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Introducing "Think Twice" Word Detection System To OpEdNews

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We're about to go live with a new innovation that we think is important to keep our site a place where courteous, intelligent civil discourse is maintained. We're proud that we can claim that to our knowledge there is no high traffic (top 6000 sites in USA according to Alexa.com, top 500 blog sites according to technorati) where as wide a range of discussion on issues is allowed. Many sites ban discussion of some of the topics we allow or only allow one-sided discussion and advocacy.

We call the new innovation our "Think Twice" system. It uses software we've custom designed to detect the use of words we add to a control panel, then delivers a message to the content submitter. The message has two parts-- one specific to the word and the other describing the category of word. We've identified three categories of words to be detected by the "Think Twice" system, listed immediately below, and explained in detail further below.

-Foul language,

-Hurtful, Offensive and Hate

-Languaged words

When a person submits content (article, diary, comment, quicklink) the "Think Twice" system will, when the writer previews the writing, present a screen that lists the word or words, the explanation of our concerns and suggestions, with a button to return to revise the article or proceed to the next step to publish it. There will be no censorship.

We will track the use of this language. Currently we will do nothing with the tracking except look for patterns. If a member uses the same words and language very often, we'll be able to easily see. Is the person a thread hijacker, bringing up issues that are not really relevant... often?

We may decide to post a warning icon on comments, below the user name, signifying the category of word that is in the comment (remember, comments are not moderated before coming live on the site.) This is a way to protect readers, let's say, who don't want to encounter foul language. But that function is NOT currently up and running.

This whole project started after a passionate discussion on banning the words zionist, zionism, islamicist and islamicism, here Banning some words HERE on This Website.

That led me to realize just how wide a range of discussion we allow, and how rare it is. For example, I was speaking with a widely respected leader of a local peace group and he told me that one of the reasons they'd been able to stay in existence for over 26 years was they do not allow discussion of the middle east. He explained that this was a policy that higher ups above the local level instituted as policy.

The Middle East is a very difficult, challenging area for conversation and it is often abused as a vehicle for bigots and members of hate groups to express veiled hate.

Here at OpEdNews.com we welcome discussion by advocates for and supporters of both the Palestinians and Palestine and Israelis and Israel. But we require that it be civil, meet the basic rules of netiquette and never engage in hate.

This project is an experiment-- an attempt to raise consciousness and awareness using the technology we have available to us, and to let haters know we are keeping an eye on them. If your intention is serious, sincere, well intended advocacy or just creative discussion of issues, your participation, your contribution of content is welcome and encouraged and we hope you'll see the "Think Twice" system as a handy reminder that helps you write more effectively and considerately. If you find it intrusive, consider that there are, to the best of our knowledge, no other sites on the web where such a wide range of discussion of issues is allowed. This system is part of what enables us to make it possible.

First, here are the three word categories we've identified and the message content submitters get when using them:


Languaged Words You've used a "Languaged word."

"Languaged words" are words that certain groups have sort of taken ownership of, expending much effort in imbuing upon those words overlying meaning, often creating a reflex reaction to the words. For example, "death tax" is a phrase that right wingers use instead of the more neutral inheritance tax. Another example is "iraq war" which is a phrase that the war and occupancy opponents believe is better characterized as the "Iraq occupancy."

This note is just a suggestion that you think twice about your use of this word and consider using alternative wording. But the choice is yours. You make the final decision.



Foul Language -You've used a word that we consider "foul language." We suggest and request that you consider using other language. There are times when foul language is the best way to express an idea. But we've found that over-used, it lowers the discourse and professionalism of the conversation, the community and the website. Very often, writers regret the use of the foul language later. Also, there are some readers who do NOT ever use foul language and they find its use offensive. Many in this category will just stop reading your article. If your goal is to communicate, then for them, you have failed, even though they might otherwise find your message valuable. This is just a suggestion. The final decision is yours. View Modify


Hurtful, Offensive and Hate -You've used a word that we feel is often abused, used as a foil to hide hate and bigotry, or inappropriately used, often causing hurt and communicating bigotry or hate. We encourage you to be very careful in your use of this word and, preferably, to use an alternate word, particularly if you are not certain that your use is precise and clear, not potentially labeling with too broad a stroke.

It may be that your use of the word is totally appropriate. This message is an automated software function aimed to get our content contributors to be more conscious of their use of words. That's why we call it "THINK TWICE."

The final decision of whether you use the word or not is up to you.

Next, we've begun identifying words that are worthy of the "Think Twice" approach, that we want our writers to seriously consider how they use them.

