Trigger Warnings

Everything2 currently has two trigger warning categories:

If you're not sure what a trigger warnings are, the Geek Feminism Wiki has a good explanation

PTSD is real and its effects aren't something sufferers can just get over.

Trigger warnings help some survivors of abuse who suffer from PTSD avoid post-traumatic flashbacks, so implementing them here on Everything2 is important to me. Survivors get to decide for themselves whether they want to read something that might bring back memories of their abuse. Not all survivors of abuse want or need trigger warnings, but for those who do they make a big difference.

What's up with the acronyms?

CSA stands for child sexual abuse. SA stands for sexual abuse. Abuse survivors who appreciate trigger warnings are typically familiar with these acronyms.

How are these categories used?

Trigger warnings are not meant to single out only content that promotes or normalizes harmful behavior, but rather any content at all that has the strong potential to trigger a post-traumatic flashback. If something you wrote appears in one of these categories, there's a good chance it wasn't offensive, harmful or wrong at all. Just potentially triggering. The message isn't "Hey! This noder likes ______!", it's "Hey, if you have PTSD-related issues with reading about ______ in any context, maybe avoid this writeup."

Users who would like to make use of these categories have two options:

  1. Preemptively check the end of writeups, where categories are listed in the footer, to see if a writeup is in a trigger warning category that pertains to content you wish to avoid.
  2. If you have the Greasemonkey browser extension, you can install this Greasemonkey script to make trigger warnings on E2 more effective. It replaces potentially triggering writeups with a warning that allows users to opt in or out of viewing their text. Thank you to coder genius raincomplex!

These categories won't affect you unless you want them to. This isn't censorship and having your work in a category like this isn't an indictment. In online communities where there are a number of survivors, it is typical to attach a trigger warning to even your own testimonials.  Nevertheless, if your work is placed in one of these categories and you strongly object to it being there, please /msg Aerobe and your writeup will be removed from the category.

Will there be more Trigger Warning categories?

Very possibly. I began with just these two because I'm implementing this project on a trial basis and I thought they would be a relatively uncontroversial starting point. I would like to be clear about the fact that I do not think sexual assault survivors with PTSD are weaker or less likely to make a recovery than others affected by the disorder. PTSD can be triggered by a wide variety of things, some of them not obvious, and it's not only victims of sexual abuse that suffer from it.

If things work out and there is enough interest, I'd like to expand the project to categorize content that pertains to disordered eating, self-harm and domestic violence. Those are by no means the only possibilities and if you feel strongly about categorizing other triggering content, please message user Aerobe or another member of the staff.

I want to help!

If you see a writeup that depicts sexual abuse or child sexual abuse, /msg Aerobe and it will be added it to the appropriate category if it looks like it ought to go there. You can use the Full Text Search if you'd like to be more proactive in identifying triggering content.


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