Vocal has heard and listened to our requests and ideas (and pleas and cries and foot stomping) for some official and consistent content warning options. We now have a content warning tag available in all communities. Yay!!! I can’t wait to test it out with this article.
If you are new to the idea of content warnings (also called trigger warnings or content notes) please see this very desperate article I wrote a few months ago and also look through the plethora of agreement and ideas in the comment section.
Some of my friends in the Vocal+Assist Facebook group also formed a content warning committee to discuss this issue and came up with a lot of great and more specific content warning ideas to send to Vocal (which Vocal may still be considering as well).
It is much harder than we knew to implement those ideas.
You know what isn’t hard to implement?
And now we have one for content warnings. Are they a perfect solution?
Not everyone will use them (please, please consider it though!)
Tags show up at the bottom of the story so those of us who need content warnings will have to know about them and then go looking for them before reading anything. ***UPDATE- oh cool! Now they are up top!!***
They aren’t specific enough and we can’t possible include every triggering thing for every single person. But we can do our best.
I also don’t know if we can retroactively add them to our previously published stories and there are a lot of stories here that could do with a content warning tag.
So, when to use them?
-If you wrote something that contains obviously disturbing material, such as graphic violence, sexual assault, suicide, eating disorders, pregnancy/pregnancy loss, drug/alcohol abuse, domestic violence… or basically anything else that you wouldn’t want your traumatized best friend or your 13 year old kid reading without a heads up (because remember, you ONLY HAVE TO BE 13 to have an account here!), just go ahead and add that Content Warning tag before submitting. Worst case scenario there is that you used that tag and someone thinks it wasn’t needed. So what?
But, why to use them?
-Again, please read the really detailed article I previously wrote about this if you don’t already feel like “well, of COURSE, I’ll use a content warning tag if someone needs it! Who wouldn’t?” Basically though, some people truly need them in order to continue participating here as readers (and not because they are just fragile snowflakes avoiding the real world and blah blah blah).
Now, where and how to use them?
-I still wish that they could go up top in the subtitle bar or in another similar space where we (those of us who need and benefit from them) can see them easily but… we get what we get and we don’t get upset keep asking for better! So for now, we’ll just add the tag like we do all other community tags during the submission process.
-How? Click it, done. Easy peasy! But also, if you want to be super helpful, go ahead and throw a little note at the start of your story saying “content warning for (whatever it actually is)” so we don’t have to automatically skip it because we don’t know if you wrote about drug use or about sexual assault or about graphic violence… and maybe only one of those would make us need to avoid your story.
Thank you for listening, Vocal!
And thank you in advance to all you lovely authors who are going to help us out by using this new tag! 😁
*sorry for the typos, I’m too excited about this to proofread!*
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
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