🗂️ [[Sources]] # What Do Trigger Warnings Actually Do? 📰 **The podcast delves into the complexities and controversies surrounding trigger warnings, exploring their impact on individuals' emotional responses and the debate around their effectiveness.** 📇 [[Search Engine]] 🏛️ Audacity 🔗 https://share.snipd.com/episode/ca6d8520-018f-4b6b-ba10-a9909fff9ee8 ![alt](https://wsrv.nl/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fmegaphone.imgix.net%2Fpodcasts%2F18c2582e-e29f-11ed-aadd-5ff2cd0b184f%2Fimage%2Fsearch_engine_final_2.png%3Fixlib%3Drails-4.3.1%26max-w%3D3000%26max-h%3D3000%26fit%3Dcrop%26auto%3Dformat%2Ccompress&w=100&h=100) > [!SUCCESS] Finished Reading > >**Last read**: [[2024-05-05|Sunday 05 May 2024]] >**My rating**: 10 out of 10 >*Really expanded on my understanding of an important idea.* >[!abstract] > A listener’s brother dies by suicide, and afterwards, she finds herself angered by trigger warnings about suicide. She wants to know — are these actually helping other people? Or is it just something we do because we think we’re supposed to? 🔑 [[trigger warnings]], [[suicide]], [[PTSD]], [[trauma]] 👉🏼 Search Engine (03/05/2024). *[[Search Engine - What Do Trigger Warnings Actually Do|What Do Trigger Warnings Actually Do?]]*. Audacity. [Link](https://share.snipd.com/episode/ca6d8520-018f-4b6b-ba10-a9909fff9ee8) ## 📝 Notes ### Show Notes A listener’s brother dies by suicide, and afterwards, she finds herself angered by trigger warnings about suicide. She wants to know — are these actually helping other people? Or is it just something we do because we think we’re supposed to? Support the show: [searchengine.show](http://searchengine.show/) To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: [https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy](https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit [https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices](https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices) ### Snipd Notes 1. Trigger warnings can serve as signposts for sensitive content but may induce anxiety in some individuals by highlighting uncertainty about emotional reactions. 2. Informed consent models in medicine laid the foundation for trigger warnings, which later gained popularity in educational and online settings. 3. Studies indicate that trigger warnings may not significantly impact emotional responses or preparedness when engaging with triggering content. 4. While trigger warnings may not prevent the disturbing impact of content on trauma survivors, they can still provide informed consent for individuals to choose what content to engage with. 5. Trauma triggers are unique and idiosyncratic to each individual, making it challenging for trigger warnings to accurately predict and prevent discomfort. 6. People may actively seek out triggering content, contradicting the belief that individuals avoid unpleasant experiences, highlighting the complex nature of human behaviour. 7. The debate on trigger warnings involves the need to acknowledge and respect the emotional harm caused by triggers, especially in vulnerable populations like youth. %% ## 📃 Selected Quotes - ["] ✒️ ## 📋 Table of Contents ## 📖 Annotations %% # **Template**: [[Book Search Template]] **Created**: [[2024-05-05|Sunday 05 May 2024]] **Updated**: 22:11 [[2024-05-05|Sunday 05 May 2024]] %% ## Readwise Highlights and Notes ### Imported from [[Readwise]] on [[2024-05-05]] - ["] LinkedIn Jobs: Finding Quality Professionals for Small Businesses Summary: LinkedIn Jobs offers tools to find professionals for small businesses, including those not actively job searching. Over 70% of LinkedIn users don't visit other job sites, making it a valuable hiring platform. Small businesses can get qualified candidates within 24 hours on LinkedIn. The platform also provides features like job description assistance to simplify the hiring process. Transcript: Speaker 1 Search Engine is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. When you're hiring for your small business, you want to find quality professionals that are right for the role. That's why you have to check out LinkedIn Jobs. LinkedIn Jobs has the tools to help find the right professionals for your team faster and for free. LinkedIn isn't just a job board. LinkedIn helps you hire professionals you can't find anywhere else, even those who aren't actively searching for a new job, but might be open to the perfect role. In a given month, over 70% of LinkedIn users don't visit other leading job sites. So if you're not looking on LinkedIn, you're looking in the wrong place. On LinkedIn, 86% of small businesses get a qualified candidate within 24 hours. Hire professionals like a professional on LinkedIn. LinkedIn knows that small businesses are wearing so many hats and might not have the time or resources to hire. LinkedIn is constantly finding ways to make the process easier. They even just launched a feature that helps you write job descriptions, making the process even easier and quicker. Post your job for free at linkedin.com slash PJSearch. That's linkedin.com slash PJSearch to post your job for free. Terms and conditions apply. There's this complaint about America that you hear in conservative circles, sometimes in private in liberal ones too. It's this idea that we've become a country with a strange relationship to victimhood, that being able to say that you are a victim of something can confer a kind of status and power in America, which sometimes is good because people who have been hurt might get the right to ask for consideration and to be able to do that. ([Time 0:00:00](https://share.snipd.com/snip/a94ed2e3-38cf-420c-8603-313fede370c1)) - ["] Episode AI notes 1. Trigger warnings can serve as signposts for sensitive content but may induce anxiety in some individuals by highlighting uncertainty about emotional reactions. 