Blighty's telly, radio watchdog Ofcom does a swear
NSFW UK comms regulator Ofcom has released in-depth research into the British public’s attitudes to fucking swearing.
Researchers found that context is bloody everything and there is still strong support for the 9pm watershed, with less tolerance for anything but mildly offensive language and gestures before that time.
Tone and delivery is also important with a clear divide between general sodding swearing and “the emotional impact of discriminatory and racist words compared to ‘general’ swear words.”
The survey also covered gestures with the middle finger, two fingers and the Iberian slap considered of medium offensiveness and potentially unacceptable pre-watershed but acceptable otherwise. Strong gestures, generally unacceptable pre-watershed but mostly acceptable post-watershed, include “Blow job, Two fingers with tongue (cunnilingus), Wanker”.
Sexual references studied ranged from “bonk” - generally of little concern, to “bukkake” and “rapey”- only after the watershed please.
Researchers found: “The words ‘beef curtains’ and ‘bloodclaat’ were recognised by less than half of those who completed the online survey. However, among those familiar with these words, both were considered generally unacceptable for broadcast before the watershed.”
Religious insults were considered generally unacceptable but many were not recognised by large numbers of those questioned.
Offensive terms for sexual orientation and gender identity were seen as problematic and derogatory and discriminatory.
Racist terms were considered the most problematic by those questioned because they considered they were usually used in a discriminatory and derogatory way. The saw only limited circumstances in which they could be broadcast.
Offensive terms for gypsies, Roma and travellers were also considered generally unacceptable.
The survey recommended a full consideration of the context rather than blanket bans on certain words.
Considering the audience, and particularly protecting children, was considered important. The watershed, both for children and for adults, still has wide support among those surveyed.
Terms relating to race, gender identity, sexuality and disability should be treated very carefully by broadcasters.
Those questioned still want broadcasting to reflect “real life” and what is considered acceptable by “most people”, while still protecting minorities. Respondents also noted that language relating to minorities continues to evolve.
Warnings were also considered a useful way to avoid offending people but should be as specific as possible.
The full report is available here, but Ofcom warns the unwary: “This report contains a wide range of words which may cause offence.” You twats.
Anyone looking for cheap laughs will find the good shit starts on page forty-fucking-four. ®