Trigger warning

Trigger warning (TW) is a way of allowing people to view, read, listen to, or otherwise experience something consensually. TWs can be seen as akin to age certificates on films or video games.

The purpose is two-fold: a trigger warning allows one to know the contents of what they are about to experience, in order for them to decide if they want to indeed experience it. Trigger warnings also allow one to prepare themselves, because they have to experience something. Both these cases largely overlap; one is being informed of what one is about to experience.

Furthermore, a warning allows one to take self-care measures or even adhere to the directions of a therapist, doctor, or other authority if applicable. While in some cases, gradual and controlled exposure to a source of trauma, anxiety, or fear may be prescribed or may feature in some therapy regimens, that exposure should not be in the control of an outside, untrained, or pseudomedical source. It is not cowardly or "sheltered" to require a trigger warning or need content filtered, and the presence of reasonable content warnings is not merely courtesy but a matter of health care importance.

Most importantly, a single individual is not the authority on whether something is triggering or not. If someone else says something is triggering, you need to respect that. We have all had unique experiences at various ages and had different limitations on safe ways to cope with the harshness of reality, so don't project your ideas of what is triggering or not onto others. Respect their boundaries.

History

The ideas for issuing a warning for potentially triggering material has existed for at least 100 years:

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Usage and examples

"A sophomore at the [University of California, Santa Barbara], Bailey Loverin, and others have formally called for “trigger warnings” on class syllabuses that would flag potentially traumatic subject matter."<ref>Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm, by Jennifer Medina</ref>

TWs have gained broad usage both online — on social media sites such as Twitter, LiveJournal, and Tumblr, as well as on the Huffington Post<ref name = "how the tw"></ref> — and offline, with some universities introducing them for their course materials.<ref name= "tw in class">Why I'll Add a Trigger Warning, by Angus Johnston</ref><ref>A.S. Senate Passes Proposal to Label Trauma-Provoking Academic Content, by Tiana Miller-Leonard</ref><ref name ="tw in class"></ref> Such warnings, especially in lecture theatres and classrooms, offer a further level of pedagogical rationale for their use:

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On this wiki, TWs for outgoing links are denoted using a {{#if: superscript|superscript|superscript}}[tw] that links back to this page when clicked. On the other hand, whole articles are denoted as potentially triggering by the following banner, placed at the top of the triggering page:

Trigger warning.png

Trigger warning!

The following {{#switch:no |section= section | article }} might be triggering for some people depending on past experiences.

Please read with caution, go back to the home page, or look at something nice.

{{#switch:no |no= |high = | }}


See also

External links

References

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