Word: c-word
Explanation: This is a highly offensive word to most women. There are very few times when it is ever necessary to use it. If you do chose to use it, your content will be carefully scrutinized for potential troll rating and if it is an abusive, hurtful use, you will, as would be the case at any site, be subject to consideration for banning.
Type: Hurtful, Offensive and Hate

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Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of OpEdNews.com, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of Storycon.org, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Listen to over 200 of Rob's Podcast interviews here.

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.


With his experience as architect and founder of a technorati top 100 blog, he is also a new media / social media consultant and trainer for corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurs and authors.

Rob is a frequent Speaker on the bottom-up revolution, politics, The art, science and power of story, heroes and the hero's journey and Positive Psychology. He is a campaign consultant specializing in tapping the power of stories for issue positioning, stump speeches and debates, and optimizing tapping the power of new media. Watch me speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

See more Rob Kall articles here and, older ones, here.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..

And here's a one hour radio interview where I was a guest- on Envision This, on 10/23/13. And here is the transcript. 

And Rob's quotes are here.

To watch me on youtube, having a lively conversation with John Conyers, former Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click here Now, wouldn't you like to see me on the political news shows, representing progressives. If so, tell your favorite shows to bring me on and refer them to this youtube video.

Rob's radio show, The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, runs 9-10 PM EST Wednesday evenings, on AM 1360, WNJC and is archived at www.opednews.com/podcasts Or listen to it streaming, live at www.wnjc1360.com

Rob also hosted a health/mind/body/heart/spirit radio show-- the Rob Kall Futurehealth radio show. Check out podcasts from it at futurehealth.org/podcasts

