WHEN asked on a Disney website what the best thing is about the holidays, a 10-year-old girl from North Carolina was shocked that her mention of God was censored and reprimanded as if she was trying to use profanity against the site’s rules.
Celebrating her birthday on Sunday, Lilly Anderson spent some time posting her answers to questions on the Disney Channel’s website, which included asking her what she was thankful for. The just-turned 10–year-old from Angier, North Carolina, was eager to share with the online community what the most important things in her life were.
“God, my family, my church and my friends,” Lilly typed … before discovering that her entry was deemed censorable and inappropriate and would not be accepted to appear on the site.
A pop-up soon appeared on her screen reprimanding her to clean up her act refrain from using offensive language.
“Please be nice!” the site exclaimed in red writing in response to Lilly entering “God” in her reply to the site-generated question.
When Disney was contacted by the media to provide an explanation for censoring entries containing “God” on its websites, a representative for the international entertainment giant had this to say:
“[It was blocked] because so many people attempt to abuse the system and use the word ‘God’ in conjunction with profanity,” the Disney official explained. “In an abundance of caution, our system is forced to catch and prevent any use of the word on our website.”
Even though Lilly’s mother could see some of the reasoning behind Disney taking extra precautions on its websites, she is not sold on the explanation that such online responses warrant exclamatory warnings implying that kids are doing something wrong or shameful.
“In a way, it’s understandable what they’re trying to prevent, but a big red message that tells a child that it’s not nice to be thankful for God might not be the best way to handle that,” Julie Anderson asserted.