible. And, having used Eudora since 1993 I stopped using it. They wasted effort on peppers and ads instead of support for IMAP. I went to mail clients which supported IMAP. I was not alone.

  9. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

    This is going to make transcripts for Teams meetings in the chicken and poultry industry awkward, especially breeders.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Nah, if this feature gets pushed to them, they’ll just pullet.

      (Sorry. By way of showing how contrite I am for that pun, allow me to link to an Oglaf strip that is somewhat poultry-related. And also fairly NSFW.)

    2. John Miles

      and those dealing with connecting microwave waveguides or any similar pipe joins

  10. Spanners Silver badge

    whose swear words?

    Almost anyone who has communicated with someone in the USA will know that they have a load of their own swear words and don't know all of the ones the rest of us use.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: whose swear words?

      They also seem a lot more precious about it. I remember several years ago while on a business trip watching daytime TV. One of the characters got their head blown apart by a gunshot quite graphically but their partner's response was bleeped out.

      WTF kind of country is it that considers the gore of a head being blown apart to be fine to watch whilst objecting to profanity?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        The same country that (on Steam) happily displays details of Adult games, but checks my date of birth before showing me violent ones... Consistency, we've heard of it...

        1. J. Cook Silver badge

          Re: ...

          heh. Carlin had a screed about that too, but I can't conjure a link for it at the moment...

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: whose swear words?

        Online games

        Had Yanks saying no curse words please.

        So plenty of British swear words.

        Some Yanks actually like the swearing.

        Who knew that they get upset with damn?

    2. Giles C Silver badge

      Re: whose swear words?

      Hmm I really shocked a colleague in America by telling him that I was off to a pub quiz at the Cock Inn that evening.

      He thought it was really offensive whereas it is a normal pub name round here… I never thought of that but it has been the same name for over 200 hundred years.

      1. Ken Y-N

        Re: whose swear words?

        Hope you didn't also tell them that there was a fag machine in said pub. I got auto-temp banned from Reddit once for discussing bundles of sticks/Northern delicacies.

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: whose swear words?

          Yes. At my wedding in the US, my sort-of informal best man was an old friend and colleague from the UK. He’s a smoker, and my American sister-in-law found it absolutely hilarious when he said he was “going off for a fag”.

          I think that by the 60th or 70th time the joke had maybe started to pall, though!

          (My wife had given everyone burner phones so that the UK contingent could keep in touch without roaming charges; He and sis-in-law and my brother also conspired to swap the SIMs around; once swapped, suggestive SMSs were sent to various in-laws that obviously appeared to come from other in-laws, and much hilarity ensued. I don’t remember much else of the wedding, but in the words of Rowley Birkin, I was very, very drunk.)

  11. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Where I live, Teams is used by a lot of schools and I can imagine MS pitching this as a feature. However, putting a system in front of several thousand schoolchildren and saying "This will filter anything rude." sounds like a learning opportunity ... for someone.

    Icon: Hold my ****.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      When the Science Museum in London first had an interactive terminal that kids could type on, TPTB foresaw this exact problem and created a file containing words that should be filtered out of the kids typing. A couple of days later something went horribly wrong and it ended up displaying the file of forbidden words. This was discovered by teachers who wondered why their charges were so avidly clustered round the terminal taking notes.

  12. t245t

    The return of Net Nanny

    We are all grown-ups, we already know not to be rude online. Besides, as a refugee from Usenet, eventually you'll become desensitized /s

  13. The Bobster

    A classic "so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should" issue.

  14. EricB123 Bronze badge

    Old News

    Didn't George Carlin cover this decades ago?

  15. s. pam Silver badge

    Reminds me of the clusterflock error

    We had to use Zoom early on when it first turned on live transcripts.

    We were not impressed that its generation was inexact when it turned the word Nuxeo into Nazis.

    Yes, you read that right, as we discovered to our horror live in a call and then after a customer conference call when the transcript was reviewed.

    It happened several more times before they did something about it.

  16. Johnb89

    Another example of 80/20 rule

    It seems easy.... filter the swearing... yes, let's do that. But as with everything the low hanging fruit is easy but the hard part is the edge cases, the words that mean different things in different places, the words that have multiple meanings and so on.

    So as ever in tech, they cobble something together, announce how wonderful it will be, move on, and it turns out not to work well enough to be useful.

    Plus ca change.

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