Trigger and Content Warnings, Mastodon, and Shouting Fire

Here’s a nice thing about Mastodon: There are “sensitive content” covers for images and “Content Warnings” for post text. Here’s an example from my own account:

It’s really nice, because that means – unlike the Bird Network or the Book of Faces – you get to choose whether or not you want to see something potentially objectionable that shows up in the local timeline.

However.

Every instance has its own rules as to what should and should not go under these kinds of warnings.  Aside from the somewhat obvious “common sense” ones, they can go all the way to “no political mention whatsoever”.  Just today I saw someone saying that mentioning climate change counted as “political”, and should always be under a content warning.

I tend to automate a lot of what I share online, because of the way that I end up seeing it. I read a lot, quickly, and all at once.  This is the suxxors if you happen to be online then, because I’m swamping your feed, and it’s the suxxors if you’re not – because you’ll not see any of it.  (This still applies with algorithmic tricks like both Twitter and Facebook have used, depending on who is watching and when.)

The problem is that I share all sorts of things to the services (IFTTT, Buffer, dlvr.it, etc).  Some of it is political or even objectionable, while others… well, let’s look at what was hidden under that particular content warning.

Yeah.

This is…annoying to me.

So I started my own “instance” of mastodon.  (It’s closed to registrations, though if you know me personally and are curious, let me know and I’ll set you up.)  It’s like having my own “house” (or for those of you old enough to remember, my own BBS, which is why it’s at faithcollapsing.com, the name of my old BBS from back in the 90’s.)

Because of the way Mastodon is set up, I can still have accounts elsewhere (like at wandering.shop, which are a nice group of writery type people, though they are the ones who asked about the politics thing).  And when I post/toot/whatever at Wandering Shop (or any other instance), I’ll gladly abide by their rules.

And this, for those people who are still, somehow, clueless about trigger warnings, is how it is supposed to be.

I understand and respect that some folks may not have the spoons some days to deal with what I write and post.

And that is OKAY.

The appropriate response – instead of whining – is to make sure there’s a space where those who want to are able to see what I write and post in an unfiltered (but still lefty and SJW, ’cause I’m me) way.

But just like I wouldn’t storm into someone else’s house and demand they debate me at a dinner party, what I toot and post elsewhere will respect those who have created and formed that place.

That’s not being overly sensitive.

That’s called living in society.

Featured photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

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