There are a few items to consider when deciding on whether to go the route of implementing a SaaS option or an On-Premise option for a profanity filter. There is no right or wrong choice in this matter, simply what works best for your needs.
First let’s make clear what the SaaS and On-premise solutions offer:
This is a shared, “multi-tenant” instance that is hosted by the profanity filter vendor. There is no installation required by the client. You simply integrate your product, send content through the filter, receive the appropriate response and define what action you want taken.
When people hear the phrase “profanity filtering” their minds typically go directly to the gaming industry. Certainly gaming has a very strong need for filtering as communication between players in chat and forums is a key component of how companies can build and grow an online community. Many of our early clients came from the gaming industry.
New Zealand recently enacted a bill that will make cyber-bullying illegal and punishable for the bully and the company that hosts the application used for the bullying.
Though there were a few legislators that voted against the bill, the vote was an overwhelming 116 to 5.
Opponents believe that this will impact free speech and that determining if specific user-generated content is in fact cyber-bullying could be difficult or impossible.
From my perspective, I don't feel this bill impacts free speech. It is similarly illegal to harass or threaten someone in person, so why should it be any different online?
Furthermore, identifying user-generated content that is cyber-bullying shouldn't be overly difficult. If someone feels cyber-bullied and reports the issue, that should be enough to investigate. Likewise, companies can also use automated solutions like CleanSpeak to help get alerts when conversations look like they contain cyber-bullying. Companies can let moderators make the final judgement and remove the content from their applications and/or kick the bully out as well.
Support forums are now a requirement for almost any business that has customers. Most support forums are hard to use, unorganized and look terrible. To illustrate some of these issues, I'm going to pick on the Logitech forums, which are powered by Lithium (http://forums.logitech.com).
One of the first things customers do when looking for support in your forums is to search. If your search isn't awesome or has any odd bugs, it will probably drive your customers crazy and they might give up and return the product instead of trying to fix it.
Here's the Logitech search bar:
We are pleased to announce the release of CleanSpeak 3.0. This is the largest and most significant release of CleanSpeak yet. It is packed with features and improvements that make it even faster and easier to use. You can even use Google login with CleanSpeak. Let’s dig into some of the other new features.
CleanSpeak now fully supports BBCode. You can send CleanSpeak BBCode and it will properly filter and analyze it for profanity and other unwanted content. It will also correctly handle BBCode attributes that might also contain profanity. CleanSpeak will render the BBCode in queues and search results and can be configured to include the custom BBCode tags from your forum. Finally, you can configure how BBCode is filtered and rendered in CleanSpeak.