Author Topic: Forum topic warnings  (Read 7271 times)

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Just Lori

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #60 on: August 17, 2010, 02:27:04 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.


Bexx27

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #61 on: August 17, 2010, 02:28:36 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."
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

MDefarge

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #62 on: August 17, 2010, 02:47:38 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.

DottyG

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #63 on: August 17, 2010, 03:00:22 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? :)




Kess

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #64 on: August 17, 2010, 03:12:37 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).

gollymolly2

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #65 on: August 17, 2010, 03:25:31 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.

DottyG

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #66 on: August 17, 2010, 03:40:15 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.



« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 03:42:47 PM by DottyG »

katarain

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #67 on: August 17, 2010, 03:51:52 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.

DottyG

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #68 on: August 17, 2010, 03:54:33 PM »
appropriately titling threads would solve most of these issues.

Exactly!


gollymolly2

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #69 on: August 17, 2010, 04:15:02 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.

katarain

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #70 on: August 17, 2010, 04:18:03 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.

DottyG

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #71 on: August 17, 2010, 04:22:36 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!


DottyG

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #72 on: August 17, 2010, 04:24:36 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.


kingsrings

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #73 on: August 17, 2010, 04:26:38 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.

DottyG

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #74 on: August 17, 2010, 04:28:48 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.