Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Techno-quette => Topic started by: Allyson on August 15, 2010, 07:47:11 PM

Title: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Allyson on August 15, 2010, 07:47:11 PM
I considered putting this in one of the more administrative threads as it does pertain to this forum, but it's also about internet forums in general, and I'm curious as to what everyone thinks. I have noticed people putting warnings in thread topics if it might be sensitive, for example animal abuse, death of a child etc. This makes sense to me, I know those topics really bother some people. I've also seen more vague stuff, such as 'warning: upsetting content' without mentioning what it is. I understand doing this too--on another forum, a poster got *really* upset about 'warning: animal abuse' in a thread title as even seeing those words caused her to cry.

I've also seen warnings about things like 'may be gross' which I know to avoid if I'm eating. :D I also find this helpful, but wouldn't get upset if it wasn't there. there are also threads on various forums (not this one) where I really could have done with not reading it--say, a thread that suddenly veers into detailed descriptions of the poster's traumatic childhood. But I wouldn't expect to be warned, either.

On this forum recently, I saw something that said 'edited to mention: warns, contains reptiles!' which makes me think someone had messaged the poster and said she was upset by the mention of reptiles. I was somewhat confused by this...reptiles? really? I'm sure I can't think of everything that might bother someone, after all, and outside of topics like violence, abuse, death, or gross things, I probably wouldn't think to warn. I've also known some people who don't warn at all, figuring you get what you get on an Internet forum.

What say you all?
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: M-theory on August 15, 2010, 07:54:03 PM
I don't think it should be necessary. Life is full of triggers. I have the urge to throw up every time I see a map and the urge to cry every time I hear about weddings - imagine how much luck I have avoiding being scared or sad. It's very kind of people to try to avoid triggering others, but anyone who's triggered by something in a thread should just stop reading and definitely not say anything to the OP.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: kareng57 on August 15, 2010, 07:59:42 PM
Your post is a good point.

I guess I'm kind of on-the-fence, and I've been here for a few years.  I'm also over 50, maybe that makes a difference.  Because of that, I don't expect at "warning" when a post might mention death of a friend or a family member.  By the time you (generic you) gets to my age, well - it's likely happened several times already.  The same with pets - many people at my stage of life have had to make difficult decisions already.  I will admit that I'm not a reptile-lover, and if someone's initial post provided a picture of a huge snake, I would indeed appreciate a heads-up.  But, regarding more mainstream pets such as cats/dogs/guinea pigs etc. - I think most pet owners know that we won't have them forever, and I think it would be rather unrealistic for forum members to feel that they had to post warnings about pet death.

However, it's true that I'm seeing more Warnings in the last couple of months, and I don't know whether it's been advocated by the Mods (who are very good on this site) or posters doing this voluntarily.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Just Lori on August 15, 2010, 08:15:40 PM
I think warnings are basically a compromise offered to people who object to certain subjects.  For instance, some people have no problem discussing an animal getting hit by a car.  Others wish they had never opened the thread.  Hence, a warning gives people a heads up.

The warnings can leave you scratching your head.  However, I've seen threads the complain about topics I would have never imagined were offensive.  So the warning is basically covering your bases.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: crashn2me on August 15, 2010, 08:21:13 PM
This is very interesting to me.  I just posted a topic with a warning b/c it seemed like the thing to do in this forum.  Personally, I agree with the PPs.  I don't need warnings on topics.  If I open a thread & don't like the topic discussed, I back out.  No biggie.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: blarg314 on August 15, 2010, 08:27:54 PM

I think it's okay, but not really necessary, to flag generally upsetting topics - death, abuse, gross etc. But I don't think it's necessary to be too specific - label it "kind of gross" or "sensitive topic" or "NSFW" and let the reader decide if they want to risk it.

But as the OP said, life is full of triggers - on a forum this big, we're going to have a *lot* of phobias, or sensitive topics, or weird triggers, and it's not reasonable to expect the posters to even know about all of them, let alone flag them.

I think this is a case where if someone is so sensitive to an issue that seeing a post topic with a warning about it will send them over the edge, then it is up to them to either address their sensitivity, or to avoid general forums, or conversations with people, or watching TV, or reading newspapers.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Elfmama on August 15, 2010, 08:36:51 PM
On this forum recently, I saw something that said 'edited to mention: warns, contains reptiles!' which makes me think someone had messaged the poster and said she was upset by the mention of reptiles. I was somewhat confused by this...reptiles? really? I'm sure I can't think of everything that might bother someone, after all, and outside of topics like violence, abuse, death, or gross things, I probably wouldn't think to warn. I've also known some people who don't warn at all, figuring you get what you get on an Internet forum.

What say you all?
You get what you get.  On my other forum, the only common warning is NSFW. (Not Safe For Work.)  Usually because there is semi-nudity and/or four-letter words.  Combine that with a certain poster starting the thread (who I have on ignore) and I rarely open them.

Re reptiles: we used to square dance with a gentleman who went by the nickname "Snake" because he was tall and skinny.  That was the name on his SD club badge.  He told a story that one time they were starting a dance with a new couple, greetings going around as you do "Hi, welcome" and so forth -- when the new lady looked more closely at his badge, turned white, shrieked, and ran out of the room.  Her embarrassed husband hastily explained that she was terribly phobic about snakes, to the point that she couldn't even see the word without reacting just as she had done!  So yes, warning about really common phobias is polite, but IMO not necessary for every possible phobia.  After all, considering the sheer number of phobias there are, the warnings could be overloaded: "Caution, mentions car seats, cereal, cats, toddlers, and cough syrup."
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: O'Dell on August 15, 2010, 08:59:20 PM
I'm another one that doesn't need warnings either, although I do appreciate the sensitivity that others are showing when they use them.

As a veteran of various message boards, I admit that I get irritated by generic thread titles that don't give a clue about what the thread is about. A good title gives me enough info to decide whether it's a thread I want to pay attention to and is distinctive enough that I can identify the thread later if I run across it. All the "help please" and "have a question" type subject lines blur together and I either rely on the poster's name to identify them or skip them altogether. Ideally people would be using pertinent enough titles that some of the warnings would be included anyway: "Neighbor treating dog badly", "Go to Dad's funeral or Not", "Pet Komodo Dragon w/ upset tummy"...things like that.

One thing I do find helpful on this forum is the "squicky" warning that some include or whiting out the details within the post (that took some time for me to figure out when I first visited here!). That's not an issue on other forums I visit, but it seems to be necessary here fairly often. Odd given the forum's subject matter. :D
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: katarain on August 15, 2010, 09:16:11 PM
I'm another one that doesn't need warnings either, although I do appreciate the sensitivity that others are showing when they use them.

As a veteran of various message boards, I admit that I get irritated by generic thread titles that don't give a clue about what the thread is about. A good title gives me enough info to decide whether it's a thread I want to pay attention to and is distinctive enough that I can identify the thread later if I run across it. All the "help please" and "have a question" type subject lines blur together and I either rely on the poster's name to identify them or skip them altogether. Ideally people would be using pertinent enough titles that some of the warnings would be included anyway: "Neighbor treating dog badly", "Go to Dad's funeral or Not", "Pet Komodo Dragon w/ upset tummy"...things like that.

One thing I do find helpful on this forum is the "squicky" warning that some include or whiting out the details within the post (that took some time for me to figure out when I first visited here!). That's not an issue on other forums I visit, but it seems to be necessary here fairly often. Odd given the forum's subject matter. :D

That's what I was going to add to the conversation.  I think a lot of these problems would be solved if people would just title their threads appropriately.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DangerMouth on August 15, 2010, 09:25:29 PM
This is very interesting to me.  I just posted a topic with a warning b/c it seemed like the thing to do in this forum.  Personally, I agree with the PPs.  I don't need warnings on topics.  If I open a thread & don't like the topic discussed, I back out.  No biggie.

I agree. I'm an adult, I don't need warnings. But as that's the culture of this particular forum, I'll warn if I ever need to post on a sensitive topic.

