Author Topic: Forum topic warnings  (Read 6521 times)

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ch1pch0p

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #75 on: August 17, 2010, 04:30:38 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.

sparksals

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #76 on: August 17, 2010, 04:31:52 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.

DottyG

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #77 on: August 17, 2010, 04:31:56 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.


DottyG

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #78 on: August 17, 2010, 04:41:16 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. :)


jimithing

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #79 on: August 17, 2010, 04:43:42 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.

BettyDraper

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #80 on: August 17, 2010, 07:36:20 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.

baglady

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #81 on: August 17, 2010, 08:03:53 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.
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DangerMouth

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #82 on: August 17, 2010, 08:10:24 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)

whatsanenigma

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #83 on: August 17, 2010, 08:12:50 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.

bellawitch

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #84 on: August 17, 2010, 08:15:25 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.

whatsanenigma

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #85 on: August 17, 2010, 08:18:15 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.

bellawitch

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #86 on: August 17, 2010, 08:18:48 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.

jimithing

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #87 on: August 17, 2010, 08:25:25 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.

Peggy Gus

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #88 on: August 17, 2010, 10:32:10 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.

blarg314

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Re: Forum topic warnings
« Reply #89 on: August 17, 2010, 11:24:16 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").