2. Informed consent models in medicine laid the foundation for trigger warnings, which later gained popularity in educational and online settings. 3. Studies indicate that trigger warnings may not significantly impact emotional responses or preparedness when engaging with triggering content. 4. While trigger warnings may not prevent the disturbing impact of content on trauma survivors, they can still provide informed consent for individuals to choose what content to engage with. 5. Trauma triggers are unique and idiosyncratic to each individual, making it challenging for trigger warnings to accurately predict and prevent discomfort. 6. People may actively seek out triggering content, contradicting the belief that individuals avoid unpleasant experiences, highlighting the complex nature of human behavior. 7. The debate on trigger warnings involves the need to acknowledge and respect the emotional harm caused by triggers, especially in vulnerable populations like youth. ([Time 0:00:00](https://share.snipd.com/episode-takeaways/1f84893e-eac9-4ddd-bd6f-150e84d557c9)) - ["] Embracing Uncertainty through Trigger Warnings Summary: Experiencing grief after losing a loved one can make emotions unpredictable and unknown. Trigger warnings serve as signposts for sensitive content, yet for some, the warnings themselves can induce anxiety by highlighting uncertainty about emotional reactions. The uncertainty of what might be encountered in a video, such as a mention of suicide, can lead to feelings of apprehension and unease, making the decision to watch or avoid the content challenging. Transcript: Speaker 3 When my brother Chris died and I was just starting to grieve and things were new, after first losing someone, you know, it's like, you don't really know what's going to be upsetting, Or, you know, everything is kind of new in a way, right? Like the world has changed. And so I do have this pretty strong memory of watching a YouTube video, and it's like this YouTuber that I love, and she was saying, oh, and there's going to be a mention of suicide in this Video, and, you know, if that's something that you don't want to hear or experience right now, then, you know, don't watch this video. Speaker 1 What Felicia was encountering was a trigger warning, or if you prefer a content warning, a little road sign warning what was ahead. But Felicia had this unusual reaction, which is that the warning itself made her feel bad. Speaker 3 And I kind of got this, like, jolt, because I was like, I don't know what I'm going to feel. Like, I don't know if I should watch this video or not. I don't know what's coming. And I was really anxious about it. Like, what's going to happen when she mentions suicide in her video? ([Time 0:06:10](https://share.snipd.com/snip/c799b598-de50-41d1-bac5-9ae5b9a8b743)) - ["] Challenging the Effectiveness of Trigger Warnings Summary: The speaker found a trigger warning about suicide offensive because it made them feel like people assume they are unaware of suicide's existence or that hearing about it would upset them. They also expressed feeling a bit angry at the person who issued the trigger warning. The speaker compared the experience to receiving unhelpful platitudes in moments of deep grief. They acknowledged that trigger warnings might be important for those contemplating suicide but questioned their effectiveness for individuals like them who have personal experiences with suicide. The speaker questioned the value of trigger warnings as they believed that what upsets them might be unpredictable to others. Transcript: Speaker 3 You've found it offensive. I found it offensive for me personally, because the idea that I've forgotten that suicide exists, or that, like, hearing that someone died by suicide would be upsetting, it's like, No, what's upsetting is that I lost my brother. Like, I know that suicide exists. It happened to someone I love, so... Speaker 1 Did you feel... This is such a weird question to be asking you, but did you feel mad at... Mama Dr. Jones? Speaker 3 A little bit, yeah. Yeah. Speaker 1 For Felicia, seeing that warning felt a little bit like the experience you have when you're in deep grief, and someone offers you a not very helpful platitude, like, yuck, get out of Here. Felicia, of course, acknowledges these warnings might not be aimed at people like her. They might be mainly for the benefit of suicidal people, and she doesn't know what kinds of warnings a suicidal person might want or not want before encountering media about suicide. She's certainly not saying we should, like, delete all the references to suicide hotlines from news articles. But for her, as perhaps part of the audience for the trigger warning, she wonders if they're misguided. Because she says even if she wanted to avoid upsetting material, the material that upsets her would be impossible for a stranger to predict. She gave me an example. ([Time 0:08:04](https://share.snipd.com/snip/a0a6e866-51e4-408a-a4b2-0714266034d0)) - ["] Unpredictability of Triggers Summary: Trigger warnings, like those related to suicide, may not always be effective as triggers can be unpredictable and vary from person to person. Even if individuals try to avoid upsetting content, triggers can still come unexpectedly, making it difficult for warnings to fully prevent discomfort. This unpredictability questions the effectiveness of trigger warnings and their utility in mitigating distress. Transcript: Speaker 1 For Felicia, seeing that warning felt a little bit like the experience you have when you're in deep grief, and someone offers you a not very helpful platitude, like, yuck, get out of Here. Felicia, of course, acknowledges these warnings might not be aimed at people like her. They might be mainly for the benefit