Unfortunately I don’t have style books to hand, but practice on this has varied in English. 100 years ago, the convention was to write only the first and the last letter of the obscenity, and to put dashes between them: d—d. The contemporary practices I have seen are to put ellipses between the first and last letter (f…k), to put asterisks between the first the last letter (f**k), and to put an asterisk in place of the first vowel (f*ck). The use of Random shift key symbols is a comic strip convention, and I have not seen it in books.
Of the three conventions, replacing just the vowel is a lot clearer, but for that reason if there’s more risk of offence, and I would regard it as more informal. Online, the norm I have seen is multiple asterisks. In newspapers, the norm I have seen is ellipses.
I don’t know why it was a priority for it to be eliminated, and I’ve disliked most of the recent barrage of UI changes. This one, I didn’t mind: I did not find most of the trending topics interesting to me, and while it’s good to see what people think of current affairs on Quora, it didn’t add much value to me to have it in the sidebar.
I am much more worried about this:
Going forward, we will continue to mark topics as trending, and this information will be used to surface them appropriately in the main feed.
Right. Because I really want the latest stupid-arse thing Trump says showing up in my feed. That’s why I’m on Quora instead of CNN. The good thing about trending being in the sidebar was, it was segregated from my feed.
This change allows us to have more flexibility in the ways we present trending topics throughout the product.
When Quora says “Flexibility” for its UX, reach for Bug? or Feature?