Disturbing Content Warnings

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Warnings

This is our existing policy on warnings. This page is to clarify why we request content warnings and to make a list of existing requested topics (but not the requestors’ identities) public.

First, a definition, because we have seen some confusion about what these warnings are for and why they are needed and some confusion on one of the commonly used terms. A trigger (sometimes referred to as a trauma trigger) is an experience that brings up a strong traumatic memory in someone. This does not have to result in a full-blown flashback episode as they are often presented in TV/movies, but rather is a troubling reminder of a traumatic event in the person's past. These reminders and the resulting reactions they cause can take a variety of forms but most typically include strong, uncontrollable emotional reactions.

In an effort to help prevent someone with a strong reaction to emotionally disturbing content from encountering it unexpectedly, we ask that players use content warnings on logs or posts that include those topics.

While you can't anticipate every thing that might strongly disturb someone, you can help by using content warnings. A content warning serves as advance notice that something (in the case of XP, a log or post) contains potentially emotionally disturbing themes. In these cases, a content warning should go in or before the LJ-cut and posts or logs with content warnings should always include a LJ-cut. For those new to LJ, you can find instructions on using lj-cuts at FAQ 8 under ’“What format do I use?”

Ultimately, it is up to the player themselves to determine their comfort level in reading game events that touch on subjects that may disturb them. The important thing is that these warnings put the "should I read this or skip it" question back in the hands of the person who has the issue - an event that creates an emotional disturbance is often much worse when it is unexpected.

The mods maintain a list of topics that players have asked them to put disturbing content warnings on. This list will always remain anonymous - while the mod team knows which players have made requests, at no time will that information be shared without express permission from the individual that made the request. In general, these are the sorts of topics one would expect to see a 'viewer discretion is advised' message about prior to a television show. A partial list of those topics can be found on our FAQ about plots under the section titled "Do I have to tell everyone all the details of my plot or what I'm planning?"

When the mods receive a request of this type, our practice is to ask the player what they need from us and the players, whether it is content warnings on logs or something more involved. In very rare cases, we may also ask that a player specify some details of the content they find emotionally disturbing so that we can better manage the warnings. A very broad request such as "violence" may result in so many logs or posts containing a warning that the disturbing content warning would prove considerably less useful.

We have also created a table on the Wiki (without names attached - this table will always remain anonymous) of the topics that we have been asked to provide disturbing content warnings for, so that players can be better aware of what they ought to warn for. This table will remain locked to only wiki sysops (which currently are only the mods, and in the past have been the mods plus Frito as technical administrator) so that the mods retain a degree of management over the list and to provide total anonymity.

Please know that players will not be disciplined for forgetting to tag a log with a content warning for a topic on this list, but will be asked to go back and add the warning. As already noted in our discipline policy, a continued pattern of behavior that shows a callous disregard for others, or outright refusal to be considerate of others' feelings on sensitive topics may result in more serious discussion between the mods and the player.

Sample Warnings

For those unsure about how to phrase a warning, the mods recommend this:

"Warning for Potentially Emotionally Disturbing Content - [INSERT CONTENT TYPE / DESCRIPTION HERE]"

Place the warning at the end of the log description/above the lj-cut when you post.

For players for whom a more generic warning is preferable, (for example: “Warning, contains disturbing content”), please notify the mods so that information may be added to the chart.


Warning Chart

Below is a chart of the disturbing content that has been brought to mod attention as requiring warnings, and the degree of warning required. If you have something that you require a warning on, or if you need a change made to the chart, please contact the mods as soon as possible.


Topic Degree of Warning Required
Babies/Pregnancy (especially as it pertains to PCs living in the mansion) Needs to be cleared by the mods // Use as casual plot device strongly discouraged
Cancer and cancer treatment Warning and cut-tag on all posts // Avoid discussion on mailing list
Death/Bereavement/Funerals/Mourning of Major Characters Warning and cut-tag on all posts // Avoid discussion on mailing list
Domestic violence/violence between loved ones Warning and cut-tag on all posts
Drug addiction and recovery Warning and cut-tag on all posts giving details of addiction and/or treatment
Eating Disorders Warning and cut-tag on all posts // Avoid discussion on mailing list
Incest Warning and cut-tag on all posts // Graphic details discouraged

Use as casual plot device strongly discouraged

Kidneys, disease and transplants Warning and cut-tag on all posts // Avoid discussion on mailing list
Miscarriage/death and/or injury to young children Warning and cut-tag on all posts // Graphic details discouraged

Avoid discussion on mailing list

Child abuse/pedophilia Warning and cut-tag on all posts // Graphic details discouraged

Use as casual plot device strongly discouraged

Rape/attempted rape/sexual assault Warning and cut-tag on all posts //Graphic details discouraged

Use as casual plot device strongly discouraged

Self-harm/cutting Warning and cut-tag on all posts // Graphic details discouraged

Use as casual plot device strongly discouraged

The 45th President of the United States Warning and cut-tag on all posts