I recently used the PS4's "Share" feature to tweet a screenshot of a Deathclaw, and I included #Deathclaw in the tweet. Then later, in the "Recent Activities" section of the Fallout 4 page on the XMB, I saw a card with my tweet, only the Deathclaw hashtag appeared as #Dea***law - the PS4 decided to replace the string "thc" with asterisks, apparently because those letters happen to be the initials of the chemical name for a psychoactive compound, which some individuals might object to seeing.

While I can see the practical applications of a language filter on social media content, the fact that it seems to operate on a regular expression that completely fails to account for context and thus triggers false positives can actually lead to the opposite effect - it took me quite a while to figure out why there were asterisks at all, and when I finally did, I realized that the word filter had actually caused me to think about the word it was trying to censor.

I'm a grown adult, and I don't have kids, but if I did, I'd much prefer they see the word basement and think about the subterranean level of a building, then that they see ba*****t, get confused, investigate to determine what characters were replaced with asterisks, and then are thinking about what that word represents.

A few other words that my Googling told me would receive the same treatment:

  • Connection
  • Doggie
  • Assassin
  • Prometheus
  • Canal
  • Cumbersome

Is there any way to disable the word filter on the PS4's XMB/"Recent Activities" feed?

  • grapefruit.....yeah ive had this trouble...the best bypass I have found is to simply put spaces between the letters... – Firobug May 26 '16 at 5:56
  • @Firobug but that wouldn't work for a Twitter hashtag. – Dan Henderson May 26 '16 at 11:09
  • how about a hyphen seperating the two word#death-claw – Firobug May 26 '16 at 17:38
  • 2
    this is still my favourite – Emissary Jun 2 '16 at 16:39
  • 1
    @Emissary the final sentence in that article pretty much sums up my point - "All classic cases of how drawing attention to something makes it a million times worse." – Dan Henderson Jul 27 '16 at 12:27


I actually spent quite a bit of time wandering around the PS4 Manual page (Link) and there is absolutely no information about it.

The best way forward with this would be to contact Sony Support to see if they have plans of fixing this in a future update. I highly doubt it however.

| improve this answer | |
  • I'm glad someone finally posted an answer. While the absence of evidence does not provide evidence of absence, I appreciate the link, and the effort you put into scouring it for information. Based on the discussion/complaint threads I found when I posted this question, I agree that contacting Sony Support isn't likely to lead anywhere, but I might do it anyway, just on principle. – Dan Henderson Sep 5 '16 at 8:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.