You can stop evade word bans with variants now

Some people believe that they can cheat “bad word detection” on Facebook by entering variants of a word. We’ve seen it, very much in the antivax movement lately where they obviously think “vaccine” is a banned word. Well, first of all: It isn’t. The bad thing here is actually the misinformation that is spreading, not the word itself. Ever since I saw the first “VA((INE” evade, I’ve been working – for fun – with the perfect word filtering for the vaccine. I’ve done this with regular expressions which is the ultimate weapon against stupidity.

This post has been created as an example of why you probably can stop doing those ridiculous tries to avoid being discovered by Facebook. It won’t help anyway. This tiny little regex takes most of the variants of the vaccine, regardless of what you put in the middle of the word and if you use caps lock to type it. I’ve also included another variant that is popular amongst antivaxxers: “Gift” (poison) and “injection”. I’ll leave you here, with a screen dump in the bottom so you can see the outcome of the expression.

/\bv(a+|4+)(\w+|\W+)in|gift|\binje(.*?)ion\b/i

For example, the above regex catches all of the words below.

  • vaccine
  • vaxxin
  • Vaksin
  • Va((in
  • Vakzin
  • Nervgift
  • injektion
  • vaxin
  • vacsin
  • vacksin
  • vargzin

You can try the combinations out yourself at https://regex101.com/

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