Elsewhere on the internet...

The League of Reason has some social media accounts! You can find us on Facebook or on Twitter for some interesting links and things.

Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 2 of 2
 [ 34 posts ] 
Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?
Author Message
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

Greetings,

SpecialFrog wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:They weren't protesting against Trump - they were "in pain" because someone wrote his name on a pathway, and felt "threatened".

Again, Donald Trump is running a campaign explicitly targeting certain minorities and that more-or-less openly courts white supremacists.

Additionally, Trump and Trump iconography have been explicitly used as racially-motivated taunts.

Why is it unreasonable to expect the university administration to stand against racism?

The protests, as I noted earlier, were not against Trump or racism. As Coyne noted, what if someone had written "Sanders" on the path? Would that justify protests saying that they were "in pain" at seeing his name written on the path, and felt "threatened"? This is hardly on the same level as seeing the word "ISIS", is it?

SpecialFrog wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Coyne has been reporting on a series of such protests on US campuses regarding demands from students who appear unable to cope with other views - one of which demands is for trigger warnings before anyone - particularly faculty - says anything with which they disagree.

Citation needed for the underlined bit.

The main article is here. The list of "trigger warning" articles is here.

SpecialFrog wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:This is an example of the sort of other views to which they're protesting - completely ignoring and/or forgetting that the First Amendment allows such.

And the First Amendment allows for people to protest views with which they disagree. What's your point?

Views with which they disagree - not the mere existence of another view.

SpecialFrog wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:The demands for trigger warnings are a way to prevent other views, including science - like evolution.

Citation needed.

Here

SpecialFrog wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Bearing in mind that If faculty have to give warnings to students whenever they're giving a lecture on this or that topic, what does that say about free and open debate? About the whole basis for democracy?

Clearly you have an answer to those questions. What is it?

If those attending colleges are unable to cope with the Big Wide World, then perhaps they're not ready for college.

If individuals have an issue - they've suffered abuse, for example - they need to get counselling, rather than insist that no-one can mention/discuss abuse. One of the articles Coyne penned involved demands for trigger warnings on Ovid.

The problem with this is that unless it's patently obvious what might cause offence/distress - like news footage of a disaster involving dead bodies - you won't know what any listeners'/viewers'/students' "triggers" are going to be: this means you'd have to give a broad warning that "this material/subject may contain *something* that could trigger a reaction" - in other words, anything in the subject matter might cause offence/distress.

If creationists came here and said that we can't discuss evolution, question religious beliefs, etc, would we have to stop or give "trigger warnings" any/every time we're about to say something "hurtful"? Would that be practical - nevermind make sense?

*******************

Update: Whilst previewing my reply, I've just seen your last regarding your son. This helps explain your own concerns, SpecialFrog - which are perfectly understandable, given your son's medically-diagnosed condition. Anyone, including myself, would tread carefully in such circumstances.

However, we can't say the same of students in general - a medical condition (physical or psychological) is understandable, and of course one would have to be sensitive to such individuals.

But all students? A lecturer might ask a class if there are any students who've experienced abuse first before discussing a work of literature that includes such - like Ovid. But I think this is taking things to extremes. We did Ovid in school - not high school! - amongst other classics without anyone clutching their hearts in shock. :shock:

I think the real clincher here is that the Bible - like other religious texts - are littered with offensive material: there are no protests at these colleges over those, are there? :roll:

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:34 pm
ldmitrukUser avatarPosts: 233Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:47 pmLocation: Edmonton, Alberta Gender: Cake

Post Re: Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

Michael Shermer has an interesting article in this weeks eSkeptic that touches on this topic What Went Wrong?
Campus Unrest, Viewpoint Diversity, and Freedom of Speech
. Personally I think this whole thing about trigger warnings is being taken to a very ridiculous levels these days.
Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:31 pm
SpecialFrogUser avatarPosts: 827Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 pmLocation: Great White North Gender: Tree

Post Re: Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

Will post more later, but with regards to the alleged Emory incident.

A controversy at Emory University over graffiti promoting Donald Trump led to some predictably inaccurate media reports

Be most suspicious of claims you would like to be true.

Also:

5 (Statistically BS) Complaints About Social Justice Issues
"Life is nothing but an electron looking for a place to rest" -- Albert Szent-Gyrgyi
Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:52 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

Greetings,

I see Jerry Coyne's posted an update to his earlier one.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:01 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3318Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

Dragan Glas, how are you able to tell the difference between someone that protests something they disagree with and someone that is against the mere existence of said thing?

