Urbandictionary.com says rape is for laughs

I happened to stumble upon this entry on urbandictionary.com today

Just in case you’ve somehow missed this, ‘lol’ is the internet/sms abbreviation of ‘laugh out loud’. So apparently getting laughs is the one good reason to rape.

Where to start with this?? I looked up urban dictionary’s terms of service. The ‘user conduct’ section includes the following

User Conduct

  1. Users may not post Content (as defined below) that:
    1. is unlawful, threatening, libelous or defamatory;
    2. violates any party’s intellectual property; or
    3. is detrimental to the quality or intended spirit of the Website.
  2. Examples of unacceptable Content or behavior on the Website include:
    1. abuse, harassment, threats of violence, flaming, intimidation of any person or organization, or any other threatening behavior;
    2. engaging in or contributing to any illegal activity or activity that violates others’ rights;
(emphasis mine)
Of course the terms of service also include this –
3. The Company has the right, but not the obligation, to limit or revoke the use privileges or editor account of anyone who posts unacceptable Content.
4. At any time, the Company can refuse to allow a posting or remove a posting at its sole discretion. However, Urban Dictionary is not obligated to restrict or monitor submissions in any way, or to block users who submit inappropriate content.

This leaves me wondering what exactly is the point of stipulating user conduct if you then free yourself from any obligation to hold people to that conduct?

Yet, I have given urbandictionary the benefit of the doubt, and emailed them about this entry. I am desperately hoping that they will recognise the extremely serious, destructive and illegal nature of this statement and remove it from their website. Hoping for a positive response from them.

emails can be sent to legal@urbandictionary.com

17 thoughts on “Urbandictionary.com says rape is for laughs

  1. I think you misunderstand. The entry is just saying that “lulz” is used on the internet as an excuse for any bad behaviour. Nothing in the entry suggests that it is a justified excuse.

    Saying that people rape for laughs is in fact true. I’ve had the horrifying experience seen sexual violence perpetrated in this way.

    But more importantly is a point about lexicography. The Urban Dictionary is an example of highly decentralised lexicographical method, but method nonetheless. Lexicographers look at the way language is used. They NEVER make moral judgments about the ethical use of language.

  2. I love your blog and how you’re thinking through things. I like the post from Village Church that you posted earlier about singleness. There are so many things to commend about singleness!

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