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Gay yes, lesbian no, says iTunes

It's been noticed in certain quarters that the iTunes Music Store has suddenly become curiously coy about even slightly rude words: hot, naughty, balls and lesbian now get the asterisk treatment when you search for songs. But not gay, for some reason.

Songs with Hot Hot Hot

The oddest part of this is that it only applies to song titles. The experimental dronecore band F*** Buttons, for instance, get credited in full on the iTunes Music Store song list (although asterisked out in the search field), while 'Cheeky Song (Touch My B*m') gets starred out in both. Ridiculous.

Songs with Naughty

Another strange thing we found is that if you're typing something in - 'Sh*t sandwich', for example (we'd got confused about the Spinal Tap album 'Shark Sandwich') - iTunes only censors the rude words until you finish typing, whereupon they appear in full.

Asterisked-out s**t sandwich

In-full s**t sandwich

It's not the biggest controversy in the world, and many readers may feel, as we do, that it's not a bad idea to stop innocent, clumsy-fingered youngsters from seeing offensive language when they're searching for James Blunt. But 'bum'? 'Hot'? And 'lesbian'? These aren't swear words, and treating them as such is the slippery slope to technological neo-puritanism. In this writer's humble opinion.

Anyway, our thanks to the music website Popjustice's forum users, who discovered this anomaly. Beware of colourful language.

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