“Better Online Living Through Content Moderation”

Content control options available on social media titan Twitter.com

In the article “Better Online Living through Content Moderation” Melissa King shows readers content control tools that are available to protect from online abuse and explains why they are necessary in the digital age. King also addresses opposers of content control tools by stating that “nobody should be required to read or listen to content if they do not want to” (1). She backs this stating that sites that do not offer content control make for bad environments which could have psychological and sociological backlashes.

Some of the content control tools that are widely available on most sites include content warnings, privacy options, blocking restrictions, mutes and reporting. Melissa King argues that these content control features are beneficial to the general public because they allow users to protect themselves from crude or triggering topics as online aggressors can possibly invoke anxiety attacks or spark Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. King calls for television to become the next media outlet to present content control options. Television’s massive commercial and advertisements industry puts many viewers to new levels of uncontrolled exposures. After experiencing subliminal messages users may suffer from spending frenzies, breakdowns and anxiety attacks.

Cable companies only offer basic content control such as rating locks, which allow parents to lock shows with certain age ratings to prevent children from exposure to adult material at such young ages. Because these parental locks do not offer controls to the subliminal anxiety sparks, therapy is provided to help consumers cope. Just as television is television offers low amounts of content control, the internet also has become a marketing guru as advertisements heavily douse the digital world. Ad blockers and pop-up blockers offer good controls to the many advertisements but some sites have begun not allowing users access to their sites without dialing any adblockers.

Alongside her arguments for content control, the author shows viewpoints of why content control isn’t beneficial and refutes them with adequate reasoning. One reason people believe content control is not beneficial is because people  mostly interpret the “abuse and harassment” they receive at another level than what it is really meant to be. Sometimes the supposed abuse and harassment isn’t even online bullying but just merely debates. Those who discredit content control also call upon Exposure Theory which proposes that the more you’re gradually exposed to something that builds severe anxiety the less it will be a trigger to you. Melissa King fires back with the fact that online harassment is at random and the lack of controlled exposure by trained professionals the trauma caused will most likely increase and be more significant.


“Better Online Living through Content Moderation by Melissa King | Model View Culture.” N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2016.