of suicidal people, and she doesn't know what kinds of warnings a suicidal person might want or not want before encountering media about suicide. She's certainly not saying we should, like, delete all the references to suicide hotlines from news articles. But for her, as perhaps part of the audience for the trigger warning, she wonders if they're misguided. Because she says even if she wanted to avoid upsetting material, the material that upsets her would be impossible for a stranger to predict. She gave me an example. Speaker 3 The one thing that I do remember that really upset me out of nowhere was, there was a podcast and they were discussing a close sibling relationship. Just like the person was talking about loving their sibling. That was the most upsetting thing in that time that I heard at all. And it came out of nowhere. I didn't expect it. And it did make me think, like, boy, even if I was trying to avoid things that upset me, it's not possible. Yeah. And I also don't know that it's useful. ([Time 0:08:35](https://share.snipd.com/snip/b516599c-bab5-4302-8771-9dd16f059a2f)) - ["] Informed Consent and Medical Procedures Summary: In 1957, the concept of informed consent in medical procedures was refined after the landmark court case SAGO V, Leland Stanford, Jr. University Board of Trustees. This case involved a patient who was paralyzed due to lack of information about the risks of a surgery. Following this case, medical procedures had to include documentation where patients consented and acknowledged the risks involved. This established a formal consent process that patients had to go through, shaping the expectations around consent in medical practices. Transcript: Speaker 2 So the idea that you should inform people about negative stuff or you should inform people about something like a medical procedure or something before they actually agree to engage In it. And that was after this landmark court case where somebody wasn't informed of the risks of a medical procedure and they actually ended up being paralyzed. And so that was it was a court case. And then from then on, medical procedures had to have a list of documentation to be like, I consent to this stuff and I know the risks. Speaker 1 Obviously, the concept of consent and even consent in medicine was not invented in 1957, but those ideas were refined there. Dr. Bridgeland is referring to this case called SAGO V, Leland Stanford, Jr. University Board of Trustees, where Martin SAGO sued his doctor and Stanford's board because he'd received a surgery without fully understanding its risks. And the surgery had left him paralyzed. After SAGO, there'd be a set procedure and paperwork around informing patients and memorializing their given consent, a kind of consent ritual that a lot of Americans would find themselves Exposed to and which some would later come to expect in other places. ([Time 0:19:28](https://share.snipd.com/snip/6e9d01b6-f5c9-45ab-93d4-0723952ff284)) - ["] Evolution of Trigger Warnings Summary: The origin of trigger warnings can be traced back to informed consent models in medicine, followed by their implementation in Hollywood and the rating system. Trigger warnings gained popularity on feminist message boards and fan fiction websites before spreading through social media platforms like Twitter and Tumblr. Eventually, young generations influenced by platforms like LiveJournal and Twitter began demanding trigger warnings in educational settings. Notably, in 2013, Oberlin University made it mandatory for staff to understand and provide trigger warnings, sparking controversy and media attention. Transcript: Speaker 1 So, okay, so one way you can trace the beginning of trigger warnings is informed consent models in medicine. You can see it in sort of haze code, Hollywood, and like the rating system that follows it. In the current incarnation, it starts on feminist message boards and fan fiction websites. And then where does it go from there? Speaker 2 From there, we sort of saw the birth of social media in like 2005, six and seven. I think it was like Twitter, Tumblr, the communities on the end and the hashtags, use of hashtags as warnings. But yeah, I think social media just obviously skyrocketed and took it everywhere. Speaker 1 After trigger warnings overtake social media, a young generation raised on live journal and Tumblr and Twitter arrives on campus and starts insisting that professors put warnings In front of a material on the syllabus. I think there were sort of like three events that occurred around 2010 to 2015 between that period. Speaker 2 There were three key things that happened. So, 2013, Oberlin University issued a document to all staff that said that they need to understand what triggers are, avoid necessary triggers and provide warnings, and then that Speaker 1 Got a lot of flack in the media. Oberlin College, famously liberal, turns out to be not liberal at all. It's pretty authoritarian when it comes right down to it. What's a trigger warning? ([Time 0:26:18](https://share.snipd.com/snip/8042f53c-b67b-4ff3-b0e8-74e61980503c)) - ["] Transition from College to Real Life: Trigger Warnings Summary: In 2015, a group of Columbia University students advocated for trigger warnings in the university, sparking controversy. As the debate spread to other universities, the University of Chicago took a strong stance against trigger warnings in a Welcome Letter, garnering attention. The discussion culminated in 'The Coddling of the American Mind' article in the Atlantic in 2015, reflecting the shift in attitudes towards trigger warnings. Transcript: Speaker 2 Then it was 2015, a group of undergraduate students from Columbia University wrote an op-ed calling for the use of warnings in the uni, and that also had a lot of backlash. That was another big, like, media