MELANIE’S QUESTIONS :
A) Warning “labels” when one is writing about something that could potentially be ‘touchy’ to some folks. Pros and cons and that segues rather nicely into the second topic.
I haven’t used warning labels much, except for spoiler alerts when I discuss a movie in great detail. I don’t think my blog needs any warning as I don’t post images of violence or porn, nor do I discuss the the commonly known triggering subjects. Of course, I can’t predict what every person might take issue with… if someone gets upset over atheism or cupcake love, they can walk away. 🧁
I appreciate warning labels online. I don’t want to see pornography or read about self-harm. I also don’t want to read any idiotic conspiracy theories, racism, or support of our hideous impotus, but most who post that crap don’t consider it offensive and wouldn’t think of warning labels.
B) Censorship. Is it censorship if one blogs ‘sensitively’ (aka soft pedals hard issues)? Should writers have to think of every possible reader their writing might touch, every single scenario where a reader might take offense and so on? I’m not thinking of blatant offensiveness (and what’s offensive to one person isn’t necessarily to the next one in line), but a general trying to cover all bases all the time type of thing.
What you’re describing is self-censorship and there should be more of this, not less. Just as we should proof our posts for typos, we should reread for potential offensive content and edit or eliminate it. Over the years, I’ve deleted posts where I sound whiny and pathetic because that triggers me into being disgusted with myself, so I figure others may have similar reactions. I also swear a lot less now online because it’s simply not necessary and many people dislike it.
We can’t know what will upset everyone, but most of us understand what type of topics are generally offensive, unless we’re being willfully obtuse. Naturally, there are some who relish being offensive, nasty, trollish, etc. and we can easily avoid them by taking them out of our newsfeed and/or blocking them from commenting.
1. Do you post about touchy or sensitive topics on your blog? If so, what kind of subjects do you like to discuss?
As I said above, I avoid the generally known sensitive/triggering subjects. I do read other blogs that hit on some of these topics, and I may comment in the same mode, but here? Nope. I’m mostly into writing poetry and short fiction, complaining about minor issues, and sharing bits of my boring life.
2. Do you respond to sensitive or controversial subjects in the form of prompts?
I avoid them, and I also avoid questions that are overly personal. I write a lot about my life in general, but I don’t talk much about work, sex, or go into specific detail about my daughters.
3. Do you take part in controversial discussions as part of a comments thread?
Sometimes. I often comment in support of Fandango’s impotus bashing, though I don’t do it here that often. On other blogs, I’ll write about relationships and/or mental health more than I do here.
4. How do you think sensitive subjects should be handled on the blogosphere?
Generally, it’s considerate to post a warning label if you’re going to discuss violence, mental health, or porn. Put a tag in the title or simply state it in the first paragraph. As noted, we can’t predict what everyone will get upset about, and that’s okay. People can unfollow blogs and delete comments, which I believe is a far superior method to deal with being offended than engaging in useless, prolonged arguments that descend into nastiness. Just walk away and take deep breaths. Also, it can be cathartic to write a long screaming diatribe about a horribly offensive person or situation… and then poof delete it!
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