I do think it goes a bit far sometimes, and I wonder if it isn't catering to SS's to a certain degree to do this. Certainly we try to be polite and considerate here, but this is still real world stuff we are seeking advice on.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 16, 2010, 12:41:31 PM
The same with pets - many people at my stage of life have had to make difficult decisions already.  I will admit that I'm not a reptile-lover, and if someone's initial post provided a picture of a huge snake, I would indeed appreciate a heads-up.  But, regarding more mainstream pets such as cats/dogs/guinea pigs etc. - I think most pet owners know that we won't have them forever

While that may be true, the pain of losing one still hurts greatly.  I am very appreciative of the people who do put a disclaimer in their title, because those threads do still hurt to read.  I'd rather know in advance that it could be something I want to skip over.  Getting into the thread and backing out is too late.  By then, I've read more details than I probably wanted to - and probably now hurt more than I absolutely wanted to.

Please do not stop putting those kinds of warnings on those types of threads.  Some of you may not have any problem with reading about the death of animals.  But, there are some who still do - and some who are going through fresh pain of losing one now.  It's a simple gesture that's beneficial (and polite) to your fellow EHellions.  I'd hope that fact alone would keep us doing it.

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 16, 2010, 12:43:45 PM
I'm an adult,

And, I know this wasn't your intent (at least, I hope not), but that kind of comment kind of bothers me.  I'm an adult, too.  But, that doesn't mean that unexpectedly reading about a pet's death doesn't hit me in the gut.  I don't, necessarily, avoid those threads.  But, I do like to know that that's what I'm about to read - so I can make an informed (and, yes, ADULT, thank you very much) decision as to whether or not I'm in a place where I can read it.

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Giggity on August 16, 2010, 12:46:00 PM
As a veteran of various message boards, I admit that I get irritated by generic thread titles that don't give a clue about what the thread is about. A good title gives me enough info to decide whether it's a thread I want to pay attention to and is distinctive enough that I can identify the thread later if I run across it.

That's what I was going to add to the conversation.  I think a lot of these problems would be solved if people would just title their threads appropriately.

And in that vein, one trend that is not entirely helpful is labeling a thread ONLY as a spin-off of another one, with no hint as to the new thread's actual contents.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: hobish on August 16, 2010, 12:54:14 PM
I think warnings are basically a compromise offered to people who object to certain subjects.  For instance, some people have no problem discussing an animal getting hit by a car.  Others wish they had never opened the thread.  Hence, a warning gives people a heads up.

The warnings can leave you scratching your head.  However, I've seen threads the complain about topics I would have never imagined were offensive.  So the warning is basically covering your bases.

That covers my feelings well, too.

Personally, i appreciate it when the warning is specific. Death of people, miscarriages, snakes - these things don't bother me, but other people might be very disturbed. Animal abuse might give me nightmares for weeks - in fact there is a post that was on here *years* ago that haunts me to this day; but a lot of people may not be phased by. It's a matter of common sense, too. There are some topics that are likely to bother people - miscarriage, suicide, animal or child abuse. There are also people who are disturbed by latex or birds; but those phobias are so uncommon and the items so common that a warning would be overboard (IMO).
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DangerMouth on August 16, 2010, 01:01:27 PM
I'm an adult,

And, I know this wasn't your intent (at least, I hope not), but that kind of comment kind of bothers me.  I'm an adult, too.  But, that doesn't mean that unexpectedly reading about a pet's death doesn't hit me in the gut.  I don't, necessarily, avoid those threads.  But, I do like to know that that's what I'm about to read - so I can make an informed (and, yes, ADULT, thank you very much) decision as to whether or not I'm in a place where I can read it.


Well, I certainly wasn't the only person who said that in this thread, so why're you picking on me?  J/K ;D

Honestly Dotty, I wasn't thinking of the pet issue when I posted. I was thinking more along the lines of a recent post "warning- mentions affair". I can understand the 'baby or child death/miscarriage/pet death/rape/child abuse warnings, and even 'may be gross' or 'TMI' but when you get to affairs, reptiles, and spiders, I start to wonder.

What's next? 'Good News, I'm pregnant! Warning- mentions successful conception" ???

--------

I also dispute that this is actually a huge, diverse forum. By my count, there are about 300-400 regular posters, and most seem pretty clued in about the prevailing culture. That said, I will also follow the prevailing norms and warn if there is an issue that could be considered sensitive. But that hardly ever comes up for me, I think my last top-post was about cake :D
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Giggity on August 16, 2010, 01:06:27 PM
I cannot BELIEVE you posted that. You KNOW how terrified I am of cake.  >:D
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DangerMouth on August 16, 2010, 01:15:07 PM
LOL!


Actually, I just remembered that my last top-post wasn't about cake, it was about personal care products. I asked for reccos and opinions about anti-perspirant, body powder, and TAMPONS. That must have offended someone so much, that not only was the topic closed, it was removed completely.

I addressed it to the 'ladies' and mentioned 'personal care products'. I guesse I should have also put a WARNING in blinking text, eh?
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Cyradis on August 16, 2010, 01:18:27 PM
I suppose it's like any good idea, can be carried to extremes.  I haven't seen the post in question but I'd be grateful for any warning that a post contains pictures of frogs, toads or clowns. Those are my phobic issues though I can hit the "back" button or scroll with the best of them. I can walk away from the computer and take a deep breath and calm myself down. Child and animal abuse or neglect threads don't panic me but the effect is aching and long lasting.

I think the members of this forum try hard to be kind to each other and I see the warnings as an expression of that kindness.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: jimithing on August 16, 2010, 02:04:58 PM
I saw a thread today, where the title had been edited to add a warning, and I was scratching my head about it. I didn't understand why there was a warning on that topic.

I've done warnings about TTC, or infertility, etc. I think it's fine to do them, but some are a bit OTT, in my opinion.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Brentwood on August 16, 2010, 02:26:56 PM
LOL!


Actually, I just remembered that my last top-post wasn't about cake, it was about personal care products. I asked for reccos and opinions about anti-perspirant, body powder, and TAMPONS. That must have offended someone so much, that not only was the topic closed, it was removed completely.

I addressed it to the 'ladies' and mentioned 'personal care products'. I guesse I should have also put a WARNING in blinking text, eh?

I didn't see it, but my guess would be that it was removed as a violation of the "no bodily functions" rule and not because it was offensive on its face.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Brentwood on August 16, 2010, 02:27:28 PM
I think it's fine to do them, but some are a bit OTT, in my opinion.

Gently and diplomatically said; I concur.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DangerMouth on August 16, 2010, 05:29:27 PM
LOL!


Actually, I just remembered that my last top-post wasn't about cake, it was about personal care products. I asked for reccos and opinions about anti-perspirant, body powder, and TAMPONS. That must have offended someone so much, that not only was the topic closed, it was removed completely.

I addressed it to the 'ladies' and mentioned 'personal care products'. I guesse I should have also put a WARNING in blinking text, eh?

I didn't see it, but my guess would be that it was removed as a violation of the "no bodily functions" rule and not because it was offensive on its face.

I thought I knew the rules, but I must've missed that one.

In your opnion, should I try again with the powder and deoderant, leaving out the 't', or does the 'no bodily functions' include sweat and odor?  (I'm actually being serious: I belong to other fora,  but none with this concentration of females) (I did ask a mod, and got an non-answer)
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: hobish on August 16, 2010, 05:30:34 PM
LOL!


Actually, I just remembered that my last top-post wasn't about cake, it was about personal care products. I asked for reccos and opinions about anti-perspirant, body powder, and TAMPONS. That must have offended someone so much, that not only was the topic closed, it was removed completely.

I addressed it to the 'ladies' and mentioned 'personal care products'. I guesse I should have also put a WARNING in blinking text, eh?

I didn't see it, but my guess would be that it was removed as a violation of the "no bodily functions" rule and not because it was offensive on its face.

I thought I knew the rules, but I must've missed that one.

In your opnion, should I try again with the powder and deoderant, leaving out the 't', or does the 'no bodily functions' include sweat and odor?  (I'm actually being serious: I belong to other fora,  but none with this concentration of females) (I did ask a mod, and got an non-answer)

I have seen questions about deodorant in the Coffee Break folder before.

ETA: If it crosses into medical advice territory it is of course verboten.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: TaylorMade on August 16, 2010, 07:44:31 PM
This is very interesting to me.  I just posted a topic with a warning b/c it seemed like the thing to do in this forum.  Personally, I agree with the PPs.  I don't need warnings on topics.  If I open a thread & don't like the topic discussed, I back out.  No biggie.

