“Better Online Living through Content Moderation”: Reading Summary

Melissa King’s “Better Online Living through Content Moderation” is an article that discusses the use of online censorship features and how they are viewed in our society.  She includes online usage of blocks, mutes, and red flags that protect users against undesirable content as censorship.  She explains that these measures are necessary for people who suffer from ailments like PTSD and have to tailor their online experience to prevent anxiety.  Her main argument and her reason for writing, is the condescending behavior displayed by other members of the community that may not feel as vulnerable to online content or attacks. Blocking someone is usually frowned upon although it is a reasonable way to handle an online issue with another person.  King fears that the way cyber bullying victims are treated is careless and inconsiderate.  She claims that online discomfort is a real problem and should not be shrugged off the way it has been.  For instance, the commonly heard suggestion to people who suffer from online problems is to “get over it” or to be less sensitive, however, that way of thinking is ignorant according to King.  The assumptions that a person can simply prepare themselves to deal with such trauma better is an incorrect allusion to Exposure therapy. Exposure therapy is basically when someone is exposed to more of the things associated with the things that is causing him/her discomfort in an effort to desensitize themselves.  The reason this is comparison is neglectful is that internet bullying can actually cause PTSD itself, not the things associated with online attacks. She also points out that the younger generation of...

Desensitizing and Controlling Content in Online Environments

In her article “Better Online Living through Content Moderation”, Melissa King proposes “using content control features is not guaranteed to stop the effects of abuse, they do help and their use should not be disparaged and discouraged.”  Content control can help users that suffer from PTSD that need to “avoid topics and people that trigger their anxiety”. King brings awareness to “cultural opposition” towards suffers that are viewed as weak and overly sensitive. Online aggressors who invoke attacks, blame the victims stating they should “just deal with it”, regardless of the context or situation. King believes “Content control is helpful in limiting the worst of these attacks, which themselves can cause PTSD if severe or long-term enough.” Melody Hensley, a feminist who claims Twitter gave her PTSD A major argument against content control is that people over-exaggerate the “abuse and harassment they receive” and that they should be “less sensitive”. King claims these arguments create an invalid comparison to exposure therapy, “a type of therapy designed to combat severe anxiety through gradual and controlled exposure to its source, to inure an individual to these triggers and lesson the disruptions they can cause.” Opponents misinterpret “Exposure Therapy” as a means to “hurl insults and threats at someone with the hope they somehow come out more mentally durable”, King considers not only a mishap in content control discussions but also in the understanding of human psychology. King discusses the other argument against content control, which is the belief that no real harm can come from words said online. She claims that the same “ignorance that yields metaphors to exposure therapy” fuels popular cultures idea that...

Reading Summary- Content Moderation (#6)

Photo from: www.instagramloginguide.com Better Online Living through Content Moderation The author of “Better Online Living through Content Moderation,” Melissa King, describes that the media needs to increase moderation and the ability to customize sites accordingly for the owner of the account. Many people have PTSD, thus unfiltered contents on the internet may cause harm to the person. It would only be fair for there to be more flexibility in preventing what is shown on the internet to limit the chances of having trauma. King first discusses computer-chair psychology and how exposure therapy can be more harmful than helpful. It can “inure an individual to these triggers and lesson the disruptions they can cause,” yet too much exposure may cause the patient to be even more traumatized. She then says that some think that the blocklists cause people to be defamed, however she thinks that blocking one another does not have the ability to “differentiate between the aggressor and their targets.” Online harassment is very dangerous, as people cannot always escape from the situation and cannot control the threats that force them into silence. Sexism is the last section in which King discusses. She says that PTSD is very common for women especially in a patriarchal society; women such as Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian shared their experiences of abuse. The author’s overall thought is that everyone should be able to control what is shown on the internet, and that blocking and modification should be...

Summary of Better Online Living through Content Moderation

This article by Melissa King discusses the subject of trigger warnings, block lists, privacy options and ignore functions and the criticism that users of these receive from those who do not need them. This piece acts as a well worded defense for those who suffer from PTSD, anxiety attacks and other afflictions from the people who would tell them that they’re “weak”, “too sensitive” or that they should “just deal with it”. It is essentially divided into three sections. The first has no subtitle and acts as an abstract to introduce the reader to the content that the rest of the column will discuss. The next section, labeled “Computer Chair Psychology” (likely a play on the phrase “Armchair Psychology” used to refer to amateur psychology) and discusses the psychological aspect of protective measures like trigger warnings and block lists. It points out how appeals to “be less sensitive” or “ignore it” misuse a type of treatment called Exposure Therapy wherein the patient is slowly exposed in increments to the stimuli that causes them anxiety in an effort to overcome that anxiety. Here, the author relies on quotes from two other voices on this subject. The first is Maddy Myers, where King references her article on TheMarySue.com on trigger warnings. The next is Caleb Lack, a licensed clinical psychologist and psychology professor who specializes in treating anxiety disorders, who says: “Bullying has long been known to have a severe impact on mental health, particularly if the bullying is repeated and prolonged… So, given what we know about PTSD, and given what we know about the effects of bullying (cyber and otherwise) on...

Control Features in a Digital Space

King, Melissa. “Better Online Living through Content Moderation.” Model View Culture. N.p., 14 Oct. 2015. Web. 28 Mar. 2016. King “graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in European History” who is also an “aspiring video game developer and storyteller” ( King bio). Melissa King King believes that “there is no such thing as an invalid reason” to use control features because “nobody should be required to read or listen to content if they do not want to” ( King par. 1). One argument against King’s position is that the user should become ” less sensitive” which is relative to the “Exposure Therapy” (King par. 3). King’s statement against the argument is that “someone suffering from PTSD is likely to have their trauma magnified rather than reduced when faced with triggering content” (King par. 3). Another argument against the use of blocklists states that it forces “one’s internet experience to the whims of another” (King par. 8). King responds by saying that not allowing blocklists requests “that the abused spend more time with their abusers” (King par. 9). Out of all the online attacks, “women especially are considered fair game for these type of attacks, particularly women who tread in areas that are considered male-dominated” (King par. 11). PTSD The purpose of this article is to persuade users online that control features are mostly meant for moderating abusive attacks instead of limiting user’s actions. The intended audience are for people who uses online programs that enable interactions and the creator of these programs. This article is useful because it provides information of how a large population of online...

Content Control Reading Summary

The article is about internet users and how they can control what they want to see on their day to day browsing. The content control, which basically allows you, the user to control what you want to see on your page. This was targeted for people who may suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, to keep them from things that may spark them to go into a state of unhealthy stress. People who are attacked (cyber bullied) , will use this to stop the person from bullying them when they are on the internet.  Some would think that it is best to use this setting for the younger generation, but it is proved that the younger generation can handle the content that may be displayed on the internet. The article also explains how with limiting your content you can alleviate some of the “trolling” that goes on. Some of the bullying can take place with gamers and it is most likely to happen to women who are gamers. They are more likely to be prone to obscenities thrown at them than their male counterparts. In some cases some people are threatened or stalked on the internet or in real life. This can be highly dangerous and not safe for those who are on the internet and do not put on content...
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