Beyond that, what is the difference between allowing people who think some speech should be limited and allowing people to make hateful and racist speech? I feel both are equally moronic, but both can be held and expressed in an open and free society.
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
(_'--------------------'_)
(_.--------------------._)
Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:04 pm
YIM WWW
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

Greetings,

he_who_is_nobody wrote:Dragan Glas, how are you able to tell the difference between someone that protests something they disagree with and someone that is against the mere existence of said thing?

The way it was reported originally appeared to indicate that the students were protesting that someone expressed their opinion, not that they had a differing one. It seemed to be a case of PC-itis - ie, PC gone awry.

However, it now appears that things were not necessarily as originally reported.

he_who_is_nobody wrote:Beyond that, what is the difference between allowing people who think some speech should be limited and allowing people to make hateful and racist speech? I feel both are equally moronic, but both can be held and expressed in an open and free society.

One is allowed to express one's views as long as they don't intentionally incite others. These are the sort of circumstances where one should not say certain things - for example, the proverbial shouting "Fire!" in a cinema, as this would cause panic and may result in injuries.

The key here is intent - if you happen to say something unintentionally, where others then act violently, then you're not legally held responsible, although you may be held ethically responsible.

In practice, there is a fine line between being able to speak one's mind and where it's better to remain silent.

In principle, however, one is entitled to one's own views - until one says and/or does something that, because it affects others, allows others to judge what you say/do, and thus object to your views.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:01 pm
DustniteUser avatarPosts: 518Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:11 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

SpecialFrog wrote:So in some imaginary future scenario?


Is it an imaginary scenario? I really hope so. But when I live in a country where corporations have personhood (Citzens United) and college campus "safe spaces" deter freedom of the press (Melissa Click) I start to grow concerned.

SpecialFrog wrote:And why is NSFW less arbitrary? My work involves images that would not be suitable for some work environments. I'm sure others work with things that wouldn't fly in mine.


Honestly. the NSFW tag is more useful and generally prevents you from getting caught by your web filters at work, etc. It's not like web filters are magical and decide which content is right to filter or not, it's all built on categories and ratings... This is an aside point anyways, because I think you're trying to frame this that I think trigger warnings should be "illegal" or seem to be implying that's my position, it's not. I DO think they are a bad idea...

Here's the reasons why I think it's a bad idea to use trigger warnings and possibly we can debate the topic on those grounds:

1) Trigger warnings prevent dialogue on social media and in the classroom. A person trying to avoid being triggered or having an episode will not read that material or engage that discussion because of such a warning, even if that person would not be triggered by the content in reality. This can also be used as a convenient excuse for students that don't wish to study or read such material in practice.

2) Triggers are subjective. It's unclear what might trigger someone's condition and assuming one would be inclined to "just be safe" is it then logical to put trigger warnings on all of your posted speech?

3) Trigger warnings don't exist in real life in real social situations. Why would we set up the system of this nature in the classroom if it's not also going to apply to speech in social interactions?

4) Trigger warnings invite victimization. When the writer/speaker has already made the judgement call that their material may be triggering, this invites the reader/listener to become offended/victimized without any effort on their part. Whether or not that is justified depends on the situation, however why even set one's self up for that type of scenario in the first place?


Laurens wrote:I don't think anyone is obliged to warn anyone of anything, but it is courteous to do so.

I agree that trigger warnings on everything is a bit much but I think if you're about to talk about something like the horrors of war, or sexual abuse you should let strangers know. It's acknowledgement of the fact that not everyone in the audience might be able to face such topics as casually as you or I.

I think like anything it can be taken to the extreme (and I think listing the trigger words at the start might be counter productive) but in the case of talking about things generally accepted to be a cause of PTSD it's courteous to warn people.


I'm not disagreeing with you and in fact agree with you on the counter productivity of listing trigger words, but I again think that triggering PTSD is a subjective thing and putting trigger warnings in place actually invites more problems than it solves.
"But this is irrelevant because in either case, whether a god exists or not, whether your God (with a capital G) exists or not, it doesn't matter. We both are, in either case, evolved apes. " - Nesslig20
Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:01 am
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

Dustnite wrote:
SpecialFrog wrote:So in some imaginary future scenario?


Is it an imaginary scenario? I really hope so. But when I live in a country where corporations have personhood (Citzens United) and college campus "safe spaces" deter freedom of the press (Melissa Click) I start to grow concerned.

SpecialFrog wrote:And why is NSFW less arbitrary? My work involves images that would not be suitable for some work environments. I'm sure others work with things that wouldn't fly in mine.