(bolding on previous post mine)

This is why the warning are suddenly so prevalent.   If I just came to this forum, I would assume that it was 'the thing to do here', because so many of the posts recently have 'Warnings'.   Every time someone adds a warning to a thread title, more people think it's the norm.

I believe it is the exact same thing as people not using brand names or store names.   A poster sees one person writing 'Bullseye Store' instead of Target, and assumes that this forum wants you to mask names.  So they themselves start masking names.

It is just a cycle that keeps going and going and going :)
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: baglady on August 16, 2010, 07:57:28 PM
There's a "no bodily functions" rule? I missed that one. Not that I am likely to post about bodily functions, except in passing (bathroom etiquette, that sort of thing).

Quote
I think the members of this forum try hard to be kind to each other and I see the warnings as an expression of that kindness.

Me, too. It's a big forum, and I think people appreciate being warned away from topics that might upset or trigger them, if it's a close to home subject such as miscarriage, animal death or eating disorders. I would probably warn people about a post on spiders or clowns or other phobia-triggering things if the post contained photos, and since I haven't figured out how to post photos ... it's moot in my case.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: LadyPekoe on August 16, 2010, 07:59:21 PM
I think some of the warnings are silly.  I understand animal abuse, rape, death, gross, NSFW that sort of thing.  But I've seen people white out the words UTI or urinate.  That seems OTT to me and I'm not going to do it. 
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: jimithing on August 16, 2010, 08:03:59 PM
I think some of the warnings are silly.  I understand animal abuse, rape, death, gross, NSFW that sort of thing.  But I've seen people white out the words UTI or urinate.  That seems OTT to me and I'm not going to do it. 

I whited out UTI on a post I started, but not really because of other people. I didn't want to give a lot of details to begin with, but when it became necessary, I decided that rather than announce it to the entire world, I would do it that way. Probably doesn't matter, but it made me feel better. :)
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: kareng57 on August 16, 2010, 09:17:40 PM
I'm another one that doesn't need warnings either, although I do appreciate the sensitivity that others are showing when they use them.

As a veteran of various message boards, I admit that I get irritated by generic thread titles that don't give a clue about what the thread is about. A good title gives me enough info to decide whether it's a thread I want to pay attention to and is distinctive enough that I can identify the thread later if I run across it. All the "help please" and "have a question" type subject lines blur together and I either rely on the poster's name to identify them or skip them altogether. Ideally people would be using pertinent enough titles that some of the warnings would be included anyway: "Neighbor treating dog badly", "Go to Dad's funeral or Not", "Pet Komodo Dragon w/ upset tummy"...things like that.

One thing I do find helpful on this forum is the "squicky" warning that some include or whiting out the details within the post (that took some time for me to figure out when I first visited here!). That's not an issue on other forums I visit, but it seems to be necessary here fairly often. Odd given the forum's subject matter. :D

That's what I was going to add to the conversation.  I think a lot of these problems would be solved if people would just title their threads appropriately.

Oh, for sure.  Especially the vague ones that say something such as "need help right now!"  Well, if they said what they actually needed help with, it would probably be a lot more forthcoming.  Most of us don't "live" here 24/7 and won't bother to click on threads that we either have no interest in, or couldn't possibly provide help with.  (bad grammar, I know).
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Giggity on August 16, 2010, 09:21:10 PM
I'm surprised to find out the "no bodily functions" rule, considering the Bridal Diapers thread.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DangerMouth on August 16, 2010, 10:05:25 PM
I'm actually doubting the 'no bodily functions' rule. Can someone point me to it?

We discuss eating, helping brides to pee and bridal diapers (as Juana la Loca pointed out), we have a thread going about changing a toddler's diaper (mentions poop), and threads about childbirth. I was searching for something or other and I pulled up a healthy, multipage thread about ladies 'leaking' onto other people's upholstry from a year or so back.

All these things are bodily functions.

The forum rules:

"Content No-Nos: You cannot post illegal material in either your profile, your sig file or your posts such as copyrighted material that is not yours, pornography, nudity and semi-nudity, spam, sexually explicit talk, advertising, malicious code, anyone’s personal information or to harass the moderators/admin."

Goes on to mention posting about other fora, avoiding the word filter, large sig files, politics, religion, sexual etiquette, and sensational news stories.

All these things are no-no's. I know legal issues are also a huge no-no, but I'm not seeing it listed (it's late). I'm also not seeing 'bodily functions'.

I'm not advocating 'bodily functions' threads, but I hate to see misinformation get spread. It's possible my asking for brand names was the real no-no, not the 'T' recco's bit.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Brentwood on August 16, 2010, 10:07:49 PM


I'm not advocating 'bodily functions' threads, but I hate to see misinformation get spread. It's possible my asking for brand names was the real no-no, not the 'T' recco's bit.

I can't point to a specific rule or thread, but I know I have seen threads closed for such a reason, and it may well be at the discretion of the moderators. Maybe someone else can recall when or where.

(Incidentally, I know of no rule that would ban asking for specific product recommendations by brand name.)
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Paper Roses on August 16, 2010, 10:17:45 PM
I cannot BELIEVE you posted that. You KNOW how terrified I am of cake.  >:D

Ok, now I'm going to start a thread and put in big letters right after the title:  "WARNING:  CAKE MENTIONED, ALSO FROSTING"   >:D
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DangerMouth on August 16, 2010, 10:18:37 PM
Cathy: It must be a 'mod + squeaky wheel' thing, because after veiwing that 'ladies leaking' thread, I thought my asking for t recommendations was pretty tame, KWIM? :)
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: zyrs on August 17, 2010, 05:27:46 AM
I think I am the person who posted "Warning: mentions reptiles".  I do that for any story that mentions reptiles, even during conversation.  I also say/write "Warning:mentions arachnids" if a story mentions spiders.

I knew someone that would completely freak out even hearing the words spider, snake and lizard.  Whether it started out as real panic or started out as an affectation that after years had become real panic, it was so bad that she would scream and go lock herself in the bathroom a even the mention of those words.  Then it would take hours of apologizing to get her to come out of the bathroom, which was embarrassing, especially if we had guests or were visiting other people's homes.

She didn't freak out at the words "reptile" or "arachnid".  So I would use them as warnings.

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Alex the Seal on August 17, 2010, 05:59:57 AM
I honestly don't have a problem with any of the warnings I've seen here, or any I can imagine. Even if not strictly necessary in some cases, it's a kindly intended thing and that can only be good.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Amava on August 17, 2010, 06:32:56 AM
I honestly don't have a problem with any of the warnings I've seen here, or any I can imagine. Even if not strictly necessary in some cases, it's a kindly intended thing and that can only be good.
Pod. People are doing it to do good. I usually don't think it's necessary but it doesn't annoy me or anything.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: katarain on August 17, 2010, 06:58:05 AM
I think I am the person who posted "Warning: mentions reptiles".  I do that for any story that mentions reptiles, even during conversation.  I also say/write "Warning:mentions arachnids" if a story mentions spiders.

I knew someone that would completely freak out even hearing the words spider, snake and lizard.  Whether it started out as real panic or started out as an affectation that after years had become real panic, it was so bad that she would scream and go lock herself in the bathroom a even the mention of those words.  Then it would take hours of apologizing to get her to come out of the bathroom, which was embarrassing, especially if we had guests or were visiting other people's homes.

She didn't freak out at the words "reptile" or "arachnid".  So I would use them as warnings.



I know this is off topic, but her behavior would annoy me SO much.  If I were hosting, I would probably tell her that I found spiders in that bathroom before, just to get her out of my house.  I'm sure it would be true, but if that's rude, then I certainly wouldn't be apologizing outside of the door for hours. I'd let her stay in there and go about my party. 
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Giggity on August 17, 2010, 07:10:41 AM
I knew someone that would completely freak out even hearing the words spider, snake and lizard.  Whether it started out as real panic or started out as an affectation that after years had become real panic, it was so bad that she would scream and go lock herself in the bathroom a even the mention of those words.  Then it would take hours of apologizing to get her to come out of the bathroom, which was embarrassing, especially if we had guests or were visiting other people's homes.