splash of, like, students are demanding warnings and all this kind of stuff. What happens to the little darlings when they graduate from college and life doesn't come with trigger warnings? It's fascinating. Well, I'm the little, I think we're going to find out. A lot of other universities followed suits, so a lot of, like, student boards from various other places were like, yeah, we want them as well, so it was, like, kind of student driven in That way. And then the really spicy one was in 2016, the University of Chicago, the dean published this famous Welcome Letter, which has the line, We Do Not Support so-called trigger warnings In it. Speaker 3 If you're an incoming freshman at the University of Chicago, and you're looking for trigger warnings and safe spaces, well, the dean of students would like to say, you can go fuck yourself. Speaker 4 I don't think you said that exactly. Speaker 1 You didn't really say that, but it got even pointed. Speaker 2 And there was a really famous article, The Coddling of the American Mind, published in the Atlantic in 2015, and that was really the crystallisation, I think, point of ([Time 0:28:24](https://share.snipd.com/snip/6cdb24ff-d683-4d29-82a9-f3625b821592)) - ["] The Limited Impact of Trigger Warnings on Emotional Response Summary: Research indicates that trigger warnings do not significantly influence individuals' emotional experiences or preparedness when engaging with triggering content. Studies show that individuals who received trigger warnings did not exhibit reduced negativity towards stimuli compared to those who did not receive warnings. This lack of difference in emotional response has been replicated across various negative stimuli, suggesting that trigger warnings may not have a substantial impact on individuals' experiences. Therefore, trigger warnings might serve more as a social gesture rather than a practical tool in managing emotional responses to potentially distressing content. Transcript: Speaker 1 So I do want to interrupt and point out the experience that Felicia, our listener had, that the trigger warnings made her anxious instead of making her feel better. These experimental subjects were demonstrating the same response. It's just the first experiment, but to me, that's interesting. Okay. So what this test would suggest is that if one of the things a trigger warning might do is it might cause somebody to choose to engage with content, but do it sort of like girded or with preparation. This study would at least suggest that the warning doesn't make a difference. You have the same experience whether you're warned or not. Speaker 2 Yeah. So I didn't mentally prepare them. We can't see any evidence that they were better prepared to reduce how negative they felt about that stimuli. They felt the same as people that hadn't been warned. They felt as negative as people that hadn't been warned. And that effect of not finding a difference across groups has been widely replicated across multiple different types of really negative stimuli now. Like people seeing actual traumatic films, negative text passages, negative lecture materials, other kinds of negative stimuli besides my ambiguous stuff. Speaker 1 So the first conclusion, Dr. Victoria Bridgeland was able to draw from this early batch of studies was that trigger warnings did not seem to help influence the experiences of the people who encountered them. Or she put it, I do nothing. Speaker 2 They don't make people feel worse and they don't make people feel better. Speaker 1 So maybe they're a gazoon tight, a social gesture that we do to show that we care, even if we suspect or know that it's not really doing much. ([Time 0:36:23](https://share.snipd.com/snip/7cd200e9-325c-4c76-8da0-bf8007ed1887)) - ["] Effectiveness of Trigger Warnings in Real-world Testing Summary: The effectiveness of trigger warnings, intended to allow people to avoid specific triggers, is questioned. While they may be seen as a social gesture, research in laboratory settings with randomly selected participants does not address the core purpose of trigger warnings. Ethical challenges arise in testing specific triggers on trauma survivors, as even when trauma is matched with stimuli, studies do not show significant benefits. The real-world application of trigger warnings and their efficacy in helping individuals avoid specific triggers remain under scrutiny. Transcript: Speaker 1 So maybe they're a gazoon tight, a social gesture that we do to show that we care, even if we suspect or know that it's not really doing much. But that still left a question in my mind, which was this all might be well and good in a laboratory setting where randomly selected people were presented with random material that may Or may not disturb them. But that wasn't really testing what we were curious about. The whole point of a trigger warning was supposed to be that it allowed specific people to avoid their specific triggers. How would you even test that ethically anyway in a laboratory? I could imagine somebody who is a more firm believer in the efficacy of these warnings. They would say like, well, you know, the test conditions don't match the real world because if the traumatic event I had was a car accident, I'm going to be specifically and highly attuned To photos of destroyed cars. And so unless you're taking a person who has like a specific kind of PTSD and exposing them to a trigger that's related to that PTSD, then you're testing something more general and that They'd be talking about something more specific. Speaker 2 Does that make sense? Yeah. So there actually has been a couple of studies that have matched trauma survivors, traumas with the stimuli in the study and they still don't find a benefit. Speaker 1 So for people who specifically, and I have to say this isn't a