Honestly. the NSFW tag is more useful and generally prevents you from getting caught by your web filters at work, etc. It's not like web filters are magical and decide which content is right to filter or not, it's all built on categories and ratings... This is an aside point anyways, because I think you're trying to frame this that I think trigger warnings should be "illegal" or seem to be implying that's my position, it's not. I DO think they are a bad idea...

Here's the reasons why I think it's a bad idea to use trigger warnings and possibly we can debate the topic on those grounds:

1) Trigger warnings prevent dialogue on social media and in the classroom. A person trying to avoid being triggered or having an episode will not read that material or engage that discussion because of such a warning, even if that person would not be triggered by the content in reality. This can also be used as a convenient excuse for students that don't wish to study or read such material in practice.

2) Triggers are subjective. It's unclear what might trigger someone's condition and assuming one would be inclined to "just be safe" is it then logical to put trigger warnings on all of your posted speech?

3) Trigger warnings don't exist in real life in real social situations. Why would we set up the system of this nature in the classroom if it's not also going to apply to speech in social interactions?

4) Trigger warnings invite victimization. When the writer/speaker has already made the judgement call that their material may be triggering, this invites the reader/listener to become offended/victimized without any effort on their part. Whether or not that is justified depends on the situation, however why even set one's self up for that type of scenario in the first place?


Laurens wrote:I don't think anyone is obliged to warn anyone of anything, but it is courteous to do so.

I agree that trigger warnings on everything is a bit much but I think if you're about to talk about something like the horrors of war, or sexual abuse you should let strangers know. It's acknowledgement of the fact that not everyone in the audience might be able to face such topics as casually as you or I.

I think like anything it can be taken to the extreme (and I think listing the trigger words at the start might be counter productive) but in the case of talking about things generally accepted to be a cause of PTSD it's courteous to warn people.


I'm not disagreeing with you and in fact agree with you on the counter productivity of listing trigger words, but I again think that triggering PTSD is a subjective thing and putting trigger warnings in place actually invites more problems than it solves.

I think to a degree it is subjective. I might have had a particular experience with something that you might never think would cause PTSD symptoms and I agree that you can't be expected to predict this. However we know that soldiers and sexual abuse victims often suffer PTSD so we might give a warning before discussing topics relating to those things.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
Like the League of Reason on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Shameless Self-Promotion
Listen to my music on Soundcloud
Like my music page on Facebook
Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:02 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2954Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

Greetings,

Assuming you know that the person(s) to whom you're talking are armed forces or victims of abuse.

If you think about it, there's an unspoken trigger warning whenever people talk to each other - "somebody is bound to say something that someone will find 'offensive'/'hurtful'/etc".

In other words, there's no need to explicitly give trigger warnings.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:28 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3318Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

It really seems like there are at least two things being discussed here. Laurens seems to be talking about trigger warnings in everyday conversations. I am not sure how that would even be possible since when talking to someone in real life conversations can go all over the map at a whim. It seems like if you are out in public or in a social environment, one has to expect that they might hear/see something that offends them.

The second, and the one I was discussing, was creators placing warnings on their content. This appears to be something that is actually in the hands of the creator that might help them to not lose audience members and perhaps gain new ones. Furthermore, as was pointed out earlier, no one is forcing anyone else to do this, it is up to each creator to choose whether or not to place warnings on their material.

I just want to point out one other thing; content warnings have been on college campuses for decades. Walk into any biological anthropology or archaeology class and the first thing the professor will say is that you will see (and handle) human remains in this class. That means people who do not want to see human remains can drop that class. One cannot force another to view or talk about anything. Content warnings like this are common for covering class that some might see as taboo.

Dustnite wrote:
SpecialFrog wrote:So in some imaginary future scenario?


Is it an imaginary scenario? I really hope so. But when I live in a country where corporations have personhood (Citzens United) and college campus "safe spaces" deter freedom of the press (Melissa Click) I start to grow concerned.


Honestly, what does either of those have to do with this topic? With regards to your second point, what is the difference between a safe space on campus and a club/fraternity? Colleges have always had places that you can or cannot say things because of who is there. If I walked into a Christian club and started talking about how their Bible is full of errors, they are well within their rights to kick me out of their space. There are fraternities across the U.S. that will not allow press to cover meetings they are having. As long as they are having them in private behind closed doors, what can the press do?
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
(_'--------------------'_)
(_.--------------------._)
Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:58 pm
YIM WWW
DustniteUser avatarPosts: 518Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:11 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

he_who_is_nobody wrote:Honestly, what does either of those have to do with this topic? With regards to your second point, what is the difference between a safe space on campus and a club/fraternity? Colleges have always had places that you can or cannot say things because of who is there. If I walked into a Christian club and started talking about how their Bible is full of errors, they are well within their rights to kick me out of their space. There are fraternities across the U.S. that will not allow press to cover meetings they are having. As long as they are having them in private behind closed doors, what can the press do?