Lord have mercy. I am unsure whether I could put up with that, as I am afraid I would view it as an affectation no matter how long she'd been affecting it.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Winterlight on August 17, 2010, 08:35:05 AM
I knew someone that would completely freak out even hearing the words spider, snake and lizard.  Whether it started out as real panic or started out as an affectation that after years had become real panic, it was so bad that she would scream and go lock herself in the bathroom a even the mention of those words.  Then it would take hours of apologizing to get her to come out of the bathroom, which was embarrassing, especially if we had guests or were visiting other people's homes.

Lord have mercy. I am unsure whether I could put up with that, as I am afraid I would view it as an affectation no matter how long she'd been affecting it.

I agree- this is something she really needs to get a grip on.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: sparksals on August 17, 2010, 09:48:46 AM
This is very interesting to me.  I just posted a topic with a warning b/c it seemed like the thing to do in this forum.  Personally, I agree with the PPs.  I don't need warnings on topics.  If I open a thread & don't like the topic discussed, I back out.  No biggie.

I agree. I'm an adult, I don't need warnings. But as that's the culture of this particular forum, I'll warn if I ever need to post on a sensitive topic.

I do think it goes a bit far sometimes, and I wonder if it isn't catering to SS's to a certain degree to do this. Certainly we try to be polite and considerate here, but this is still real world stuff we are seeking advice on.

I've been here for a looooong time.  I don't believe the warnings are the culture of this forum.  It is a new phenomena here that I don't think is necessary.  My eyes bulge out at some of the warnings. 

Then there's the posts that try to hide certain words by changing to a light colour.  There is one thread where a very normal and common medical procedure is dimmed and one must highlight to read it.  For the life of me, I can't figure out why it could be deemed offensive or upsetting to others that it needed to be hidden.

I frequently see 'death mentioned' as a thread title warning.  Death is a normal part of life.  Many of the warnings are a normal part of life.  While the warnings may be an attempt to be considerate, I believe they go OTT.  As someone upthread pointed out, everyone has their triggers. 
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: sparksals on August 17, 2010, 09:55:09 AM
The same with pets - many people at my stage of life have had to make difficult decisions already.  I will admit that I'm not a reptile-lover, and if someone's initial post provided a picture of a huge snake, I would indeed appreciate a heads-up.  But, regarding more mainstream pets such as cats/dogs/guinea pigs etc. - I think most pet owners know that we won't have them forever

While that may be true, the pain of losing one still hurts greatly.  I am very appreciative of the people who do put a disclaimer in their title, because those threads do still hurt to read.  I'd rather know in advance that it could be something I want to skip over.  Getting into the thread and backing out is too late.  By then, I've read more details than I probably wanted to - and probably now hurt more than I absolutely wanted to.

Please do not stop putting those kinds of warnings on those types of threads.  Some of you may not have any problem with reading about the death of animals.  But, there are some who still do - and some who are going through fresh pain of losing one now.  It's a simple gesture that's beneficial (and polite) to your fellow EHellions.  I'd hope that fact alone would keep us doing it.



How is one to title a thread called 'Fluffy passed away' or 'Our hamster died' and provide a warning?  Part of the problem is thread titles don't seem to reflect the topic of the post.  There are frequently threads titled 'help with issue'... what kind of issue?  Add 'pet death mentioned'?    Wouldn't the title trigger the emotions too rather than just having a title appropriately named?

I cry when I hear of the death of a pet because I, too, know how it hurts to lose one.  I can relate to the poster's pain when they write about it.  But it is a normal part of life when a pet or family member dies.  We can't possibly warn everyone about every single trigger in the world.  

What if someone has an aversion to say, clowns?  Do we cease posting a title with 'clown' in it?  Where do we draw the line?  It could get to be way over-used which, IMHO, it already is.

ETA:  *sigh* Subsequently reading the thread, I see someone does have an aversion to clowns.  This is my point.  Where does it end?  I don't think the mere *mention* of a word that is not about other obvious warnings mentioned above is necessary. 

I hate snakes.  Can't stand them.  The thought of them terrifies me.  If I know there is a snake in the zoo or in a picture, I just don't look at it.  I'm not going to expect people to anticipate my every phobia or fear because of something that I may have difficulty with for my own personal reasons.  I can't portray onto an entire forum *my* personal aversions.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: sparksals on August 17, 2010, 09:59:55 AM
This is very interesting to me.  I just posted a topic with a warning b/c it seemed like the thing to do in this forum.  Personally, I agree with the PPs.  I don't need warnings on topics.  If I open a thread & don't like the topic discussed, I back out.  No biggie.

(bolding on previous post mine)

This is why the warning are suddenly so prevalent.   If I just came to this forum, I would assume that it was 'the thing to do here', because so many of the posts recently have 'Warnings'.   Every time someone adds a warning to a thread title, more people think it's the norm.

I believe it is the exact same thing as people not using brand names or store names.   A poster sees one person writing 'Bullseye Store' instead of Target, and assumes that this forum wants you to mask names.  So they themselves start masking names.

It is just a cycle that keeps going and going and going :)

This is exactly what I was thinking.  I don't know why stores are masked either.   It is not against the rules to say "I saw something really nutz at Walmart yesterday".  
You are very right that it is something new that could possibly be because new members think it is the norm when it really hasn't been.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DangerMouth on August 17, 2010, 10:35:24 AM
Thank you, sparksals, you said it better than I did.

I could certainly see a clarification if I posted a thread entitled "Pics of Fluffy" when 'Fluffy' was, in fact, one of my fuzzy tarantulas :D, but in many cases, it's just things that are part of everyone's life. Births, deaths, marriages, divorce, etc.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Dorrie78 on August 17, 2010, 11:13:03 AM
I just want to add that I tend to get kind of annoyed when people use some cutesy nickname for a brand - whether it's a store or a product. Just say "Walmart" or "Target" or whatever. I also find the increased number of thread warnings to also be annoying. Sure, warn us if the thread talks about a tragic death or detailed (and gross!) medical issue, but warning because it mentions a reptile? Seems way over the top to me. I'm afraid that if we spend all of our time tiptoe-ing around every possible phobia, we are barely going to have time to discuss the etiquette issues at hand.

We need to be aware of societal norms, but in our efforts to be polite (naturally!), I think we get carried away with our warnings.

YMMV....
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 17, 2010, 11:42:57 AM
Then there's the posts that try to hide certain words by changing to a light colour.  There is one thread where a very normal and common medical procedure is dimmed and one must highlight to read it.  For the life of me, I can't figure out why it could be deemed offensive or upsetting to others that it needed to be hidden.

It may not be to protect YOU.  It could be that the poster doesn't want to just yell out - "HEY, I GOT AN STD THE OTHER DAY, AND I'M NOT SURE WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT."  Perhaps the shading is more for their own wishes to not broadcast something boldly (but still be able to get feedback on it here) rather than to protect your sensabilities.

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 17, 2010, 11:43:48 AM
Wouldn't the title trigger the emotions too rather than just having a title appropriately named?

Honestly?  No.

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 17, 2010, 11:46:17 AM
I'm afraid that if we spend all of our time tiptoe-ing around every possible phobia, we are barely going to have time to discuss the etiquette issues at hand.

I don't see how putting in a simple "Discusses death of a pet" really takes that much time away from discussing etiquette.  It's a simple courtesy to your fellow EHellions that takes almost no time to write.

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: MDefarge on August 17, 2010, 11:48:55 AM
I have to agree with Dotty's last couple of posts - I think it's great to have things like "warning pet death" or "mentions TTC issues" - it certainly solves the problem of thread titles that are so generic you have no idea what they are talking about as well as allowing you to skip over them if you have no interest/are phobic/etc about a certain topic.

ETA - I don't see how this is very different from posting a thread in a certain category based on what it is about - for example if I don't want to read about work issues I know to avoid threads that have been posted in the Work category - I see it as another type of shorthand.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Elfmama on August 17, 2010, 12:01:08 PM
Now you see, as a newcomer, I have been using the store-name euphemisms because I thought it was required.  Since this thread has covered it, I'll gladly stop.  It's just much easier to write "Home Depot" than "the Land of Orange Aprons" and have non-Americans wondering ???
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: sparksals on August 17, 2010, 12:53:10 PM
Then there's the posts that try to hide certain words by changing to a light colour.  There is one thread where a very normal and common medical procedure is dimmed and one must highlight to read it.  For the life of me, I can't figure out why it could be deemed offensive or upsetting to others that it needed to be hidden.

