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Offensive (at least to me) Titles or Content of Instructables Answered

Thank you to the "powers that be" for removing the "Instructable" on how to snare cats that I flagged a few weeks ago. Though my comments were perhaps a bit coarse (considering your Be Nice Policy) watching a video of a snared feline swinging back and forth by the back leg, desperately trying to escape, should shock and anger anyone; cat owner, cat lover or dog owner or anyone else that possesses the tiniest smidgen of humanity.

To address the title of this post, I have counted over 60Instructables that either have "Ghetto" or "Hobo" in their titles or text. I'm not only quite offended by this practice, but find no excuse for allowing it continue; and please note I'm a middle-aged white guy, raised in rural North Dakota and a small city in Minnesota!

The first clause of your Be Nice Policy is - "We expect you to respect the rights and dignity of others." Any Instructable that utilizes low-cost, recycled or repurposed materials; or low-tech design and/or assembly methods should proclaim and celebrate those qualities, rather than denigrating or making insinuations about the less fortunate of our society, falls short of meeting the expectations of that clause. I'm fairly positive that you wouldn't publish an Instructable on how to "Jew someone down" (bargain or haggle) to get a lower price, just as I heard expressed by others countless times while I was growing up. It was offensive to my sensibilities then, and even more so now.

Thank you for providing the opportunity to address this matter in your forum.


I lived in a country that had a big feral cat problem. Cats are nasty creatures. People leave their dumpsters open and the cats would go in and scatter trash. They were trapped and euthanized.
Not everyone values cats as pets.
Even in 'Merica its hard for cats to be adopted at shelters. I worked at a shelter and it was a lot easier to adopt out a small dog than an older cat or a bunch of kittens. When you run out of space or they come in injured even a no kill shelter has to do something.
Btw both of my cats came from that very shelter.

IMO, you are being overly sensitive about something that does not offend those involved.

Are you offended by projects labelled "American style"?

As somebody else pointed out, equal, if not greater, offense could be found in your own user name.

i think the admin does a great job, I emailed them about a a user with the name "the pedo under your bed" leaving distasteful comments, and they delete his account and comments straight away.
You don't get that level of care from face book or you tube.
Offensive can also depend on were you live, google images the words Bogan, Housos and Hoon and let us know what you think

I was surprised to read the words "prison shiv" on a project's title. The criminal subculture should not be a source of pride for anyone.


4 years ago

Yet you yourself picked a username with two controversial words.

Why a "how to snare cats" instructible is any worse than a "how to catch mice", "how to catch snakes" or "how to catch fish" (all seen here too) I do not know. one could argue that anything involving animals should be deleted (which would remove a lot of really great bacon recipes :( ) - just because you do not see a video of them die does not mean they didnt fight to try to avoid it.

Ghetto and Hobo have a certain meaning in the maker culture - feel free to be offended, but it is no different than a carpenter using a (oh so offensively worded) screw.

If you are offended, by all means mark posts as such. but I think you are being overly judgemental based on your own narrow world (this is fine if you live by it yourself. preaching and requiring it of others - not so much).

Mark it and let Instructables be the judge of what they want on their site. starting arguments like this about it will just mean they would have to close down - everything offends someone somewhere and their would be no content.

"Any Instructable that utilizes low-cost, recycled or repurposed materials; or low-tech design and/or assembly methods should proclaim and celebrate those qualities"
I think that is what has evolved the meaning of calling something "ghetto" or "hobo" in the maker vernacular. There will always be something controversial, politically incorrect, or offends the senses as instructables straddles making and art but it is always nice.

I see how the word ghetto alludes to communities where a large concentration of poor ethnic minorities live and it is also a breeding ground for criminal activity. But the word hobo has a carefree lifestyle meaning for me. It makes me think of the men during the Great Depression that traveled by jumping on the trains and carry their few belongings on a stick.

Hobo Sapiens