I stated those examples as things I find riidiculous and that I find putting trigger warnings on content that is being created (blogs, youtube, etc.) to be equally ridiculous. Other than that, they are not related.

As for the Melissa Click incident at Mizzou, they were standing in the campus quad which is considered open to the public and was suddenly declared a safe space so that's not really the same thing as walking into a Christian club, is it? This is off-topic (partially my fault) and we should probably start another thread if we want to discuss it further.

he_who_is_nobody wrote:The second, and the one I was discussing, was creators placing warnings on their content. This appears to be something that is actually in the hands of the creator that might help them to not lose audience members and perhaps gain new ones. Furthermore, as was pointed out earlier, no one is forcing anyone else to do this, it is up to each creator to choose whether or not to place warnings on their material.

I just want to point out one other thing; content warnings have been on college campuses for decades. Walk into any biological anthropology or archaeology class and the first thing the professor will say is that you will see (and handle) human remains in this class. That means people who do not want to see human remains can drop that class. One cannot force another to view or talk about anything. Content warnings like this are common for covering class that some might see as taboo.


I don't think anyone is arguing that all content warnings are a bad idea, but I am arguing that identifying and listing trigger words for every content piece created is a silly notion and should not be encouraged for content creators. I actually don't think any of us disagree on this point.
"But this is irrelevant because in either case, whether a god exists or not, whether your God (with a capital G) exists or not, it doesn't matter. We both are, in either case, evolved apes. " - Nesslig20
Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:31 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2950Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

he_who_is_nobody wrote:It really seems like there are at least two things being discussed here. Laurens seems to be talking about trigger warnings in everyday conversations. I am not sure how that would even be possible since when talking to someone in real life conversations can go all over the map at a whim. It seems like if you are out in public or in a social environment, one has to expect that they might hear/see something that offends them.


I would clarify that its about conversations with strangers, public speaking, or writing.

It isn't always possible to remember to warn people of such things in conversation, but an effort ought to be made out of politeness. Much like you might say 'excuse my language' before swearing in front of a stranger. Not everyone does it, and I don't do it all the time, but I try to be mindful of what I say.

However I don't think it's as important to mention it in conversation where it does easily slip the mind, but it is important in pre-prepared public speeches or written pieces. I don't agree with listing the subjects at the start either. If someone doesn't want to be reminded of their sexual assault for example, saying 'I'm about to talk about sexual assault' is counter productive because you've already mentioned it and got them thinking about it.

I think saying something like 'In this talk/article/whatever I am going to cover some sensitive issues that some of you might relate to experiences of trauma' that way you make the person aware so that they can choose whether or not they want to potentially hear something harmful.
Like the League of Reason on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Shameless Self-Promotion
Listen to my music on Soundcloud
Like my music page on Facebook
Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:03 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3318Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

Dustnite wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote:Honestly, what does either of those have to do with this topic? With regards to your second point, what is the difference between a safe space on campus and a club/fraternity? Colleges have always had places that you can or cannot say things because of who is there. If I walked into a Christian club and started talking about how their Bible is full of errors, they are well within their rights to kick me out of their space. There are fraternities across the U.S. that will not allow press to cover meetings they are having. As long as they are having them in private behind closed doors, what can the press do?



I stated those examples as things I find riidiculous and that I find putting trigger warnings on content that is being created (blogs, youtube, etc.) to be equally ridiculous. Other than that, they are not related.


Got it. I just find it weird that "safe spaces" made it on your short list along side Citizens United, while the lawful killing of U.S. civilians without a trial and Obama signing National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 into law did not. I guess we all have different priorities.

Dustnite wrote:As for the Melissa Click incident at Mizzou, they were standing in the campus quad which is considered open to the public and was suddenly declared a safe space so that's not really the same thing as walking into a Christian club, is it? This is off-topic (partially my fault) and we should probably start another thread if we want to discuss it further.


To be frank, what Click did is inexcusable. However, are safe spaces to blame for that? This seems more like the fault of an overzealous professor trying to justify her actions after the fact.
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
(_'--------------------'_)
(_.--------------------._)
Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:23 pm
YIM WWW
thenexttodiePosts: 799Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Trigger Warnings. Good or Bad?

What should I do if my boss invades my safe space?
“..the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Tolstoy
Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:35 pm
Previous
Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 2 of 2
 [ 34 posts ] 
Return to Politics & Law

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests