Dropping an F-bomb into a conversation with your friends over Friday night drinks is probably perfectly acceptable. But in a conversation about a client over Teams? Probably not. A new profanity filter within Microsoft Teams will edit out the offending words—from the transcript, at least.
Microsoft said this week that the Teams profanity filter, which has been in development for some time, has finally arrived. You’ll be able to adjust the profanity filter within the Teams transcription options within your user settings, toggling it on and off as needed. Both features are now available on the desktop and web clients for commercial customers, Microsoft says.
Note that the profanity toggle is user-configurable, and not subject to the whims of the meeting organizer (who might have a tendency to swear) or even your company’s IT administrator. Filtering is entirely up to you, and your preference (on or off) will be kept private. You’ll simply see an obscenity filtered out in your transcript of the meeting if you toggle this option on, while your more freewheeling coworker will not.
You can imagine, of course, potential issues. “Bloody” is simply an anachronism in American English, but in the U.K., it has been considered a mild curse word. Is “crap” considered profane? “Damn,” or “hell?” In most circles, probably not. But certain terms used freely among Australian friends wouldn’t fly in American circles, and Microsoft makes no distinction between the various English dialects, at least at the present. There also doesn’t appear to be a “dictionary” of terms that you can toggle on or off.
Nevertheless, in a world where Teams now offers “intelligent recap” of meetings using Teams Premium, more and more meetings may be viewed asynchronously, or offline. (As part of this update, you’ll also have the option of adjusting the length and placement of the transcribed captions, Microsoft says.) Skimming a transcript and the associated presentation may become more common. All this feature will do is help prevent a participant (or even a potential client) from becoming turned off at your vice president’s potty mouth.