How to Remove Swear Words from Your Online Life

Here’s how, in an age when it’s impossible to view YouTube without encountering the profane and incoherent, to make surfing the web more palatable for grandma or the tykes.

Install Firefox.

Download the extension FoxReplace.

Once it’s installed (and Firefox reloaded), go to the options in Tools/FoxReplace:

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Select FoxReplace options…

You’ll see a window with three columns: URL, replace and with.

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Now enter those terms that you find offensive by clicking the Add button on the right.

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The top half of the window lets you decide whether you want to ‘censor’ specific webpages. Leaving this blank means all pages you visit will be affected.

Add the word you want sanitized in the text box next to Replace. This may be the only time in your life you get to type these words without feeling bad about it, so savour it. If you find a particular expletive is used in different tenses, just use the root. The suffixes—ing, ed etc—won’t look so offensive once the root has been cleansed. So to speak.

If you want to replace the word with something more acceptable, enter it in the right hand column. Otherwise leave it blank. I use [charming expletive] but this is merely my taste.

When you’re done thinking up the worst words you can think of, click OK.

You’ll now be back in the Firefox browser. Try visiting a page you know is full of ribaldry. You should see the unacceptable words replaced with whatever words you chose.

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You can set FoxReplace to replace these words automatically or manually. Select Auto-replace on page load from the Tools/FoxReplace menu.

I find this useful for when I’m browsing web-sites that have arresting content and slightly less arresting commenters. It’s odd how demoralizing it can be to read a page full of expletives and grammatical errors. Talking of which, I’ve also set FoxReplace to correct those annoying instances of “would of” and “could of” that aren’t exactly expletives, but have the same effect on my mood.

08. October 2008 by jeremy
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