Apple’s Notes app censors handwritten profanity

I just realized while writing that automatically detected titles in Notes sensor “bad” words…

Ivan Mehta for TNW:

Apple works very hard to maintain a “clean” and family-friendly image. So much so that it censors handwritten words when suggesting a title for notes.

Today, a user in r/iOSBeta subreddit noted the company’s algorithm muted the word “fuck” when recommending a title for the handwritten note.

However, Apple doesn’t seem to be muting every cuss word. For instance, it didn’t mute “ass.”

We’ve asked Apple for more details, and we’ll update the story accordingly. This is a hilariously bad attempt by Apple to keep its suggestions at a PG-13 level.

MacDailyNews Take: Some might ask “WTF?”

When decorum is repression, the only dignity free men have is to speak out. — Abbie Hoffman

But, others might approve.

Observe decorum, and it will open a path to morality. — Mason Cooley


  1. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️… unbelievable.. that is freaking intrusive and totalitarian .

    Ahh the irony in the 1984 commercial . And what seems has turned into a hypocrisy !

    1. WTF? Apple has no business doing that. Here we go, Orwell’s 1984, big brother censoring us, telling us how to tho think and speak efin sickening. What next? Censoring what kind of pictures we can take with our phones?

  2. Plus has Apple ever looked into what happens when a 3 letter word s.e.x or f.u.c.k or the combination in typed in safari …and the resulting images???

    So are they going to ban the use of those words in safari too,..
    It would seem that would be more critical than a title for my privet notes..

    This is Fucking Joke ! Apple !!!

      1. Good point..
        Type SEX AND FUCK in Safari and enjoy the ride.

        And people are worried up autocorrecting to an inappropriate word in Notes?

  3. You can manually set that word in the title if you want. This isn’t censorship, it’s not having such words in the dictionary so it doesn’t incorrectly suggest it to a 6 year old. The only sure way to avoid doing that, is not knowing the word.

      1. The word Fuck is indeed very unsafe… it leads to population increase.. which leads exhaustion of resources, pollution of the planet….name it ….And finally annihilation of the spices… After which all of the above is a moot point anyway .

        Kudos tomApple, they are actually saving our Spicies ! Yee haaa !

        Is there one kid, in the real world who does not know this word….

        If Apple want to express their concerns.. dont censor.. give an option in setting to block profanities and sexually related word.
        Those who are concerned can flick a password protected switch on on their kids devices and problem is solved.
        But to impose on everybody… … ‘1984’

    1. I confirmed that. Type a nonsense word, and you get “New Note”

      Either that, or Apple is censoring Porb and Intr, too, most likely because those are the words most likely to invoke the Illuminati.

  4. What the #&%$ is the matter with Apple? I’m not looking forward to their original series. Profanity on TV is quite natural, nowadays. /s

    I don’t particularly care for using or hearing profanity, but I do have a slight problem with Apple doing so much censoring. I guess the %#@k as to stop somewhere.

  5. For some people, I would guess many at Apple, violent acts can be committed with mere words.

    Definition of violence
    1a : the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy
    b : an instance of violent treatment or procedure

    *** 2 : injury by or as if by distortion, infringement, or profanation::) : OUTRAGE ”

    3a : intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force
    the violence of the storm

    *** b : vehement feeling or expression : FERVOR
    also : an instance of such action or feeling

    *** c : a clashing or jarring quality : DISCORDANCE

    *** 4 : undue alteration (as of wording or sense in editing a text)

    1. Oh, for fuck’s sake, people!
      What a bunching of shitty snowflakes.
      Apple is not preventing us from putting profanity into our notes (or note titles), it is merely declining to SUGGEST that as a note title. As someone pointed out, they probably deliberately don’t have those words in their suggestion dictionary (or however that works) so that they don’t accidentally suggest profanity when the person meant to type something other than profanity.

      Back when auto-correct was changing “fucking” to “ducking,” it made sense to criticize Apple. They shouldn’t censor what we type. But it doesn’t make sense to criticize them for being cautious about suggesting profanity to us.

      Grow the fuck up! 😉

  6. Way back in the 1980s I had a small software company that developed a spelling checker for the Apple II. My employee asked me if we should be swear words in the dictionary. I said “why not, we don’t want to mark them as spelled incorrectly if someone uses them…” I was proudly displaying the software to some friends at the Apple booth and I typed “cant” instead of “can’t”. Among the suggestions was “cunt.” Needless to say, I had the employee nix the use of swear words in the dictionary files (today, of course, we’d just flag such words as “not suggestible.” However, given memory limitations of the time, the extra memory and CPUc cycles to do this made it a non-starter).

  7. hhmm. doesn’t bode well for apple’s coming appletv subscription service. fuck no, it don’t, she cackled through her tobacco stained teeth. aint a lot of squeaky clean people left, no more, no how.

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