I’ve noticed a few people using these as a way to make sure discussion is respectful and inclusive. Just a few tips:
- An unnecessary warning can itself be triggering – if the description of the content has as much information as the content itself then it might be redundant and mean someone decides not to read something that they may otherwise have benefited from or enjoyed interacting with.
- You need to provide some indication of what the content actually is. If you just say ‘Trigger warning’ or ‘Content warning’, we have no way of knowing what it refers to, and again it may mean people are put off reading something unnecessarily and it becomes less inclusive.
- It’s good to familiarise yourself with common issues that people have experienced trauma around and that might be painful or cause anxiety but there’s no substitute for being mindful, adaptive and listening to other people when they say something affects them negatively.
- Adding a trigger or content note doesn’t relieve you of your duty to be as respectful as possible and to word and frame the topic in a way that takes account of and respects people’s experiences. If someone is triggered by something, it is never their fault even if they have decided to read something with a warning or note attached.
I found this post quite useful http://www.talksciencetome.com/trigger-warnings-and-content-notes-a-primer-for-editors/
We also sometimes talk about safe spaces (or ‘safer spaces’ since we can never really guarantee a space will be entirely safe for everyone) which is denoted by ‘SSP’. This means that the user has designated that topic as particularly sensitive or difficult for them and, in short, is asking that other users behave accordingly. A higher standard is expected in these topics and users being insensitive, by e.g. making fun of people, can expect action to be taken by moderators.
Please also familiarise yourself with the blur spoiler function and use it if posting images that other users might find disturbing or unpleasant (especially anything depicting violence) with a note about what it is.
Thank you for reading!