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See what happens when you use the word zionist or ... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 2:05:09 PM
I used the Z-word.... by Steven Leser on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 2:27:54 PM
Which Z-word ?Can ya spell it out fer me ? I'm... by Tony Forest on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 2:33:39 PM
I find that I am getting tired of saying the same ... by Brett Paatsch on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 11:31:53 PM
I have to work hard to NOT curse. I've resolve... by Rob Kall on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 10:41:20 AM
although that's how my family calls me, but is... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 2:11:44 PM
idiot, moron... they may be words worth considerin... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 3:06:39 PM
good work or glad to see you have been working in ... by Tony Forest on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 2:27:18 PM
it worked. I was warned and given a choice to use ... by Tony Forest on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 2:29:36 PM
I'll always find a way to express myself in a ... by Tony Forest on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 2:37:55 PM
I hate limitation and censorship...but have huge r... by tinalouise on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 5:18:58 PM
I'm wondering what is the point of the color choic... by llaitner on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 5:51:26 PM
Run it across what you want to read and it will be... by Margaret Bassett on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 8:30:42 PM
How'd you figure that out?I kind of like white... by Sandy Sand on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 8:59:15 PM
I think George Bush is a dummy.Republicans are zom... by John R Moffett on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 6:11:05 PM
Rob,The word Zionism is listed at dictionary.com:Z... by TroubledTexan on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 6:46:11 PM
As I said in my article, the community will discus... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 7:19:15 PM
Rob, I'm done. It's you're w... by TroubledTexan on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 7:45:04 PM
Rob, what the Hell are you thining about?... by TroubledTexan on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 6:58:21 PM
What about Klansmen?  I can't see what ho... by mrk * on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 7:03:53 PM
and be careful, because you're making some nas... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 7:34:28 PM
NOT That You'll EVER Read this Reply - but her... by mrk * on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 5:22:24 PM
Zionism: National Socialism for JewsThe Jewish peo... by TroubledTexan on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 6:41:12 PM
The groups of people that you and others often lum... by Steven Leser on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 7:43:08 PM
every week? Here are some excerpts from my respons... by Steven Leser on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 7:39:39 PM
haters yes, bigots yes. You talk hate here, spew b... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 7:52:06 PM
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned t... by WML on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 7:48:22 PM
Unfounded, single anecdote supported, but nice. Me... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 8:01:36 PM
Apparently they get a little wild at salon.com too... by Margaret Bassett on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 8:48:59 PM
If I read correctly, you are "flagging" ... by Rrrandy-Steve on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 8:49:22 PM
... none of this is odd. Rob has determined, from ... by Steven Leser on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 9:17:26 PM
Iraq War vs. Iraq OccupancyI wondered about that m... by Sandy Sand on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 9:37:01 PM
The "languaged words" category is really... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 9:40:42 PM
Occupancy is part of a landlord-tenant dispute....... by Laudyms on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 11:25:13 PM
I forget this and fall into the trap myself. It... by Rob Kall on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 10:44:35 AM
Aaaaw shucks, my favorite word and all it'... by Sandy Sand on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 8:49:24 PM
gut luck herr kall.  i like to offend sometim... by joed on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 8:59:47 PM
I just dashed off a new rant and left it to cool o... by Mary Pitt on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 9:22:58 PM
you can cuss all you want. But you'll get a ge... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 9:37:08 PM
Sounding more and more like "America, love it... by WML on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 9:33:46 PM
go back to your own house.... by Steven Leser on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 9:35:51 PM
I want it to feel more like OUR house. That's ... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 9:55:51 PM
I'm a bit testy this evening. I think you'... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 9:50:06 PM
Rob, I tried hard to convince you to RELY ON YOUR ... by ladybroadoak on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 1:27:14 AM
I was simply trying to translate what I thought Ro... by Steven Leser on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 8:10:18 AM
You are really too much. I don't need int... by ladybroadoak on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 12:18:31 PM
or at least a healthy dose of education in the dif... by Steven Leser on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 1:12:33 PM
I find it extremely interesting that in one commen... by Steven Leser on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 1:20:03 PM
I don’t understand your concern. The system ... by John R Moffett on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 10:06:03 AM
as I found my article went suddenly to being a dig... by ladybroadoak on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 12:27:24 PM
I don't recall seeing the attack you mentioned... by Rob Kall on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 1:31:19 PM
I thought 'free speech' meant the freedom ... by Sandy Sand on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 11:34:16 AM
"heck of a job Sleser001"... by joed on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 9:45:21 PM
Sigfried it is!... by Steven Leser on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 10:04:31 PM
I join troubledtexan in saying adios. I do believe... by walley on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 10:14:13 PM
Funny how people always mention other websites, bu... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 10:28:50 PM
I have read vulgarities in comments on such places... by walley on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 11:39:13 PM
I wasn't in any waysuggesting your position or... by Rob Kall on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 10:51:30 AM
Walley,I post a blog at troubledtexan.com/weblog.N... by TroubledTexan on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 6:17:58 PM
Thanks for the apology Rob. I'm being a bit of a ... by WML on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 11:04:30 PM
One octogenarian reader wrote me, opining that ano... by Rob Kall on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 1:42:28 PM
I do commend your efforts, even tho I also believe... by Laudyms on Thursday, Sep 6, 2007 at 11:17:29 PM
I tried testing the system.  I notice it didn... by Michael Lubin on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 1:30:42 AM
How do you feel about Mark's version much earl... by Steven Leser on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 8:18:45 AM
Here we are, three people, you, me, and Mark, and ... by Steven Leser on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 8:23:13 AM
Steven, In my experience, articles that use t... by Michael Lubin on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 10:55:33 PM
I didn't think what Mark said was an attempt a... by Michael Lubin on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 10:40:19 PM
LOL!! See, it forces you to get creative!! And pla... by Rob Kall on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 1:46:43 PM
...I think this system is a good idea. Those who c... by Pappy on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 2:53:30 AM
...and put up a rather silly looking exclamation p... by Sandy Sand on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 12:04:36 PM
We actually built it and I decided I didn't li... by Rob Kall on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 1:52:01 PM
Pappy ; "I wrote a few comments today that he... by Tony Forest on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 3:15:27 PM
I'd probably be a little bit irritated too if ... by John R Moffett on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 5:19:00 AM
Amazing. Just amazing. The system doesnt prevent a... by Steven Leser on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 8:02:03 AM
I am flabbergasted that people are even trying to ... by John R Moffett on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 8:06:49 AM
Some people are inherently unhappy people. The clo... by Steven Leser on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 11:11:16 AM
I was the first to react, right? I am in  a&n... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 7:37:17 AM
Mark, you don’t want a mechanical system bet... by John R Moffett on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 8:02:02 AM
of course, the system does exactly that-tells you ... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 8:21:17 AM
to just do nothing? Of course this system is easil... by John R Moffett on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 8:30:57 AM
and we are not children here and  we here are... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 8:51:08 AM
to disagree... by John R Moffett on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 9:01:15 AM
Anger is a wonderful and horrible thing, like most... by Rob Kall on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 10:58:20 AM
I write the way I write and I usually say exactly ... by pratliff94 on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 9:38:59 AM
  "Languaged words" are words that... by SteveGinIL on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 11:24:50 AM
See discussion above. Rob meant occupation.... by John R Moffett on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 2:37:14 PM
...I actually thought it was a good idea...a bit i... by Pappy on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 3:06:32 PM
I like to ease into things gradually as possible, ... by Rob Kall on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 3:23:29 PM
Hi there, just tried "Think Twice", it w... by ElaineC on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 3:47:56 PM
As I have said before, there are better than 30000... by Andris on Friday, Sep 7, 2007 at 7:40:30 PM