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F-Word Town's Name Gets Censored By Internet Filter

The town of Whakatane, New Zealand found to its surprise recently that its name was censored in cyberspace. The embarrassing mix up was discovered by a tourist who tried to access the town's local wireless service (called Freenet). All of the visitor's searches for Whakatane came up blank with the explanation that, "the content is filtered so this service is for legitimate use."

It turns out the filtering service used is provided by an American company whose filter works on phonetic pronunciations. The filter is triggered because the 'wh' in Whakatane is pronounced like an 'f' -- the town's name sounds like a certain swear word that begins with 'f' and ends with a 'k.' The town has since added its name to the list of words that can bypass the filter.

Plenty of towns around the world there have even more questionable names. We wonder if these would get through the filter:
  • Bohner's Lake, Wisconsin
  • Cockplay, Scotland
  • Anus, France
  • Three Cocks, Wales
  • Weener, Germany
  • Fort Dick, Pennsylvania
  • Dikshit, India
  • Gofuku, Japan

Tags: breaking news, BreakingNews, censorship, filter, search, whakatane