How to make your blog safer with trigger warnings
Trigger Warnings: How to keep your blogspace safe for your readers and viewers.
Many mooks like to keep a little corner of the internet aside for their own musings in the form of a written blog, video/photo diaries and various other outlets. Many mooks also like discussing important topics like gender prejudice, abuse, self-harm and all that heavy stuff that needs addressing.
Now, before you put one finger on your keyboard or even switch on your video camera you need to know about trigger warnings because you never know who is viewing.
What is a trigger?
A trigger is something that causes a strong, distressing emotional response in someone because it reminds them of a previous traumatic experience.
It is possible, while browsing the internet, that a person might find a video, a photo, a piece of text or a description which vividly reminds them of the trauma. This means they could experience anxiety, flashbacks, uncontrolable crying, fear, anger, insomnia, depression, shaking, nightmares and nausea.
How to make your internet space safe with trigger warnings
The following list shows possible triggers. They can be interlinked so be sure to think of what you post online from all angles:
- Sexual Abuse/Assault/Physical Violence – Images and descriptions of all kinds of abuse must carry a warning.
- Racism – Racial slurs and descriptions of racial violence.
- Abelism – Violence or bullying in relation to disability.
- Homophobia/Transphobia – Descriptions of violence, bullying, slurs, overall intolerance and descriptions of body dysphoria.
- Self Harm/Suicide – Images and descriptions of self harm or suicide can sometimes cause relapse in survivors.
- Addiction/Substance misuse – Images or descriptions of drug use or alcoholism can trigger former addicts or even abuse victims if their abuser used substances.
- Eating Disorders – This includes Anorexia, Bulimia, binge-eating, calorie counting, controlled eating and EDNOS (unspecified disordered eating/disordered eating patterns) and body dysmorphia.
Now you know what to look out for, you’ll find a trigger warning (TW) is easy to do. It’s as simple as writing TRIGGER WARNING or POSSIBLE TRIGGERS or TW big and bold at the top of the page, or before the title of your text, so people can choose to scroll past those parts.
It is also a good idea to include a short and not too detailed description of what the content includes.
If you have a video or an image which may trigger someone, link it to a seperate page and make sure there is a clear warning indicating the link goes to triggering material. If you have made your own video make sure a trigger warning appears before it starts and if you must include images on the same page, place them at the bottom with a trigger warning at the top saying where they are.
It is impossible for people to avoid all triggers with the internet and media being so vast, but these simple things which take a few seconds will make sure that no one is hurt or upset on your watch.