crazy site to imagine, but for somebody who's like, I was in a horrible car accident, cars are making me flinch this year. ([Time 0:37:46](https://share.snipd.com/snip/a70de444-febe-4393-9448-403fc08323fa)) - ["] Effectiveness of Trigger Warnings Summary: Despite studies showing that trauma survivors exposed to triggering stimuli do not benefit from trigger warnings, the warnings can still be valuable for providing informed consent. Just like movie ratings help parents decide on suitable content for their kids, trigger warnings allow individuals to choose to avoid distressing experiences intentionally. Transcript: Speaker 2 Does that make sense? Yeah. So there actually has been a couple of studies that have matched trauma survivors, traumas with the stimuli in the study and they still don't find a benefit. Speaker 1 So for people who specifically, and I have to say this isn't a crazy site to imagine, but for somebody who's like, I was in a horrible car accident, cars are making me flinch this year. I will sign up for this study. It's going to be traumatic for me because I just want to know even among those people, if they see a trigger warning, it doesn't help them. The content is still just as disturbing as if they didn't see the trigger warning. Speaker 2 Yeah, it doesn't seem to make a difference for those people either. Speaker 1 Okay, so trigger warnings don't seem to work in the sense of being told the bad thing is coming does not actually help you gird yourself for it. But there's another way trigger warnings could still be helpful, that concept of informed consent. We actually do like having some kind of rating system for things. Parents like knowing the ratings of the movies their kids want to see. I don't like eating Thai food if there are five chili peppers next to it on the menu. Braiding systems can give us the option of avoiding experiences we don't want to have. So I wanted to know what trigger warning is doing for people who are choosing not to look. ([Time 0:38:55](https://share.snipd.com/snip/8aa62743-3cfb-49be-8f23-b773c0b8e740)) - ["] Effectiveness of Trigger Warnings and Informed Consent Summary: Trigger warnings do not prevent the disturbing impact of content on individuals who have experienced trauma. However, they can still be beneficial in providing informed consent by allowing individuals to make choices on what content to engage with or avoid based on warnings, similar to movie ratings or menu chili pepper indicators. Research indicates that trigger warnings do not have a significant impact on individuals choosing to avoid content, as studies have not shown a clear pattern of avoidance among those who have experienced trauma. Transcript: Speaker 1 So for people who specifically, and I have to say this isn't a crazy site to imagine, but for somebody who's like, I was in a horrible car accident, cars are making me flinch this year. I will sign up for this study. It's going to be traumatic for me because I just want to know even among those people, if they see a trigger warning, it doesn't help them. The content is still just as disturbing as if they didn't see the trigger warning. Speaker 2 Yeah, it doesn't seem to make a difference for those people either. Speaker 1 Okay, so trigger warnings don't seem to work in the sense of being told the bad thing is coming does not actually help you gird yourself for it. But there's another way trigger warnings could still be helpful, that concept of informed consent. We actually do like having some kind of rating system for things. Parents like knowing the ratings of the movies their kids want to see. I don't like eating Thai food if there are five chili peppers next to it on the menu. Braiding systems can give us the option of avoiding experiences we don't want to have. So I wanted to know what trigger warning is doing for people who are choosing not to look. Was it helping them? How do you measure like, isn't a trigger warning effective for those people who see the warning sign and then don't engage? Speaker 2 We don't find a lot of that in any of the studies that have looked at avoidance. We don't seem to be able to find those people that like I've had a really bad experience with this and now I'm do the really avoiding this type of thing. ([Time 0:39:05](https://share.snipd.com/snip/a3caeb3e-9905-4c21-ad01-8a92b13c48da)) - ["] Informed Consent Through Trigger Warnings Summary: Trigger warnings may not prepare individuals for experiencing distressing content, but they can serve as a form of informed consent by allowing individuals to make choices about the content they engage with. While trigger warnings may not necessarily help individuals gird themselves for distressing material, they can provide the option to avoid such experiences. Studies have not found strong evidence that trigger warnings are effective in helping people avoid troubling material, as trauma triggers can be highly unique and unpredictable. A 2021 study indicated that out of 100 people, six individuals may choose to avoid triggering content after receiving a warning. Transcript: Speaker 1 Okay, so trigger warnings don't seem to work in the sense of being told the bad thing is coming does not actually help you gird yourself for it. But there's another way trigger warnings could still be helpful, that concept of informed consent. We actually do like having some kind of rating system for things. Parents like knowing the ratings of the movies their kids want to see. I don't like eating Thai food if there are five chili peppers next to it on the menu. Braiding systems can give us the option of avoiding experiences we don't want to have. So I wanted to know what trigger warning is doing for people who are choosing not to look. Was it helping them? How do you measure like, isn't a trigger warning effective for