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Hearst Site Tries to Ban Use of the Word “Frakking,” Accidentally Bans Mention of Controversial Mining Technique Instead


Are you frakking kidding me? Hearst Connecticut Media Group briefly banned the use of the word “fracking” in their website comments section, not realizing that fracking, a form of drilling for natural gas, does not equal frakking, a widely-used Battlestar Galactica-inspired curse word substitute.

The initial ban came about because, according to HCMG executive producer Brett Mickelson in an e-mail to a frakking supporter (ha ha) who questioned the ban:

Sadly, many of our users attempt to exploit a perfectly legitimate word as a replacement for it’s [sic] more vulgar cousin. As a result, we have been forced to block its usage. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I hope you understand.

After environmental activist Sharon Wilson wrote a blog post calling HCMG out on their apparently shady tactic of banning discussion on the highly controversial topic of fracking, Mickelson sent her an e-mail explaining that “I wish a certain segment of our audience was mature enough to be trusted with words that bear a vague resemblance to a less savory vocabulary, but that isn’t the world in which we live.”

Even then, he didn’t realize “fracking” and “frakking” are two different things! I wonder who it was who pulled him aside and told him.

The ban was eventually lifted, with Mickelson sending a second e-mail to Wilson that the whole thing “was a technical issue tied to anti-profanity screening. It has been fixed to allow the word ‘fracking’ to appear in our comments section. It was never a policy here or elsewhere at Hearst.

Ohhh, Brett Mickelson. I don’t know whether I want to slap you or hug you.

(via: blastr, Romanesko)

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