29 March 2010

London's forbidden streets (by software)

The BBC website has an amusing article this morning on how spam and profanity filters often get it wrong.

As we know, they can confine your innocent emails into the trash along with all that junk designed to trap the credulous - you know, implausible anatomical enhancements, third-world banking sleight-of-hand, TfL press releases, that sort of thing.

Indeed, a friend recently fell foul of his company's rude-word firewall (the software was American, of course). He was organising a bike ride to meet at the historic statue that marks the limit of the Great Fire of 1666, just south of Smithfield (right). And he just couldn't understand why the mass email about it was repeatedly not being allowed through...

A spam-filter bike tour of London: now there's a thought. Glance through the London A to Z and you'll come up with plenty more names thought rude by American software. No doubt the evil streetmap is banned throughout the southern States.


  1. That sign below the golden cherub helpfully explains that the Great Fire was no accident. It was the work of the Catholics. And God only allowed it to happen to punish Londoners for the sin of gluttony.

    Take it from me, mate, these religious and ethnic minorities in London have always been out to cause trouble.

  2. In other puerile name-related news, the Canadian history magazine (The Beaver) has changed its name. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8528672.stm

    The linked article has other good examples (Scunthorpe, for instance).

  3. Cue the Beavis & Butthead sniggers :>P

    There is also a village in Worcestershire with a bit of a rude name, but reading Josh's link, the first few paragraphs under 'Spam Tsunami' is priceless!

  4. Walthamstow has Hooker's Road. Probably not a street name you'll find in the USA.