Old post but I just read it now, however context is to blame, here's what I think:
Saying "F****t" or any abbreviation is strictly not allowed, fine, personally in my everyday life with my friends we toss that language around a lot, then again we are industrial dudes it's sorta expected. However I won't ever say it on FirePowered servers as I respect that decision to make it a word that will not be tolerated. However, why can we say "cunt"? I didn't sensor it out as we're allowed in certain context, however "f*g" is also based on context, so is "n****" (not "ni***r"). What I don't understand, is all these 3 words are easily used in context, if I call my buddy a "f*g" nobody cares, if I call them "cunt" or "n****" still nobody cares, however if I call someone who is bisexual, or homosexual a "f*g" shit hits the fan, because that's offensive. Well isn't calling a woman a "cunt" also offensive? Or maybe someone takes offense to "n****". My point is, if one of these 3 words is banned, all of them should be, because you can use all 3 in context. Generally most people when using the word "f*g" aren't trying to offend anyone, and it's more commonly used than "cunt" or "n****", so why is it the only one banned? Why not all 3 of them? Technically that's sexism and racism (if "cunt" and "n****" are acceptable and "f*g" is not) by only worrying about people who have a different sexual preference. It's bigotry in itself, which when I first joined and found out that "f*g" wasn't acceptable, I immediately assumed "n****" and "cunt" weren't, because well, all 3 words are either funnies tossed around, or insults that are bigoted based on context.
That's just my thoughts, its impossible to make everyone happy when it comes to language, no matter what, you can't please everyone on this topic. Language is too diverse, context has too much influence on a lot of things, especially when it comes to text chat, people read differently and will take identical information differently. I just avoid saying those words until there's more comfort between me and new people, and I make sure they're not offended by it, and if not, cool, if so, I respect that and I won't use that language around them.
Edit: "n****" is auto sensored? Alright, gotcha, so that's not allowed maybe, why is "cunt" then? You still have a broken triangle.
While I don't generally like to get involved with "this word vs that word" debates (I agree that context matters more), here are my personal views on it.
- Nigger = universally agreed upon offensive. I don't think anyone questions why we don't want people saying this. It just serves to breed hate.
- Faggot = Used to be somewhat acceptable a decade or two ago for some reason, but is quickly making the change to unacceptable. In the gaming world, FP might be a little ahead of the curve on this. The spirit of blocking this word corresponds to our culture of being inclusive. While we can't coddle our players, I do think removing this word from the community vernacular is overall beneficial, even if it means banning a few players.
- Fag = Since it tends to be used in the same manner as the above, I think we should treat it similarly.
- Nigga' = Widely used in pop-culture. While I don't personally agree that people should say this on our servers, I get why others think we should allow it. It's popularized in music, television, and movies, so a lot of people are just going to assume you can.
- Cunt = This one is debatable, and we've devoted an hour or two to talking about this one particular word in the past. In many places outside of the US, it isn't seen as offensive in the least. Some people like to pretend to be aussies (the sniper's presence probably help initiate this behavior), and its use is vastly variable partially due to this. I find this word to be very too context-oriented to outright ban the word. There are certainly a lot of people who think it should be banned, and others who don't even know why it would be offensive.
Now you mentioned that people saying "fag" should be contextual-based as well. If we could take the time to look at every case individually, this would be awesome. However, I just did a search on the last 500 instances of "fag" being said, and at least 90% are toxic insults with bigotry mixed in. Things like "yes the brony fag is gone" and "dude nigger otaku you're fucking useless up there blocking my view dumb fag" and "you are a buttfag and nobody likes you". There are totally some instances that aren't ban-worthy, but I'd rather catch a few false positives than let this atmosphere exist. Our intent is to issue warnings before any language-related communications ban anyway.
The history of the word faggot is deeply troubling (literally burning people to death), and the recent history of its use isn't great either. Since the context of "fag" and "faggot" use is generally the same, my belief is that they should be treated the same. These words strike a nerve with a lot of people who are gay, have gay friends, or are sympathetic to homosexuality in general. These words only make people feel uncomfortable or harassed and I don't want FP to be any part of that.
As I mentioned, "cunt" is entirely debatable and our stance on it could change in the future. To be fair to this conversation, I looked up the last 500 lines of chat for this as well (filtering out "scunt" which is apparently very popular). You're absolutely right that the majority of cases also contribute to a toxic atmosphere, but I don't see almost any cases where it's specifically used in a sexist way. My personal view is that you can call someone a "dick" and it's fine, so why should "cunt" be any different? I know it's not a popular view and I don't expect others to feel the same way (nor do I direct it at women because I know it can be a sensitive word, much like "bitch" as a sexist insult). But unlike "fag/faggot", there are entire days where not a single person on any of our servers use the word. This in turn makes it much easier to keep an eye on. If someone is using it in a sexist or harassing way, report them and we'll be more than happy to issue warnings/bans where appropriate.
If you think we should revisit the policy on "cunt" to make it more consistent, that's fair. We can totally have another discussion about it. Generally though, these discussions are held in our member or admin boards (we're trying to use the former more often than the latter nowadays). However, if you think it's a big enough issue to debate publicly, we can certainly do that. I personally don't think the word warrants a strict "no saying this no matter the context" rule, therefore it shouldn't be on our blocked/ban list.
I know one of the things that sets FirePowered apart from a lot of other TF2 communities is our stance on language and inclusiveness. At this point in our community's life, many of our community members expect us to be strict on this kind of thing and that's one of the things keeping them here. It's genuinely hard to find a good community where you can expect some level of respect and courtesy from all players, whether or not they're regulars. One of my goals during FP's founding was to make a place where someone who was used to working in a professional environment all day could come home, join a TF2 game, and retain a similar level of civility as they would at work. This isn't a workplace and I don't expect it to be the same, but I never liked logging into a game and feeling like I was surrounded by teenagers trying out their bigoted words for the first time on a reactive audience. We're a gaming community, not a community of anonymous youtube comments. We need to respect each other and be accountable to one another. It's best to avoid saying some words in public.
On a related note: This conversation sparked an idea about how to better moderate this kind of language on our game servers with automatic in-game warnings with the explicit set of "absolutely not" words. We'll make a thread in the member's section in a bit to discuss the best way of implementing it, and to debate if it's really a good idea to just straight up block chat messages while printing a message to the player about why they can't say what they just tried to say.
On an unrelated note: Sorry about the inconsistent forum censorship. The filter was created back when the forums were (Apr 2013) and hadn't been updated since. I've removed "Nigga" from it after seeing your post, but the filter only parses text during their post time. Do keep in mind that Google will index your public forum posts, so if you don't want that kind of language associated with your username or steamid, don't say them.