Should We Just “Pull The Trigger” When It Comes To Speech?

I’ve seen other asexual bloggers use “trigger warning” disclaimers at the start and also seen “Trigger Warning” on some Facebook posts. I’ve also written short disclaimers on this blog warning about content that may be ‘triggering’ for some people. Interestingly, there’s been debate about this on Facebook when a member posted a link of a blog post lamenting about the constant victim mentality of the LGBT. The conversation turned to the use of ‘Trigger Warnings’ on posts and whether it’s just political correctness gone mad. Here’s my take:

I believe ”Trigger Warnings” are useful when used reasonably and, yes, I truly believe they have their place, especially pay online. Mere offensive or controversial content probably doesn’t need ‘trigger warnings’. However, I do believe that ‘trigger warnings’ are necessary when talking about potentially traumatic topics, like stalking, suicide, violence, sex crimes, terrorism, etc. My reasoning of why wept hey are useful is so then if a person who does have a certain trigger when reading such content, that person is free to move on before they start reading the post fully. In my opinion, it’s a way of not alienating certain readers because they feel genuinely upset by the content because it brings an unpleasant reaction/ memory. At least with the warning at the start, the person is warned and the reader has a choice whether or not to proceed. To me, it’s being sensitive to the experiences of any potential readers.

I do get the fear of some bloggers may have about the seeming restriction of free speech and it seeming like a form of censorship. I don’t believe that they should be overused and that they should be used because the post may cause offense. However, I still say they have their place.

Another concern raised in the blog post was the fear of creating a victim mentality among minorities rather genuine fight for justice and visibility for minorities. I do get this argument, and Ike I said before, trigger warning statements can potentially overused. The blogger even argued that “not all LGBT have experienced violence”. While I get that, where does that leave people in general who have experienced violence and are still trying to deal with it? As a blogger, or even a user of Facebook, I can’t ever know the experiences of everyone who could potentially look at what I write.

My main aims as a blogger is to engage as many readers as I can. I want everyone to be able to read my posts freely and comfortably and feel free to engage with others and myself about what I’ve written. I also want to give potential readers to opt out if the content is too traumatic for them.

What do you think about ‘trigger warnings’? Do you use them, and if so why? I’d really love to know your thoughts on this.