The article “Better Online Living through Content Moderation,” by Melissa King is about how people moderate the content that they view online. It describes how people that do this are criticized, and how content moderation can help these people.

The Psychology Behind It

King talks about one of the arguments against people using content moderation tools. She says that these people say that people using these tools should try being “less sensitive.” She says this is probably because people compare it to Exposure Therapy, “a type of therapy designed to combat severe anxiety through gradual and controlled exposure to its source.” She talks about how the exposure must be controlled, and that it is not the same thing as being insulted or seeing something traumatic to strengthen someone against it. (King) In fact, she claims that anyone exposed without the subject being moderated probably will see the effects of whatever they are suffering from worsen.

Uncontrolled exposure to this does not help anything.

King says that moderation tools have become more prevalent because younger generations are more open to these issues. Another argument against moderation tools is that things like “mean words” does not actually cause any harm to the person or their families, or that they cannot cause PTSD. King provides a quote from Caleb Lack, a licensed clinical psychologist and psychology professor, who says that bullying on the internet can cause PTSD. The author describes the arguments against moderation tools as misguided.

Cyber bullying has real effects.

Legal Actions

Moving on to the legal side of the situation, King talks about how blocklists have risen in use due to hate groups. (King) An argument against blocklists is that the people being put on them are being defamed, but these arguments are diffused when the process behind the blocklists are shown. (King) There have been cases where people put on blocklists threaten to sue the user if they were not removed from the list. King describes asking people to not use moderation tools  as demanding “the abused [to] spend more time with their abusers.”

The Personal Part

Subsequently, King says that the actions of the groups or people described above are illegal. Women are a big target when they are involved in “‘male-dominated'” industries. An abundance of evidence is available to advocate the use of moderation tools for personal use. This evidence should show the usefulness of these tools, especially for personal use. The personal use of these tools do not infringe on the rights of others either. When people attack people that use moderation tools, it shows a “lack of empathy” for these people. People that use these tools do so in order to protect themselves, and they should not be discouraged from doing this. Some people assume that because they are not getting attacked, and that they do not really need these tools, that other people should be ashamed to use them.


Content control is vital to the physical and mental safety of the people that use it. They should be able to use these tools without being shamed by other people. Using these tools is a personal choice, and they it does not hurt others in anyway, so there should not be any opposition to their use.


King, Melissa. “Better Online Living Through Content Moderation,” Model View Culture 28 (October 14, 2015). Web:

Image. Play Buzz. Web. 1 March 2016.

umatter. “4 Dangers of the Internet.” Image. (U)Matter. Web. 1 March 2016.

Andreea. “Internet Trolls.” Image. Nips&Tips. Web. 1 March 2016.