Why Simple Blocked Word Filters Fail
from the so-many-false-positives dept
It’s surprising that the big web companies still make use of simple keyword blocking filters for things they want to block out. A few years ago we noted that Google’s SafeSearch feature was fairly weak because it banned things like ArkansasExtermination.com (see why?). Now, according to Threadwatch, at least part of Yahoo is doing the same, preventing someone named Callahan from registering their name as an ID, because it contains the word “allah.” Now, obviously, this is a quick and dirty method for filtering — but it seems fairly arbitrary. Shouldn’t there at least be a procedure to request a review of a banned name that the user believes is perfectly legitimate? Update: Apparently Yahoo is paying attention to the buzz, having updated the policy to allow names that use “allah.” Of course, that isn’t really the point — which had more to do with such keyword filtering, not that particular block.