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Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Content Warning Tags Are Here (ye)!

When and why and where and how to use the new “content warning” tag

By Donna ReneePublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2023
Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Content Warning Tags Are Here (ye)!
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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?

No. Why?

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!*


About the Creator

Donna Renee

Hi! Thanks for reading! My hobbies include making coffee, drinking coffee, and starting to write a story and then rage-deleting it when I get the slightest bit frustrated.


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Comments (41)

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  • Rick Henry Christopher ☄️🔥19 days ago

    Excellent. I don't know how I missed this one!!! I would say this is a win!!!

  • Ahmed Saber3 months ago

    your article is so gooood

  • PatrickTheDegen4 months ago

    This is good to know as I'm new to Vocal. Thank you.

  • Roy Stevens4 months ago

    Hope you're well Donna; maybe enjoying a nice vacation from the everyday mundane (and Vocal). Don't feel the need to respond please, I just wanted you to know I'm thinking about you. C U my friend!

  • Very informative thanks for taking on this challenge Donna

  • ghaderm4 months ago

    Great advice! If you are one of the people who are interested in technology, please login to my account and enjoy some technical information

  • Aiden Bliski4 months ago

    Great article, thanks for it!

  • Kristen Balyeat4 months ago

    Donna, you are so awesome for advocating for this from the start! Thank you! You are the reason we have these now. I appreciate your persistence with this topic-– and for always being so kind and playful about it! You are awesome! Congrats on top story! 💫💞

  • Lamar Wiggins4 months ago

    Great article, Donna. I'm so proud of your pursuit and the results that materialized from it. You and others helped move mountains with words. Powerful and admirable stuff!!! 💖

  • Carol Townend4 months ago

    I used them recently. I think they are useful, though only to a point where the reader can decide whether to read or not read them. However, some readers might go ahead and read them anyway without thinking, but at least we are now able to warn them first so a big thumbs up from me.

  • Christina M S4 months ago

    Great article

  • Mariann Carroll4 months ago

    Thank you , Donna Renee for this FYI story , Congratulations on Top Story 🥳🥰🥰🎊🎉

  • Thavien Yliaster4 months ago

    Well, nice to see the platform listening to its creators. I wonder if this highly proactive turn is because they're trying to drive interest in current and future investors? Great on You, Donna, for speaking up about something. It is nice to see so that Authors don't have to take up extra space by adding Author's notes, especially for competitions.

  • Cathy holmes4 months ago

    Great article. I'm still mulling it over. It will be helpful, for sure. Congrats on the TS

  • Paul Stewart4 months ago

    You already know my conflicted views on this subject, but I am glad Vocal listened to you and I know there are a lot of people who will benefit from it. Well done, on a great and helpful article, for instigating the changes and for getting Top Story! Donuts aplenty for the Donna Renee! (Nope that is not going to die anytime soon)

  • Nice article, very helpful👏Pernoste

  • Gal Mux4 months ago

    I'm a pretty tough cookie. Even though I might flinch, I am really not that much triggered by reading about triggered topics. That being said I understand that everyone is different and I respect that. I will definitely be using the tags moving forward. This is a win Donna!!! Yieeeeh!!!

  • Gina C.4 months ago

    Super helpful article, Donna!! 🤗❤️❤️ Awesome work and congrats on Top Story!! 😍

  • Donna Fox4 months ago

    I remember when you wrote the original content warnings article, I am so glad they listened and were able to come up with an easy/ respectful solution for all of us! I don't foresee myself having use them anytime soon but I will most certainly use them when the time comes! Congratulations on winning what feels like a big battle and on Top Story too! 🎉

  • The Dani Writer4 months ago

    Unique piece and top story congrats! I found out about content tags now seconds ago by reading your story.

  • Super awesome. Your hardwork and dedication paid off! Congratulations on Top Story.

  • Congrats girl, when you have a great idea, you certainly follow through

  • Alexander McEvoy4 months ago

    I recognize the importance of Content Advisories for some readers and have previously used them, once in article and several times in person, but I'm not one of those people for whom they're valuable. Hopefully the implementation is smooth and people get a great benefit from this new feature. I'll do my best to include them when applicable.

  • Awesome Article and Thank you for sharing Great Insights❗😉❤️ Congratulations on your Top Story🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

  • Roy Stevens4 months ago

    Glad to see this being promoted by the site Donna. Once again, congratulations!

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