It may not be to protect YOU.  It could be that the poster doesn't want to just yell out - "HEY, I GOT AN STD THE OTHER DAY, AND I'M NOT SURE WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT."  Perhaps the shading is more for their own wishes to not broadcast something boldly (but still be able to get feedback on it here) rather than to protect your sensabilities.



That's the thing, Dotty.  It wasn't an STD.  Although, I don't know why anyone would post that topic here.  It was a normal and very common medical surgical procedure, not one that described the process in detail.  Instead of dimming the actual word, why not just say surgical procedure? That way, if the poster is worried about screaming all over the internet (which they most likely aren't since it was posted dimmed), they have no worries about offending others or triggering some long lost memory that is painful for one one millionth of the population.   

I like what the PP said about tiptoeing - it seems the dimming, warnings and fear of offending anyone by saying 'reptile' or 'someone has died' or 'medical procedure' is way over the top. 

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: sparksals on August 17, 2010, 12:54:41 PM
Wouldn't the title trigger the emotions too rather than just having a title appropriately named?

Honestly?  No.



That is the answer I was looking for - if one is so worried about reading about the death of an animal, then the title "My Fluffy died' would probably be an indication it is not the thread to read.   What if someoen didn't think a warning is necessary and then someone got upset about the topic?  That is not the poster's problem, but the issue lies with the person with the personal aversion to it.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Giggity on August 17, 2010, 12:55:41 PM
I guess, then, my question is what warnings are deemed necessary. And if we're gonna have more than like two, we probably should have a list somewhere.

I mean, for serious, it would never EVER cross my mind to put WARNING: MENTIONS REPTILES on any post I start that happens to do so. I'm not overly mean ... it just would never occur to me.

I've never known anyone so sensitive that the mere sight of a word - not even a picture, a freakin' WORD - would set 'em off. (Thank goodness, because I would almost certainly deem it an affectation and would judge the person accordingly.)
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Giggity on August 17, 2010, 12:57:32 PM
Wouldn't the title trigger the emotions too rather than just having a title appropriately named?

Honestly?  No.

Why not? Serious question, no snark intended, just curiosity. If someone's trigger is animal death, and the post title is WARNING ANIMAL DEATH, why would those words not affect the person?
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: sparksals on August 17, 2010, 12:58:06 PM
I'm afraid that if we spend all of our time tiptoe-ing around every possible phobia, we are barely going to have time to discuss the etiquette issues at hand.

I don't see how putting in a simple "Discusses death of a pet" really takes that much time away from discussing etiquette.  It's a simple courtesy to your fellow EHellions that takes almost no time to write.



"My dog died", "My beloved Hamster, Rufus went to the Rainbow Bridge" ..etc., are all informative titles that let the audience know that the death of a pet is the topic of the thread. 

Saying that a warning is now becoming a courtesy (implying that not writing one is discourteous) sounds more like the 'title police' than anything else.  For me, it's a to each their own kind of thing.  We just can't anticipate every single emotional trigger for the thousands of members of this group.  Moreover, one of the foundations of this forum is not to look for offense when none is intended - which I fear will start to happen when Member X is aghast that the topic of 'buffoons having lunch' triggers her long lost childhood nightmare of a baffoon infiltrating her lunch at a restaurant when she was 10.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: sparksals on August 17, 2010, 12:59:20 PM
I have to agree with Dotty's last couple of posts - I think it's great to have things like "warning pet death" or "mentions TTC issues" - it certainly solves the problem of thread titles that are so generic you have no idea what they are talking about as well as allowing you to skip over them if you have no interest/are phobic/etc about a certain topic.

ETA - I don't see how this is very different from posting a thread in a certain category based on what it is about - for example if I don't want to read about work issues I know to avoid threads that have been posted in the Work category - I see it as another type of shorthand.

How is "my dog died" title generic and difficult to discern the topic?  People know right off the bat if they can handle reading it or not. 
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: sparksals on August 17, 2010, 01:00:40 PM
Wouldn't the title trigger the emotions too rather than just having a title appropriately named?

Honestly?  No.

Why not? Serious question, no snark intended, just curiosity. If someone's trigger is animal death, and the post title is WARNING ANIMAL DEATH, why would those words not affect the person?

Good question JLL... I wondered the same thing!
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 17, 2010, 01:04:11 PM
We just can't anticipate every single emotional trigger for the thousands of members of this group.

No, we can't. We do know, however, that the death of a pet is something that is upsetting to some people here - for various reasons.  As such, this is a warning that I think is completely appropriate to use.  Other triggers, we may or may not know about.  We DO know about this one.

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Kiara on August 17, 2010, 01:05:05 PM
Pod to sparksals's last several posts.

I can't see the difference between "Sad story (warning: animal death)" and "My Dog died" as topic titles.  Except the second is more descriptive, which I think we should be shooting for anyway.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 17, 2010, 01:10:50 PM
Wouldn't the title trigger the emotions too rather than just having a title appropriately named?

Honestly?  No.

Why not? Serious question, no snark intended, just curiosity. If someone's trigger is animal death, and the post title is WARNING ANIMAL DEATH, why would those words not affect the person?

Because it's not details.  It's something that can be skimmed over quickly without really registering in the mind without reading the more complete details about it.

Right after I lost my sweet boy, reading the details of pet death was like someone was taking a fist and socking me in the gut as hard as they possibly could.  I knew that any thread discussing the intimate details of a pet's death would have me really upset, because I was in a place in my own grief where I couldn't comfort another person on their loss.  I was just trying to hang onto whatever control I had myself.  You are right.  Seeing the thread title did hurt me as well.  But, I definitely knew not to open that thread up and see anything else about it.  I wasn't blindsided by the thread.  I knew it was one that I could skip over and not even open when I knew I wouldn't be able to handle it in the state I was in.

I'm still unclear on why putting in a simple "discusses pet death" really is that difficult.  I'm not being snarky, either.  I am not talking about other warnings - the clowns, the snakes, the extraterrestrials, whatever.  I'm talking about something that several people in this thread alone have expressed gratitude for - the warning that the death of an animal is something that they actually do appreciate a warning on.  Why is that something that we're having to debate here?  If it's something that you know helps one of your fellow EHellions out with, why argue it?  It's 3 little words.  Maybe not 3 that matter to you.  But, to the people who are telling you in this thread that they're really appreciated, they're 3 pretty important ones.

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 17, 2010, 01:12:02 PM
Pod to sparksals's last several posts.

I can't see the difference between "Sad story (warning: animal death)" and "My Dog died" as topic titles.  Except the second is more descriptive, which I think we should be shooting for anyway.

Either one works.

Is THAT what this discussion is about?  Ok, so be it.  If that's the issue that y'all are debating, fine!  I don't care how you phrase it in the title - I'm just asking that you do so somehow.

My confusion has been why you can't put SOMETHING to warn others in the title.  If you want to phrase it as "My dog died", that's a warning to anyone who wants to avoid the thread that it's something to skip.



Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Just Lori on August 17, 2010, 01:27:04 PM
I don't see a huge difference between "Fluffy died" and "Warning: Death of a Pet."  However, some threads mention an animal's death as part of a story.  For instance, someone might be trying to work through some issues with a neighbor child, and one of the child's issues involves the untimely death of a pet.  The thread title might be, "My neighbor's child needs me to be his mom," because that's the bigger issue.  However, "Warning: Death of a Pet" may be included to give people a heads up who don't realize they're about to read about the tragic demise of a cat.

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Bexx27 on August 17, 2010, 01:28:36 PM
I think there are 2 separate issues here. One is whether it's necessary to include warnings about generally benign things that might be "triggers" for a tiny minority of readers. I do think it's unnecessary and OTT to include "warning: mentions kangaroos" in case someone might be kangaroo-phobic, or to white out the word "tonsillectomy" because it's a medical procedure. I also don't care for the coy fake store names.

