Why are web searches filtered?

If that were / is the case, then why can’t Roblox just have filters only occur for accounts that are 13-?

I personally believe searches shouldn’t be filtered at all, but if the intention is to prevent children from seeing words they put in themselves and parents thinking wrong about Roblox because of it, at least have it unexistent for 13+ accounts.

But honestly, an even better solution would be to simply still show the results of the search, but filter the search where it is displayed.

Besides, you can already do things like this (although I’m not sure if it’s intentional)…:
image

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Most inappropriate results (e.g. “bypassed” decals) get deleted in a few days and are often NOT named after what they constitute. So searching up something bad really has no harm (unless you’re <13,where you’re not supposed to learn swear words).

Roblox’s endless obsession with purging their website of anything resembling “profanity” is really starting to cross the line in this situation. Filtering the search bar? Have things really become this bad? People should be able to perform tasks as basic as using the search bar without disturbance of this obnoxious puritan censorship.

I understand the filtering of chat messages, but the search bar is something that only the user themselves will be viewing and I see no possible reason for a filter to exist here. At the very least, 13+ users should be provided with an option to have unfiltered access to the website. And if curse words are really that much of a horrible offense to you, is it really the smartest idea to be participating in an online chat, filled with people you don’t know or trust? Just simply close the chat and let everyone else enjoy a functional messaging system without the existence of a deranged content filter. Ultimately, from a philosophical standpoint - “curse” words only have as much meaning as you give them, and trying to rid the world of them is not a rational solution to the real problem at hand.

Realistically speaking, Roblox probably won’t do much about this, because their political image seems to be quite a bit more important than user satisfaction.

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I can set my alt’s alias to “F***”, why shouldn’t I be able to search with that?
Search query isn’t visible to others and alias is the same. Why to filter the other one only then? Makes 0 sense.

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This isn’t new, this has been a thing for several years FYI. It sucks that it has to be filtered, but if you haven’t noticed it before, then the UX impact must be pretty minimal.

The issue here I am referring to is Roblox’s complete lack of regard or transparency on such a simple problem (at least to my knowledge) which affects a fundamental part of the user experience on the website. The fact that we have to resort to hacky workarounds like using google for basic content searches on Roblox is a major problem especially considering how easily they could send a staff member to shed some light on the issue or just fix it altogether - of which they simply have not bothered to do for several years apparently. It’s that classy corporate attitude that Roblox has developed over the years that I do not remember seeing much of in previous times.

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What you search is visible to you and possibly a third-party (specifically scorecardresearch) that Roblox has deals set-up with, and any human being in that company is mature enough to read swear words in searches. If humans are reading your searches at all (most likely, a bot is).

You were probably right about that.

Still, the people (if any?) reviewing your searches are mature enough to read swear words in the searches. The only people that can read your searches are you, Scorecard Research employees, Roblox Admins, and hackers.

Isn’t the point of filter searches to keep you from accessing what you looked up and has nothing to do with third party / anyone else seeing what you typed up? Everyone is right here, nobody but you (probably) will see what you typed up. I don’t think that’s what Roblox is attempting to prevent.

The filter, from my understanding, is attempting to block a group/community/users (whether by themselves or others) from forming harmful information. If the word “frick” is censored (it’s not really, but for the sake of conversation let’s say it is) then it’s obviously to block users from accessing what they tried to search up for, not trying to make it where someone might see what you searched up.

I’ve typed up a LOT of words in the library for models, and not one has censored besides common swear words (obviously). I’ve searched up some of the following key words: KKK, frick, Discord, ww3, war world 3, 666, cult, gore, reproductive organs (lol), uterus (wasn’t blocked but no results either) - but this wasn’t all I searched up, but just important examples I thought I’d show.

I’m actually unsure what people mean that it’s so unbearable (or that’s how it’s coming off) to use the search filter for developers. I’ve actually ran into 0 issues as of writing this in March 31st, 2020. I’m actually curious what keywords people are struggling with? As you can see in the small list I’ve provided, they ALL worked.

Edit: This post might’ve been needed in 2017, but from me spending a while typing in both common and “offensive” words (using that word lightly) - I have ran into zero issues. Not sure why this thread is being bumped the way it is, if people could give better details on what’s preventing them from using the search filter then it would help people understand what the big issue is. So far, all I can see is people are upset they can’t type swear words into the search bar, which shouldn’t be removed? I’m not sure you would even want to do that or why would Roblox ever remove that, just because you’re 13+.

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To add on to my previous response, it is usernames in particular that a lot of people are having issues with. A username that Roblox’s filters (laughably) determines as inappropriate will not show up if searched for. For example I recently assisted somebody on the Developer Forum named “skilpus3000” – now, I can see why their username was flagged (although the username itself is not inappropriate) – but searching for them on the main website itself was impossible due to this bug.

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There isn’t a huge importance to searching up users, or I don’t believe so. You can always google “skilpus3000 Roblox.com” or something and their profile will show up. However, I actually don’t see your issue, either. I can find this user just fine and it doesn’t get blocked on my end.

