This term relates to internet censorship, in particular any block on emails, search terms or discussion forums due to the text containing offensive content or obscene language.
The name of the term relates to the town of Scunthorpe in the United Kingdom - Residents of this town were unable to search for anything that contained the towns name as a sub-word of Scunthorpe is C***T - The ISP AoL had a profanity filter and this was one of the search strings it blocked. While filtering content for obscene language is seen as a positive thing, filters can sometimes be setup with a broad filter that often becomes prohibitive and blocks words or phrases that are perfectly fine - This is because the filter parameters are extremely black and white i.e. if a large word contains a smaller offensive word like Assistance - The filter may not be able to understand the context, and will simply see the word Ass and thus block it incorrectly.
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