Spam and parental-control filtering is something of a blunt instrument in stopping offensive or inappropriate words coming through our email.
Now, major New Zealand ISP Xtra (from Telecom NZ) has fallen foul by not allowing even inoffensive words such as "gay" and "heterosexual".
They were found out when a customer whose first name is Gay couldn't email the ISP.
Gay Hamilton, from Nelson, received an automated response that suggested her email was “inappropriate for business-like communication”.
By coincidence, Gay is gay, and that's probably why she was so offended by Xtra's offence. As she pointed out herself, does Xtra reject emails from men called Dick?
The NZ Herald reported a Telecom NZ PR spokesperson as saying that: “Our systems internally detect a number of words, including both the words gay and heterosexual, that could be deemed as inappropriate for use at work”.