those people who see the warning sign and then don't engage? Speaker 2 We don't find a lot of that in any of the studies that have looked at avoidance. We don't seem to be able to find those people that like I've had a really bad experience with this and now I'm do the really avoiding this type of thing. Speaker 1 If you're a person listening to this, a person with PTSD who does avoid troubling material when they're given a heads up about it, who at this point I'd be wondering, wait, how statistically Rare am I? According to a 2021 study, out of 100 people, six will behave the way you do. Speaker 2 I think something else to know is that trauma triggers are really weird. They're really idiosyncratic. They're really unique to each person and they're not always what you think they'd be. So often a true trauma trigger that's going to trigger you ([Time 0:39:33](https://share.snipd.com/snip/91c4629a-6f2d-4da6-9d76-32cb64eca6f5)) - ["] Idiosyncratic Nature of Trauma Triggers Summary: Trauma triggers are unique and idiosyncratic to each individual. They can often be unrelated to the negative event itself but associated with something that happened just before the event. Triggers can be a wide range of things such as warning signals, smells, random objects, or specific visual cues. Studies show that trigger warnings may not capture everyone's triggers accurately, and people tend not to avoid negative content effectively due to the highly individualized nature of triggers. Transcript: Speaker 2 I think something else to know is that trauma triggers are really weird. They're really idiosyncratic. They're really unique to each person and they're not always what you think they'd be. So often a true trauma trigger that's going to trigger you to relive or have a really bad traumatic intrusion is often stuff associated with the event that happens just before the event. So like a warning signal cue, but it's often nothing to do with the actual negative thing. It could be like the headlights flush in your eyes. And so now when light flushes in your eyes, you have a trauma reaction or like it could be someone's had a sexual assault and the perpetrator was standing next to their bed before they Assaulted them. And now when that if they wake up and someone's standing near them near their bed, they're going to have a full reaction to it. It could be smells as well. Like smells can be a really powerful trigger, random objects. I've seen converse shoes listed as somebody's trigger. Like you just never know what it's going to be. So I think trigger warnings in that sense is hard to know whether or not it's even going to capture everybody's triggers to begin with. But in a few studies that we've looked at now in terms of avoidance, I'll cross the board. People just don't seem to avoid negative stuff all that much. Speaker 1 So trigger warnings as actual warnings also do not work super well because people's triggers tend to be highly idiosyncratic. ([Time 0:40:51](https://share.snipd.com/snip/f0994eec-9d8a-4a71-b7b3-a406ff243367)) - ["] Ineffective Nature of Trigger Warnings Summary: Trigger warnings are not very effective as people's triggers are unique and diverse, making it challenging to anticipate what may actually upset someone. Additionally, the warning itself can sometimes backfire as individuals are naturally curious, leading them to engage with content they were warned could be disturbing. Transcript: Speaker 1 So trigger warnings as actual warnings also do not work super well because people's triggers tend to be highly idiosyncratic. Weirdly here again, another experience that Felicia, our listener with the analytical mind, had self reported. Depations of suicide didn't upset her, a description of a loving sibling relationship had. There's no content warning for that. Dr. Bridgeland says there's another reason trigger warnings don't work very well as actual warnings. And this one really surprised me, although maybe it shouldn't have. Perhaps the biggest problem with how trigger warnings actually work in the real world is that human beings are very curious. And if you tell them something on the internet might disturb them, it makes people more likely to click, not less. There's ([Time 0:42:04](https://share.snipd.com/snip/5d9684c8-00ed-4408-aa0e-57d2f14ee8d5)) - ["] The Pandora's Box Study and Human Behavior Insights Summary: In the Pandora's Box Study, people were more likely to choose the uncertain option over positive or negative options. This behavior is akin to human curiosity and unpredictability. Similarly, in real life, social media taps into this curiosity as most individuals tend to uncover blurred images quickly. Interestingly, the minority who do not uncover the images are not the vulnerable population but rather individuals with psychopathological characteristics like PTSD or depression. Transcript: Speaker 2 There's this really fun study called the Pandora's Box Study where they gave people like three options across these studies. So they all got the same three options. They could either press a button that would give them like a nice sound or a nice image or a nice experience, a button that would give them a negative sound, a negative image or like a shock, Speaker 3 Or a button where they were like, I don't know what this is going to be, it could be nice or it could be bad. Like which one do you think they chose? Speaker 2 They slammed that unsure button way more than the other two buttons, which is like why would you do that? Speaker 1 But it's funny. It sounds impossible to imagine like a crazy quirk of human nature. And then if I told you there's like a thing we invented in real life like that called social media, and it was popular use of people dying in the dungeon ever. Speaker 2 And we've done like multiple studies on this now and we