In her article, Better Online Living Though Content Moderation, Melissa King addresses the conflicting sides to the argument of whether or not content control features are valuable features in the digital world. Arguments in favor of content control state that users suffering from PTSD could benefit from the online tool, whereas those against the programs believe that users should simply avoid and ignore content in which they cannot handle or altogether become less sensitive.
Before reading the article, the first thing that came to my mind when hearing the words content control was school computers controlling what we could access; however, after reading the article completely I fully support the use of content control. Schools utilize content control in a way to protect the computers from viruses and malware students may accidently pick up as well as removing any chances of distractions from school work by blocking sites like Facebook.com and Youtube.com. What I had not considered useful of content control features is its personal use. With the use of content control features and applications, one can limit their access on the internet to only what serves them best. This may include blocking sites that may distract them from the productivity. Also considered are sites that could potentially cause emotional distress.
Those whom suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can have episodes triggered by certain stimulants, like sounds or visuals. Content control for someone who has PTSD could mean saving them from an anxiety trigger. For instance, if a war veteran finds graphic violence to be a trigger to his or her anxiety, then the can choose to block those types of digital space from their browser. The article goes on to discuse, in response to some opposing sides, the concept of online bullying or harassment un cencored by content control can cause PTSD if prolonged. If looking at a situation in which a child or adult is facing harassment online, the two options are to either keep access to the source, or to block the user or webpage. If given the option of removing this negativity, people can altogether avoid this chance of PTSD.
The arguments against content control really have no solid ground to back them up. They all are very much along the lines of saying, “I am a healthy enough person, I don’t need vitamins; therefore, we as an entire population do not need to take vitamins. In fact, those who choose to better themselves with vitamins are weak.” Just like the fact that no one is required to take a vitamin, no one is forced to use content control. So, there is no reason why it should not be an available tool for those whom find it useful. The article addresses how one can easily access and download these online tools through applications on their browser.
The entire concept of content control is completely personal and unique to each user. One may block on specific website, or an entire genre of sites. It all just depends on their needs. In her conclusion, King states, “Ultimately, easy one-size-fits-all solutions ignore the diversity of human psyches and experiences. Content control tools take this fact into account, and give people more room to act on behalf of their own mental and emotional needs.”