Examples:

When typing the user:

While searching:

The content on Roblox will always be filtered before you even type something into the search bar. When you see hashtags, it’s not a sign of it “filtering” anything, it’s a sign that it’s blocking your result. Which is why it show up as hashtags and not “No results found”. Which is a lot different and I doubt Roblox will remove this blockage. If they’re blocking something from being accessed, it’s probably because the machine picked it up as abusive language. (Even if it’s not)

It’s not too hard to adapt to minor changes - I would 100% agree with a post like this if a LOT of words were being censored and that it was so hard to search anything, but it looks to be rare cases and even then I’m not experiencing the blocks on my end. (Like I could search that user up just fine despite you saying you’re struggling with it.)

Edit: It might be because he changed his username, not sure how that works or anything. But I know it still works on my end. But to test it again, I searched the username in the library and in games to see if it would be blocked there and it wasn’t, worked both times.

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I don’t think this is about profanity; it’s probably to stop someone putting their full name or credit card number or something into the search bar and then having that stored somewhere.

Roblox should continue to censor searches stored on their servers or by third parties. However, they should not censor the search when a user is actually searching for something. This way, no personal information can be stored anywhere and users can still get relevant searches.

In its current state, the search bar is borderline useless.

Why would anyone want to search up their own credit card number? That would be ridiculous.

The search bar is overreactive and makes many searches (especially usernames) unsearchable. For example, my username “I_lovejava1” is tagged in the search bar and in the chat. However, it wasn’t considered an inappropriate username when I registered. I have to search up my friend’s username “I_lovejava” whenever I want to find myself on the search bar. Surprisingly, his username isn’t tagged.

There’s no reason to store searches at all. It’s just a waste of data space if they’re doing it. Unless they are having a third party store it to make money.

Out of curiosity, when was the last time you’ve attempted to do this? I just tried searching up “I_lovejava1” today and it worked just fine.

Not sure if this should be in https://devforum.roblox.com/c/platform-feedback/website-features, due to it being seemingly intentional.

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I think it would be fruitful to make a new feature request (if none exists yet for this) and refer back to this topic, since this topic doesn’t have a lot of content and use cases going in the first post.

I would, but I’m not good at making posts.

That’s odd that it is working now. I just tried it again myself and it does in fact work. Maybe it’s because somebody has the alias “skilpus3000” now? My point however, is that people shouldn’t need to workaround by using Google. If I workaround the filter using Google, don’t you think a kid can do the same? If anything this “feature” only encourages kids to use actually unsafe search engines, which could result in actually inappropriate material.

tl;dr – yes, we can deal with it, but no, we shouldn’t have to.

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The issue I’m seeing, here and in other threads/spaces, is to remove the blockage all together. If the issue is not big enough where it’s blocking out a bunch of common words, or that it’s impossible to use it, then removing it all together doesn’t solve that issue but instead removes ALL extra security Roblox had put in place for the searches.

Roblox is a billion dollar company. If they didn’t feel like this blockage wasn’t important to their platform, they wouldn’t of spent the time, resources or money to add it. Roblox isn’t responsible for what kids do off of their platform and Roblox shouldn’t remove their security measures because kids might not use Google correctly.

The search filter doesn’t seem broken (or unbearable) to use. It seems to be only rare cases where users are struggling with some words sometimes. Even if everything is being filtered before something gets blocked from searching it up, there has to be a reason why Roblox would remove something. They felt like they needed this feature, so they added it.

I was actually able to look up NSFW words without anything being blocked, so I’m not sure what people are attempting to get removed or why.

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The filter is pretty obnoxious to use (the filter is so paranoid in fact, that if the end of a preceding word can be combined with the beginning of the following word in an inappropriate way, then both of those words will be filtered), and it’s not a black and white issue either. But regardless of people’s personal opinions on whether it is or is not unbearable, the fact is we don’t need to choose to either get rid of it altogether or keep it in it’s current state. The filter is obviously necessary (overall, not in the search bar though), but there is clear room for massive improvement.

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(I’m just assuming, so take what I say with a gain of salt) - But the filter is learning to adapt to words. Let’s say the word “Discord” is blocked in search results (it’s not, but just as an example) and the filter started to notice that people started to replace the word “Discord” with “Dis”, it will start to block “Dis” because it’s learning that people are using it to replace the other word.

Typically this is why something would get blocked. But I agree, it’s not a black or white issue and I don’t know if it’s super necessary to keep it but I know if I was running a site for a bunch of kids, I know I would block a lot of keywords from even being able accessed even if all of the content on the website is already filtered. Better safe then sorry when your entire company’s reputation is up at risk and you don’t want to have little kids access something they’re not supposed to.

I know the old filter for searching was… awful. It seems to improved a lot, because words I wasn’t able to type into the search now work. I’m assuming it’s a work in progress or they already improved it as best as they could. Not sure.