find that when we show people like a blurred image about 80 to 85 percent of people will just instantly click to uncover it. So there's 15 percent of people that don't. But importantly across multiple studies, we've found that those people aren't those vulnerable people that we're trying to protect. And in one of our studies actually it seemed to be that people were psychopathological characteristics. So like PTSD symptoms or depression. ([Time 0:42:47](https://share.snipd.com/snip/c5aae446-3630-4eb1-88fc-d1d14f453f65)) - ["] Counter Hedonistic Behaviors Summary: Research findings reveal that a significant portion of people, especially those with psychopathological characteristics such as PTSD or depression, are inclined to voluntarily view disturbing content, contradicting the conventional belief that humans seek pleasant experiences and avoid unpleasant ones. Individuals with PTSD sometimes deliberately expose themselves to triggering content, challenging the notion of avoidance as a hallmark symptom. This phenomenon is part of a broader pattern known as counter hedonistic behaviors, where individuals gravitate towards familiar suffering or distressing stimuli, suggestive of a complex and intriguing facet of human behavior. Transcript: Speaker 2 And we've done like multiple studies on this now and we find that when we show people like a blurred image about 80 to 85 percent of people will just instantly click to uncover it. So there's 15 percent of people that don't. But importantly across multiple studies, we've found that those people aren't those vulnerable people that we're trying to protect. And in one of our studies actually it seemed to be that people were psychopathological characteristics. So like PTSD symptoms or depression. We found in one of our studies that actually people that were more likely to want to look at it actually had elevated psychopathological characteristics. So it seemed to be going in the opposite direction, which is interesting. Speaker 1 Victoria says that while we may want to believe that humans seek out things that make us feel good and avoid what hurts, that's often not the case. Humans engage in what academics have beautifully termed counter hedonistic behaviors. Depressed people seek out sadness inducing material, anxious people ramp themselves up. We humans demonstrate a remarkable affinity for what is familiar to us, even familiar suffering. Speaker 2 And in PTSD, which is maybe one of the most interesting types of behaviors is for a long time that people have thought of PTSD, one of the cornerstone hallmark features or symptoms as Avoidance. So when you think of a PTSD suffering, think about them having all these triggers and being sensitive and trying to avoid things that might make them triggered. But actually, there's quite a few people with PTSD that engage in self-triggering, which is where they'll deliberately seek out content related to their traumatic event. ([Time 0:43:37](https://share.snipd.com/snip/f9d607da-78d3-4de1-911f-15d74118a650)) - ["] Counter Hedonistic Behaviors and Familiarity with Suffering Summary: Humans often exhibit counter hedonistic behaviors, seeking out content that induces negative emotions like sadness or anxiety. Individuals with psychopathological characteristics like PTSD or depression are more likely to engage with such content. Despite the common belief that humans avoid what hurts, people tend to display an affinity towards familiar suffering. In PTSD, a key symptom previously thought to be avoidance, individuals may actually display behaviors that indicate an attraction towards traumatic experiences. Transcript: Speaker 2 And we've done like multiple studies on this now and we find that when we show people like a blurred image about 80 to 85 percent of people will just instantly click to uncover it. So there's 15 percent of people that don't. But importantly across multiple studies, we've found that those people aren't those vulnerable people that we're trying to protect. And in one of our studies actually it seemed to be that people were psychopathological characteristics. So like PTSD symptoms or depression. We found in one of our studies that actually people that were more likely to want to look at it actually had elevated psychopathological characteristics. So it seemed to be going in the opposite direction, which is interesting. Speaker 1 Victoria says that while we may want to believe that humans seek out things that make us feel good and avoid what hurts, that's often not the case. Humans engage in what academics have beautifully termed counter hedonistic behaviors. Depressed people seek out sadness inducing material, anxious people ramp themselves up. We humans demonstrate a remarkable affinity for what is familiar to us, even familiar suffering. Speaker 2 And in PTSD, which is maybe one of the most interesting types of behaviors is for a long time that people have thought of PTSD, one of the cornerstone hallmark features or symptoms as Avoidance. ([Time 0:43:37](https://share.snipd.com/snip/4a5a4386-1bca-4b1a-9fef-beafddd9436d)) - ["] Revisiting PTSD and Self-Triggering Behavior Summary: In PTSD, the common belief is that individuals avoid triggering content; however, some PTSD sufferers actively seek out content related to their trauma. This behavior is linked to higher symptoms and does not appear to be beneficial. This contradicts the assumption that individuals in pain always avoid distressing information. The concept of trigger warnings, which are meant to help individuals make informed choices about engaging with triggering content, may not always work as intended. Similarly, in eating disorders, the phenomenon of self-triggering deserves further research. Transcript: Speaker 2 And in PTSD, which is maybe one of the most interesting types of behaviors