Scunthorpe Problem

What Does Scunthorpe Problem Mean?

The Scunthorpe problem is a relatively common technology issue where systems censor data based on faulty or irrelevant designations. It's named after the town of Scunthorpe in North Lincolnshire, England.


Techopedia Explains Scunthorpe Problem

After some British technologies censored the names of towns like Scunthorpe based on faulty algorithms identifying them as obscene words, the "Scunthorpe problem" became part of the IT parlance. In a Scunthorpe problem situation, technologies are taking text strings including the letters of obscene words and characterizing them as obscenities, blocking them or redacting them for users.

The Scunthorpe problem shows how imprecise or blanket activity can hinder the utility of filtering or censoring technologies.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…