Controlling Your Online Space

Melissa King’s Better Online Living through Content Moderation addresses the “anti-content control rhetoric.” In the digital age new information is constantly and consistently presented to people, especially if said people have an online presence. Features such that block and limit search results and privacy options are given to users as needed as one does not need all of said information (for various reasons.) She claims that with or without reason an online user should be allowed to control the data they are receiving.

King says there is a pressure on those that use these features as some cast of a very negative view on content control. This causes people to be exposed to materials they are adverse to and even worse than that, materials that can quite literally harm some user’s health i.e. sufferers of PTSD.

She then addresses some of the ways controlled content is fought. “You’re over-exaggerating, it’s really not that bad. Try not to be so sensitive.” Those statements minimize the seriousness of disorders like PTSD or anxiety. The idea being one must expose themselves to the trigger to attempt to get better. King calls this an “informal parallel to Exposure Therapy.” Internet attacks testing one’s mental health are not the same as a controlled therapy setting she says. She also notes that this kind of attack can stem from a generational disparity as millennials want to tackle tough or sensitive issues head on.

People also do not understand that PTSD is not just a disorder caused my war, but an overall traumatic event. Bullying is real and prevalent in online spaces and some people really do need the block feature to escape this trauma.

Another method of pushing back on content control is legally. People say that blocklists are harmful are damaging. However, blocklists are designed carefully and a person has an option to be a part of it. Blocklists help protect users from attacks especially in certain online communities, her example being women in “male” spaces such as video game or technology and science bases. King believes as long as someone can be attacked personally, anti- content control shouldn’t be up for discussion.


62 thoughts on “Controlling Your Online Space

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  • Melissa King’s insights on content moderation in the digital age shed light on an important topic. The ability to control the information we consume online is essential for our well-being. Mindfulness plays a crucial role in understanding our needs and setting boundaries in this ever-present stream of information.

    It’s disheartening that some view content control as negative, disregarding the impact it can have on individuals’ mental health. Disorders like PTSD and anxiety should never be minimized, and exposure therapy cannot be equated to online attacks that test one’s mental well-being.

    We must recognize that trauma extends beyond the battlefield, with bullying and harassment prevalent in online spaces. Blocklists can provide a necessary shield, especially for vulnerable communities like women in male-dominated spheres. Protecting ourselves from personal attacks is paramount.

    Education and awareness are key in fostering a more empathetic and understanding digital landscape. Let’s embrace mindfulness and advocate for responsible content control, ensuring a safer and more inclusive online experience for all.

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