The other issue is how to name threads with content that could reasonably be assumed to upset some readers. I think most of us agree things like pet death and child abuse should be included in the title so people can choose not to read the thread, but why not just name the thread more descriptively instead of having a separate warning in parentheses? It just seems silly to title your thread "I am sad (warning: mentions pet death)" instead of "I'm so sad my dog is gone forever." It's annoying in the same way as threads with titles like "rudeness."
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: MDefarge on August 17, 2010, 01:47:38 PM
I have to agree with Dotty's last couple of posts - I think it's great to have things like "warning pet death" or "mentions TTC issues" - it certainly solves the problem of thread titles that are so generic you have no idea what they are talking about as well as allowing you to skip over them if you have no interest/are phobic/etc about a certain topic.

ETA - I don't see how this is very different from posting a thread in a certain category based on what it is about - for example if I don't want to read about work issues I know to avoid threads that have been posted in the Work category - I see it as another type of shorthand.

How is "my dog died" title generic and difficult to discern the topic?  People know right off the bat if they can handle reading it or not. 

I have no idea what you are talking about - of course "my dog died" is a clear topic - if that's the name of a thread of course you wouldn't have to add "pet death mentioned" because that is what is implicit in the thread title - I'm not sure if you misunderstood me but I wasn't suggesting that "My dog died" would require any sort of extra warnings.   A better example would be if someone posted a thread titled "need really big hugs" with no mention of what the hugs were for.  In *that* case  an added (pet death) after the title would simply clarify what the topic is about.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 17, 2010, 02:00:22 PM
Ok, I'm beginning to think we're actually arguing the same point - we're just coming at it from different angles.  We may be on the same "side" in this debate after all.

The real issue (correct me if I'm wrong) is that subject lines need to be descriptive.  Period.  And, that, really, applies to ALL threads.  Not just ones with sensitive topics, but all of them.  Truthfully, even benign threads should be labeled something descriptive.  THAT is the courtesy to your readers.  But, not only that, but it's a courtesy to yourself.  Because a descriptive title is going to be read more often and may get you more responses to your thread.  Even if the thread is something as simple as "Need assistance with planning an engagement party" or something like that.

AND, the side benefit of a descriptive title is that it also serves as a warning to someone who may not wish to read the thread.  If the thread title is descriptive, there's no need for a "warning" to be attached to it; the warning is already there in the title itself.

So, we're going about this in circles here!  We're not really on opposing sides of this issue.  We're just not all clear on what the real issue is.

Have I summarized it correctly? :)



Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Kess on August 17, 2010, 02:12:37 PM
I have to say that when I'd just miscarried, I really appreciated warnings of related things in post titles, but I'd be even happier if people were more discriptive as this would have allowed me to avoid most mentions of babies which for the first week or two sent me into a sobbing hysterical heap.  Now babies is not something that is a common trigger for upset, so I wouldn't want it to become a "Warning:" but more descriptive post titles would have saved some tears, and helped other people decide what to read or not out of interest too.

My vote would be for 1) better thread titles and 2) warnings for common upsetting/squicking things, e.g. death, gross things, abuse (not clowns or reptiles).
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: gollymolly2 on August 17, 2010, 02:25:31 PM
Dotty, I think the problem is that you're focused on warnings for your own trigger issue, dead pets. Personally, I have no problem putting up a dead pets warning.  And maybe someone else had a recent miscarriage. No problem, I don't mind using a miscarriage or ttc warning. I don't mind using a child abuse warning. I don't mind using a rape warning. For me, it does start to seem like overkill when I also need to put up a toxic relatives, lost job, clowns, spiders, meat eating, vegetarian, medical, death, etc warnings

The point being that each of us probably have a group of warnings that we see as reasonable. But we won't all agree on all the warnings and so inevitably, we will end up feeling like some warnings are overkill, and some people with certain sensitivities will be upset if we don't put the warnings.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 17, 2010, 02:40:15 PM
Dotty, I think the problem is that you're focused on warnings for your own trigger issue, dead pets. Personally, I have no problem putting up a dead pets warning.  And maybe someone else had a recent miscarriage. No problem, I don't mind using a miscarriage or ttc warning. I don't mind using a child abuse warning. I don't mind using a rape warning. For me, it does start to seem like overkill when I also need to put up a toxic relatives, lost job, clowns, spiders, meat eating, vegetarian, medical, death, etc warnings

The point being that each of us probably have a group of warnings that we see as reasonable. But we won't all agree on all the warnings and so inevitably, we will end up feeling like some warnings are overkill, and some people with certain sensitivities will be upset if we don't put the warnings.

Again, I think this is not the issue we're actually discussing which is "descriptive titles."  Did you see my post above explaining that we're coming at this from different angles but are actually agreeing with each other?

And, I did already address the part I italicized - specifically, because I didn't want that part to be confused with what I was saying.



Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: katarain on August 17, 2010, 02:51:52 PM
Dotty, I think the problem is that you're focused on warnings for your own trigger issue, dead pets. Personally, I have no problem putting up a dead pets warning.  And maybe someone else had a recent miscarriage. No problem, I don't mind using a miscarriage or ttc warning. I don't mind using a child abuse warning. I don't mind using a rape warning. For me, it does start to seem like overkill when I also need to put up a toxic relatives, lost job, clowns, spiders, meat eating, vegetarian, medical, death, etc warnings

The point being that each of us probably have a group of warnings that we see as reasonable. But we won't all agree on all the warnings and so inevitably, we will end up feeling like some warnings are overkill, and some people with certain sensitivities will be upset if we don't put the warnings.

If I may add to DottyG's very well-put post, I think the point is that descriptive thread titles would take care of most of those side-issues anyway.  Dealing with your toxic relative?  Instead of a warning in your thread title, you could title it: "Help me deal with XYZ Issue with my MIL."  Someone who can't handle talking about toxic relatives has a pretty good clue there that they should avoid the thread.  If someone has a clown phobia, a thread title that says: "Problem with the Entertainment for my Son's B-Day Party" would be fair enough warning that there's a good chance clowns are going to be mentioned.  "Creepy Crawlies in my Bathtub!" should warn away the spider phobic who can't even read the word. 

It's not that the reason posters should choose descriptive thread titles is to warn people who have uncommon triggers, that's just a nice side benefit.  Now if an issue is mentioned in a long post that may be a trigger for some people and it is not really related to the topic of the post, perhaps a warning might be a good idea, especially for the more common sensitive issues.  That will just have to be left up to the individual posters.  But I think that problem would be rare, and appropriately titling threads would solve most of these issues.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 17, 2010, 02:54:33 PM
appropriately titling threads would solve most of these issues.

Exactly!

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: gollymolly2 on August 17, 2010, 03:15:02 PM
While this topic has turned to descriptive titles, it certainly began with warnings. And while some threads titles can make warnings unnecessary, that won't always be the case, particularly with some of the more "unusual" warnings. (that is, you could have a thread about tipping hotel bellboys that involves snakes or clowns, but the title would still be "tipping bellboys, warning: involves snakes and clowns"). And it's that warning that seems absurd to me.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: katarain on August 17, 2010, 03:18:03 PM
While this topic has turned to descriptive titles, it certainly began with warnings. And while some threads titles can make warnings unnecessary, that won't always be the case, particularly with some of the more "unusual" warnings. (that is, you could have a thread about tipping hotel bellboys that involves snakes or clowns, but the title would still be "tipping bellboys, warning: involves snakes and clowns"). And it's that warning that seems absurd to me.

Well, I wanna read that thread.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 17, 2010, 03:22:36 PM
While this topic has turned to descriptive titles, it certainly began with warnings.

It did start that way.  However, through the thread, we've discovered that we may be talking about the fact that a descriptive title could solve the problem.  The thread evolved!

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 17, 2010, 03:24:36 PM
And, seriously, the thread has kinda taken an absurd turn as well.  I think that common sense would lead most people to figure out what a truly "typical sensitive area" could be.

