I have suggested an edit on What is the German equivalent of the English phrase "Fuck me"? replacing the censored instances of F@#k with the actual word Fuck. This edit has been rejected by a moderator stating "no - we should not use these words here. This site is open for minors from age 13 and should therefore be clean of offensive stuff.".

As far as I can see from previous discussion in Is this question appropriate? and linked questions it is my understanding that swear words are to be avoided in question titles but can be used in the question text.

My edit did put the word Fuck in the question title as it seems to me this is unavoidable given the nature of the question. The only other possibility would be to reword the question title completely in order not to use the censored form.

However, I take more issue with the fact that the rest of the suggested edit has also been discarded. As far as I can see from previous discussion there is nothing preventing the use of swear words in question text. Censoring words in question text make it very hard to find the question and thereby diminish the value of a Q&A site as a whole.

What do you think? Is it appropriate to use the non-censored form in this question's text and maybe also title?

  • If I'm not mistaken then "censored" may not be the right word, as the OP herself chose the "sanitized" spelling. Jul 11, 2013 at 18:00
  • @EugeneSeidel That is called self-censorship.
    – Chris
    Jul 12, 2013 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


When reviewing an edit we have the choice to

  • accept it
  • reject it
  • improve it

Therefore whenever we review an edit we feel is not really improving a post there is a good chance that it will be rejected even if parts of the edit may have been correct.

In order to improve an edit we need substantial issues that would benefit from such an effort. This was not the case here, as the edit only removed special characters from "F@#k".

For a discussion on how we deal with vulgar expressions in questions, or answers see the following meta questions:

  • So would it be acceptable if I resubmitted the edit suggestion without changing the question caption?
    – Chris
    Jul 10, 2013 at 8:03
  • 1
    The issue rather is that SE sites should stay PG-13 in America and elsewhere on this planet to allow access for minors, and to prevent us from banning through filters people may have installed. IMO an edit to remove special characters would not really make this question better. The answers we have show that it was well understood, and for anything else (e.g. Google search results) writing out this expletive may not lead to the desired result.
    – Takkat
    Jul 10, 2013 at 8:16

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