“Better Online Living through Content Moderation” Melissa King
“Better Online Living Through Content Moderation”, is an article written by Melissa Kings. In this article she discusses the uses of block and ignore functions, content/trigger warnings, block lists and privacy options that help to improve one’s computer experience by dismissing content that one chooses not to see. She goes into further detail as to what kind of people who would benefit from these content managers, such as those who suffer from PTSD who are avoiding triggers or topics that could cause anxiety, those with limited patience and anyone who wants to improve their online experience. After all, no one should have to view any content that they would prefer not to.
In this article she mentions that those who prefer to use these content moderators are criticized as being too “weak” or “sensitive”, which then creates the stigma for people to expose themselves to things that they cannot handle or is too much, whether it be violence, graphic content or even cyber-attacks due to an disagreement or in some cases intentional provoking of attacks or violence.
She then began to discuss the arguments against content control. One being that people tend to blow abuse and harassment received out of proportion and therefore should be less sensitive in terms of coping. This has been the greatest argument of them all. The term she associated with that argument is exposure therapy. Kings discussed this term by saying through gradual exposure you will be able to overcome these triggers. In other words, the more you are exposed to something, the less you will be effected. Which is not necessarily true especially for PTSD victims because overexposure can magnify the trauma instead of heal it.
She goes on to say that this is only one aspect as to how open our younger generations are to complex and emotional content and how they now suffer from a great pushback against sensitivity and political correctness in the western culture. She then discusses how ignorance is depicted through media and myth about the truths of PTSD and it not being something that only veterans suffer from, but can also stem from cyber-attacks. She also included a statement from Caleb Lack, who is a psychologist specializing in anxiety disorders who spoke out on the truth of disorders and the effects of cyber bullying on mental health.
She then goes on to discuss the uses of block lists towards hate groups, how to opt into them and the compelling arguments against them that come from those who haven’t done the harassing.
The article ends with the discussion of how vicious these online attacks can be and the dangers that they can cause even going as far as harassing and calling family, and posting personal information. Which is why having these content blockers, and block lists are useful for those who want and desire to use them at their own whim for the purpose and security of themselves and to protect their mental health from the unpleasant and anxiety-triggering trolling and cyber bullying.
King, Melissa. “Better Online Living Through Content Moderation,” Model View Culture 28 (October 14, 2015). Web: https://modelviewculture.com/pieces/better-online-living-through-content-moderation.