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: kingsrings on August 17, 2010, 03:26:38 PM
The same with pets - many people at my stage of life have had to make difficult decisions already.  I will admit that I'm not a reptile-lover, and if someone's initial post provided a picture of a huge snake, I would indeed appreciate a heads-up.  But, regarding more mainstream pets such as cats/dogs/guinea pigs etc. - I think most pet owners know that we won't have them forever

While that may be true, the pain of losing one still hurts greatly.  I am very appreciative of the people who do put a disclaimer in their title, because those threads do still hurt to read.  I'd rather know in advance that it could be something I want to skip over.  Getting into the thread and backing out is too late.  By then, I've read more details than I probably wanted to - and probably now hurt more than I absolutely wanted to.

Please do not stop putting those kinds of warnings on those types of threads.  Some of you may not have any problem with reading about the death of animals.  But, there are some who still do - and some who are going through fresh pain of losing one now.  It's a simple gesture that's beneficial (and polite) to your fellow EHellions.  I'd hope that fact alone would keep us doing it.



How is one to title a thread called 'Fluffy passed away' or 'Our hamster died' and provide a warning?  Part of the problem is thread titles don't seem to reflect the topic of the post.  There are frequently threads titled 'help with issue'... what kind of issue?  Add 'pet death mentioned'?    Wouldn't the title trigger the emotions too rather than just having a title appropriately named?

I cry when I hear of the death of a pet because I, too, know how it hurts to lose one.  I can relate to the poster's pain when they write about it.  But it is a normal part of life when a pet or family member dies.  We can't possibly warn everyone about every single trigger in the world.  

What if someone has an aversion to say, clowns?  Do we cease posting a title with 'clown' in it?  Where do we draw the line?  It could get to be way over-used which, IMHO, it already is.

ETA:  *sigh* Subsequently reading the thread, I see someone does have an aversion to clowns.  This is my point.  Where does it end?  I don't think the mere *mention* of a word that is not about other obvious warnings mentioned above is necessary. 

I hate snakes.  Can't stand them.  The thought of them terrifies me.  If I know there is a snake in the zoo or in a picture, I just don't look at it.  I'm not going to expect people to anticipate my every phobia or fear because of something that I may have difficulty with for my own personal reasons.  I can't portray onto an entire forum *my* personal aversions.

ITA to the fullest. This whole warning thing is getting out of control. Ultimately, people are responsible for themselves. I am not going to place a warning in my thread topics.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 17, 2010, 03:28:48 PM
ITA to the fullest. This whole warning thing is getting out of control. Ultimately, people are responsible for themselves. I am not going to place a warning in my thread topics.

Again, could you please read the updated post I made explaining this?

Basically, I've already agreed with the majority of you.  At this point, you're beating the proverbial horse.  And, warnings aside, I promise you that ITS demise is long past.

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: ch1pch0p on August 17, 2010, 03:30:38 PM
ITA to the fullest. This whole warning thing is getting out of control. Ultimately, people are responsible for themselves. I am not going to place a warning in my thread topics.

Again, could you please read the updated post I made explaining this?



Dotty, I don't think it's fair to assume someone didn't read your post just because she has a different opinion. Some people like warnings; some don't. Some people like descriptive titles; some don't think they're as necessary.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: sparksals on August 17, 2010, 03:31:52 PM
Pod to sparksals's last several posts.

I can't see the difference between "Sad story (warning: animal death)" and "My Dog died" as topic titles.  Except the second is more descriptive, which I think we should be shooting for anyway.

Either one works.

Is THAT what this discussion is about?  Ok, so be it.  If that's the issue that y'all are debating, fine!  I don't care how you phrase it in the title - I'm just asking that you do so somehow.

My confusion has been why you can't put SOMETHING to warn others in the title.  If you want to phrase it as "My dog died", that's a warning to anyone who wants to avoid the thread that it's something to skip.



Yes, that is what I meant.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 17, 2010, 03:31:56 PM
ITA to the fullest. This whole warning thing is getting out of control. Ultimately, people are responsible for themselves. I am not going to place a warning in my thread topics.

Again, could you please read the updated post I made explaining this?



Dotty, I don't think it's fair to assume someone didn't read your post just because she has a different opinion. Some people like warnings; some don't. Some people like descriptive titles; some don't think they're as necessary.

I'm assuming that, because she's quoted a post that's already been corrected by me.  In a later post, I've already clarified that what I said in the one she chose to quote has changed.  If she wants to quote me, please use the updated one, at least.

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DottyG on August 17, 2010, 03:41:16 PM
Pod to sparksals's last several posts.

I can't see the difference between "Sad story (warning: animal death)" and "My Dog died" as topic titles.  Except the second is more descriptive, which I think we should be shooting for anyway.

Either one works.

Is THAT what this discussion is about?  Ok, so be it.  If that's the issue that y'all are debating, fine!  I don't care how you phrase it in the title - I'm just asking that you do so somehow.

My confusion has been why you can't put SOMETHING to warn others in the title.  If you want to phrase it as "My dog died", that's a warning to anyone who wants to avoid the thread that it's something to skip.



Yes, that is what I meant.

Ah.  We're on the same page now, then. :)

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: jimithing on August 17, 2010, 03:43:42 PM
I guess here's how I feel. I don't think that warnings should be made into an Ehell rule. I can agree that there are topics that are reasonable upsetting to people, such as death and infertility, and so I think it's kind to put a warning. But I don't think they should be required, or the OP told they need to include it, etc.

Like PP's said, people are going to encounter things about death without warnings all the time, and I do think people need to adjust to that.

I also don't think it's a problem TO include them. If someone wants to put a warning in the title about clowns, so be it. I might roll my eyes, but it's not rude either.

I have to admit, and I believe this poster already said that she updated the title because she thought that was the board culture, but when I saw the thread where it said it mentioned affairs, I was sort of puzzled by that, but ultimately, it doesn't affect the thread or my response to it.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: BettyDraper on August 17, 2010, 06:36:20 PM
I agree the warnings are sometimes OTT and the need for them could be alleviated by more specific thread titles.  Subject lines like "How do I handle this?" and "What would you do?" aren't very helpful.

Increasingly, though, just because a distressing topic isn't in the OP doesn't mean the thread is safe.  We have had domestic abuse, molestation, pedophilia, emotional disorders, physical violence, self-harm and other heavy-duty topics interjected into threads that started out as fairly benign etiquette questions.  I know I'm not alone in finding it very disturbing to come to what is essentially an entertaining message board and be exposed to members' issues of the sort that require professional assistance.  There is little to nothing anyone here can do to help Internet strangers with serious dysfunction, mental health matters, abusive spouses, profound depression, etc.  (I'm not talking about the hugs folder, where more personal matters seem generally acceptable, and which can be avoided by those who don't want TMI, but threads in the mainstream forums)

People might want to pause and reconsider before they post, say, "Thank-you notes are a very unpleasant topic for me because I was once forced to write a thank-you note to the neighbor boy who my parents were unaware molested me," thus spinning the whole thread off into a discussion of a terrible and heart-wrenching topic instead of the writing of thank-you notes. Some people find it very upsetting to be skimming along in an on-point thread only to come across a tangentially related horrible episode someone suffered in their past.  I feel bad for those people and realize it is helpful to get things off of one's chest but understanding the right time, place and audience for baring one's soul is a big part of adopting proper public behavior.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: baglady on August 17, 2010, 07:03:53 PM
There is only so much space in a thread title. And sometimes spelling out the trigger issue isn't possible in the subject title.

"How to politely deal with my friend who has meltdowns in public every time she sees a baby because she just miscarried?" Not going to fit.

"How to politely deal with my friend's meltdowns (WARNING: Miscarriage mentioned)." That fits.

Same goes for "My son's best friend won't come over because we have a dog and his died and it upsets him to see ours" versus "Son's friend won't visit (WARNING: Pet death mentioned)."

I'm a big fan of "the more specific the better" in thread titles. But sometimes it isn't possible. I agree that warnings can be overdone, but sometimes they really are needed in the interest of space.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: DangerMouth on August 17, 2010, 07:10:24 PM
I agree the warnings are sometimes OTT and the need for them could be alleviated by more specific thread titles.  Subject lines like "How do I handle this?" and "What would you do?" aren't very helpful.

