Too rude for Facebook: the ban on Britain's historic place names

Figcaption Too Rude For Facebook The Ban On Britains Historic Place Names
Posted at: Author: Rain TV UK

Name: British landmarks.

Age: Ancient.

Be more specific: No.

Appearance: Striking, historic, controversial.

Controversial? You’ll see.

What are we talking about? Plymouth Hoe and Devil’s Dyke in Sussex.

Lovely places. Marvellous views of the sea from the Hoe. And I had a very nice cream tea once near Devil’s Dyke. What a beautiful valley it is. Well, they’re both in big trouble.

With whom? The mighty Facebook, that’s who.

What’s the problem? Facebook’s hate speech algorithm banned local residents who use the social media platform from referring to hoes and dykes.

Why? Don’t play the innocent with me, squire. You know there’s a problem with hoe.

It can be a dangerous garden implement … Yes, but that is not the kind of hoe the Facebook algorithm was designed to pick up.

Ah, you mean the word hoe, used as an informal abbreviation, sometimes in popular music? I do. Facebook users in Plymouth who mentioned the h-- were muted and blocked. They had to resort to spacing out the letters or calling their local landmark “the oe”. Facebook has since apologised.

Tricky. What will Facebook make of Charles Kingsley’s much loved novel Westward Ho!? Or, indeed, the coastal village in Devon named after it.

And what about that delightful song Heigh-Ho from Snow White? Most likely unacceptable.

What’s the story with Devil’s Dyke? The same problem.
The devil? The dyke.

Ah, a pejorative reference to women who love other women So you do belong to the modern world after all. The Brighton People Facebook group has had members banned for mentioning the D-word and some residents in Dyke Road say they have had difficulty placing orders online because their address is rejected by delivery companies. Again, Facebook has apologised.

But where does that leave people who live in Wash Dyke in Norfolk and on Forest Dyke Road in Lanarkshire? Hungry.

And what about folk in Cockermouth, Cockfosters, Great Cockup and Little Cockup, Cockplay in Northumberland and Three Cocks near Hay-on-Wye? Not to mention Fanny Barks in Durham, Fanny Avenue in Derbyshire and Fanny Hands Lane in Lincolnshire.

And Fingringhoe in Essex; Honey Knob Hill in Wiltshire; Clap Hill in Kent; Shaggs and Droop in Dorset … I could go on. Please don’t. Facebook is going to be very busy.

Not to be confused with: A sensible way to monitor Facebook posts.

Do say: “Get me Nick Clegg on the line! He’ll get Zuckerberg to sort it.”

Don’t say: “Are you sure this whole column isn’t just an excuse to recite lots of rude place names?”

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