A Summary on Better Online Living through Content Moderation by Melissa King

     Melissa King, a recent University of California Santa Cruz graduate, composes an article that demonstrates the usefulness of content moderation and why some people might be against the idea. In the first paragraph, King presents reasons to why people might want to utilize content control features. She expresses that there is really no invalid reason “to read or listen to content if they do not want to.”

     In the article, King examines a major argument against controlling content; the misunderstanding of “sensitive” people that are abused and harassed. Psychology plays a big role in this article. King uses it to support her case in that there’s a “struggle to protect the psyche of vulnerable individuals is not limited to online interactions.” She notes that some see online harassment as just cruel words, but in reality is deeper that. King includes evidence from Caleb Lacke, a clinical psychologist, to further explain her research. Lacke reveals that prolonged online bullying and harassment can lead to PTSD or PTSD symptoms because of the “severe impact it has on mental health.” King incorporates this fact to assure opposing people that controlling content can effect mental health and can lead to serious issues.

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Some of the content control features King includes in the article is “blocking”, “content warnings” and even “privacy functions.” These feature are essential to those who have a hard time being online or on the computer due to the emotional stress of past experiences.

     King concludes her article by stating that the privileged people who have had a safe online experience shouldn’t ridicule or “shame” those who haven’t. She argues that everyone should be able to have the option of deciding what they need for their own mental and emotional health. Those who oppose this idea neglect the fact that option is important, and adapting to everyone’s needs is as well. “Telling people otherwise is complicity in a system of violence against marginalized people” King recognizes this fact and writes this article to bring this issue to light.

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