(snip)

People might want to pause and reconsider before they post, say, "Thank-you notes are a very unpleasant topic for me because I was once forced to write a thank-you note to the neighbor boy who my parents were unaware molested me," thus spinning the whole thread off into a discussion of a terrible and heart-wrenching topic instead of the writing of thank-you notes. Some people find it very upsetting to be skimming along in an on-point thread only to come across a tangentially related horrible episode someone suffered in their past.  I feel bad for those people and realize it is helpful to get things off of one's chest but understanding the right time, place and audience for baring one's soul is a big part of adopting proper public behavior.

(sorry for the snip, but I just wanted to respond to the above)

I've done the 'post tangentally about a tragedy' thing, and I think it's not always a bad thing, and sometimes appropriate.

In the case I'm thinking of, it was (I felt) directly related to the OP (rude to sleep in car?) because my sister fell asleep while driving and killed herself, and it certainly colored my response (why the heck would you want to?). What I didn't do was say "CRUD MONKEYS!, how dare you post about sleeping in a car, don't you know that's a trigger!?!!1!?

Although in this case, the OP posted a thread title that was exactly descriptive of the situation, and not "Is this rude?", I still feel that we each bring our own experiences to a particular situation. Assuming that in any given thread, a discussion about family won't ever touch on alcoholism, abuse or divorce, or a discussion about driving won't ever touch on someone's experience with a bad accident (for example), is an interesting assumption indeed, and one more suited to the "happy things all the time" forum, and not one with real people, asking for advice on real life issues.

JMO 8)
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: whatsanenigma on August 17, 2010, 07:12:50 PM
Generally, I tend to think better to put a warning than not to, if you have any reason to suspect you should.

If the warning isn't needed, we all just had to read a few more words and waste a few whole seconds of our lives, no big deal.

But if it is needed, you might have saved someone from a very painful experience.

But by the same token, I wouldn't want this to turn into a place where everybody feels obligated to use warnings for everything, and people get yelled at for not using warnings when someone else thinks they should.

Nobody can read minds, after all, and know in advance what's painful, but I think most of us would understand and change our title to include a warning if someone politely let us know we should.

Bottom line for me is, I think it's nice to use warnings, even if they might not be needed, but I'd hate for them to become expected.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: bellawitch on August 17, 2010, 07:15:25 PM
I have to agree with BD. The OP can only warn, or give desprictive titles to what she has posted.

I have noticed several threads that start out as an etiquette issue only to have a poster decide to interject a personal issue into the subject. Some have been so OT that I have thought "Where did this come from?". Sometimes it feels like the poster is jumping up and down, waving their hands and saying Look at me!!!!

Using BD's example of Thank You notes, this is not the time to bring up molestation, and give details. Part of etiquette is realizing when not to say something.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: whatsanenigma on August 17, 2010, 07:18:15 PM
In the case I'm thinking of, it was (I felt) directly related to the OP (rude to sleep in car?) because my sister fell asleep while driving and killed herself, and it certainly colored my response (why the heck would you want to?). What I didn't do was say "CRUD MONKEYS!, how dare you post about sleeping in a car, don't you know that's a trigger!?!!1!?

I think it's good in some cases to mention these experiences because yes, they do affect our point of view pretty seriously, and being able to put them out on the table lets us more freely discuss the topic, because we admit we are biased and trying to not overreact based on emotions. We can try to offer different perspectives, to give others something to think about that they might not have known before, while at the same time acknowledging that we are coming from a specific, emotional place.

I think the thread you mention is a great example of this, regarding your POV and my POV and the POV of several other posters. Very relevant and helpful to the discussion.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: bellawitch on August 17, 2010, 07:18:48 PM
DM, just wanted to clarify. Your example about the accident in sleeping car is related to the subject, but then there are the ones it comes out of nowhere, and is really OTT and personal.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: jimithing on August 17, 2010, 07:25:25 PM
I agree the warnings are sometimes OTT and the need for them could be alleviated by more specific thread titles.  Subject lines like "How do I handle this?" and "What would you do?" aren't very helpful.

Increasingly, though, just because a distressing topic isn't in the OP doesn't mean the thread is safe.  We have had domestic abuse, molestation, pedophilia, emotional disorders, physical violence, self-harm and other heavy-duty topics interjected into threads that started out as fairly benign etiquette questions.  I know I'm not alone in finding it very disturbing to come to what is essentially an entertaining message board and be exposed to members' issues of the sort that require professional assistance.  There is little to nothing anyone here can do to help Internet strangers with serious dysfunction, mental health matters, abusive spouses, profound depression, etc.  (I'm not talking about the hugs folder, where more personal matters seem generally acceptable, and which can be avoided by those who don't want TMI, but threads in the mainstream forums)

The mods are very quick to shut down threads like that. I think cass is the one who I see posting the most in threads like that, where she lets the person know the subject is beyond the purview of the forum, and wishes them luck.

And I think if we do see a thread like that happen, we have a responsibility to let the mods know.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Peggy Gus on August 17, 2010, 09:32:10 PM
I agree the warnings are sometimes OTT and the need for them could be alleviated by more specific thread titles.  Subject lines like "How do I handle this?" and "What would you do?" aren't very helpful.

Increasingly, though, just because a distressing topic isn't in the OP doesn't mean the thread is safe.  We have had domestic abuse, molestation, pedophilia, emotional disorders, physical violence, self-harm and other heavy-duty topics interjected into threads that started out as fairly benign etiquette questions.  I know I'm not alone in finding it very disturbing to come to what is essentially an entertaining message board and be exposed to members' issues of the sort that require professional assistance.  There is little to nothing anyone here can do to help Internet strangers with serious dysfunction, mental health matters, abusive spouses, profound depression, etc.  (I'm not talking about the hugs folder, where more personal matters seem generally acceptable, and which can be avoided by those who don't want TMI, but threads in the mainstream forums)

People might want to pause and reconsider before they post, say, "Thank-you notes are a very unpleasant topic for me because I was once forced to write a thank-you note to the neighbor boy who my parents were unaware molested me," thus spinning the whole thread off into a discussion of a terrible and heart-wrenching topic instead of the writing of thank-you notes. Some people find it very upsetting to be skimming along in an on-point thread only to come across a tangentially related horrible episode someone suffered in their past.  I feel bad for those people and realize it is helpful to get things off of one's chest but understanding the right time, place and audience for baring one's soul is a big part of adopting proper public behavior.

I totally agree, I have seen someone pop into a thread and drop a bomb that really throws everything off. In most of them, the info really doesn't need to be said. If we are talking about cloth diapers versus disposable, we don't need to know about your friends cousins baby and  that "something horrible happened" to it.

I'm not talking about DangerMouth's post, that was relevant to the topic.
Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: blarg314 on August 17, 2010, 10:24:16 PM
I knew someone that would completely freak out even hearing the words spider, snake and lizard.  Whether it started out as real panic or started out as an affectation that after years had become real panic, it was so bad that she would scream and go lock herself in the bathroom a even the mention of those words.  Then it would take hours of apologizing to get her to come out of the bathroom, which was embarrassing, especially if we had guests or were visiting other people's homes.

I think at that point, it's up to the phobic person to address their issues, rather than to expect other people to apologize for hours to get them to leave a locked bathroom at the bare mention of a word. After the first time or two, I think I'd just let them sit in the bathroom, and arrange to meet them in public places or their own house after that, so I could leave while they were in there.

I think the reason that too many warning labels make me uncomfortable is that it builds an expectation that posters will warn whenever there is a remote chance that someone might possibly be upset by it.  And as others have pointed out, warnings apply only to the OPs posting - you can still have people respond to a post and mention something.

And I'll put in a vote for descriptive titles - I generally don't bother with any thread that is titled "Need advice" or "Sticky issue" (I also ignore threads with the work Rant or Vent in the title, and anything in the form of "Um, yeah").

Title: Re: Forum topic warnings
Post by: Redsoil on August 24, 2010, 10:03:56 PM
I personally, am grateful for those who mention such things as animal abuse in the title as a warning.  I will not read such a thread, given any choice, so for me, it avoids something that can be very upsetting.  On a forum dedicated to politeness, I do think it's a courteous thing to do.  So "thank you" to those who either use descriptive titles, or add warnings on subjects that may be upsetting to other posters.  It's also a nice touch if "sensitive" parts of posts are whited out for the benefit of others who may find such information confronting.