1. (By analogy with "context-free") Used of a message that adds nothing to the recipient's knowledge. Though this adjective is sometimes applied to flamage, it more usually connotes derision for communication styles that exalt form over substance or are centred on concerns irrelevant to the subject ostensibly at hand. Perhaps most used with reference to speeches by company presidents and other professional manipulators.
See also four-colour glossies.
2. Within British schools the term refers to general-purpose software such as a word processor, a spreadsheet or a program that tests spelling of words supplied by the teacher. This is in contrast to software designed to teach a particular topic, e.g. a plant growth simulation, an interactive periodic table or a program that tests spelling of a predetermined list of words. Content-free software can be more cost-effective as it can be reused for many lessons throughout the syllabus.
Her forte has long been a kind of easy, content-free populism aimed squarely at the lizard brain of the GOP base.
The right-leaning editorial page of The Wall Street Journal went so far as to dismiss him as “content-free.”