Decades ago, users of the primordial internet fora known as Usenet made frequent use of [Rot13] to politely mask text that some people might not wish to read by accident, and popular news-reading software often made Rot13 cycling a one-command operation.
I have missed it. I love discussing games and novels and such with my friends on Twitter and other media, but I dislike how painfully general the public conversation must stay, as we all tiptoe around each others’ spoiler sensitivities even though many of us are eager to dive into details.
Jason makes a good case for the revival of this simple (if slightly arcane) lost art, although I suspect in practice it won’t be used by anyone too young to remember the days when Usenet was relevant.
Not the first time I’ve heard that counterargument. I don’t think memory of Usenet is crucial to accepting this proposal, though I presume that the utility of rot13 to a text-centric medium like Twitter would be more immediately obvious to those who do remember.
(I also don’t think it’s an age thing; the vast majority of web users never saw Usenet and never will, no matter their age.)
My stance is “Hey, here’s an interesting technique from the internet’s past that I think we can re-apply today.” Because text is cool.
Honestly a simple link to rot13.com easily obviates any claim of opacity. 9 characters and no further explanation is needed. The more people use it and include the link, the more likely those who never ran into rot13 before now will pick it up.