is for a long time that people have thought of PTSD, one of the cornerstone hallmark features or symptoms as Avoidance. So when you think of a PTSD suffering, think about them having all these triggers and being sensitive and trying to avoid things that might make them triggered. But actually, there's quite a few people with PTSD that engage in self-triggering, which is where they'll deliberately seek out content related to their traumatic event. To sort of not let the memory fade and like make me out of their negative experiences and find similarities with other people that have had these experiences. But importantly, that behavior is actually associated with higher symptoms, so it doesn't seem to be helping them. Speaker 1 But what you see essentially is that one of the underlying assumptions that one might have about human behavior, which is that people who are in pain avoid information or material that Might make them suffer, that doesn't seem to be necessarily borne out by research. Definitely not. Speaker 2 So it sort of goes encounter to the ideas of how trigger warning might work. Because the whole idea of a trigger warning is you should see it and then make a rational decision about either avoiding it or approaching it based on whether or not that would be good For you. But I don't think people are always doing those things. Also within eating disorders as well, and this hasn't been as widely studied, it's something that I'm hoping to study soon. ([Time 0:44:46](https://share.snipd.com/snip/f9b258a5-0a8b-4ea1-b4e2-42c88f50d478)) - ["] Challenging Assumptions on Human Behavior and Trigger Warnings Summary: The behavior of seeking out negative experiences to relate to others is not associated with symptom improvement, contrary to the assumption that individuals in pain avoid such content. Research suggests that individuals do not always make rational decisions when faced with trigger warnings, as seen in eating disorders where there is a high ambivalence towards recovery. Some individuals with eating disorders use trigger warnings to seek out content despite their desire to get better. Transcript: Speaker 2 To sort of not let the memory fade and like make me out of their negative experiences and find similarities with other people that have had these experiences. But importantly, that behavior is actually associated with higher symptoms, so it doesn't seem to be helping them. Speaker 1 But what you see essentially is that one of the underlying assumptions that one might have about human behavior, which is that people who are in pain avoid information or material that Might make them suffer, that doesn't seem to be necessarily borne out by research. Definitely not. Speaker 2 So it sort of goes encounter to the ideas of how trigger warning might work. Because the whole idea of a trigger warning is you should see it and then make a rational decision about either avoiding it or approaching it based on whether or not that would be good For you. But I don't think people are always doing those things. Also within eating disorders as well, and this hasn't been as widely studied, it's something that I'm hoping to study soon. People with eating disorders often have a high ambivalence about disorder recovery. So they often feel that they want to get better, but they also don't want to get better. And so there's a lot of anecdotal reports saying that they actually use trigger warnings to find content. ([Time 0:45:16](https://share.snipd.com/snip/6ac305b4-d638-42b1-8e8c-fe49e425bb3c)) - ["] Challenge of Trigger Warnings in Eating Disorders Summary: Trigger warnings may not always lead to rational decision-making, as individuals with eating disorders might use them to seek out triggering content. People with eating disorders often have mixed feelings about recovery, wanting to get better but also resisting it. This ambivalence can lead them to use trigger warnings to find the most severe content, which ironically might be tagged with warnings, creating a paradoxical situation. Transcript: Speaker 2 So it sort of goes encounter to the ideas of how trigger warning might work. Because the whole idea of a trigger warning is you should see it and then make a rational decision about either avoiding it or approaching it based on whether or not that would be good For you. But I don't think people are always doing those things. Also within eating disorders as well, and this hasn't been as widely studied, it's something that I'm hoping to study soon. People with eating disorders often have a high ambivalence about disorder recovery. So they often feel that they want to get better, but they also don't want to get better. And so there's a lot of anecdotal reports saying that they actually use trigger warnings to find content. I've seen it in a lot of interviews, so they're actually using the warnings to find the worst content because that's going to be tagged with warnings on it. Oh, God. So it puts it in a section in which people can find it. Speaker 3 Exactly. Yeah. Speaker 1 So the reason that I'd wanted to speak to you is that we had a question from a listener to our podcast who her brother died, he died by suicide. She was finding that when she then saw trigger warnings about suicidal content, it made her feel hurt and angry. ([Time 0:45:47](https://share.snipd.com/snip/44f9a524-fc08-497b-9825-1ae273d5459f)) - ["] Importance of Personal Experiences Despite Trigger Warnings Summary: The discussion highlights the conflict surrounding trigger warnings online, specifically in the context of child loss experiences. Some individuals feel that trigger warnings about topics like child loss can undermine the importance of their personal experiences, as they believe that others should not be shielded from the reality of those experiences. One individual who lost a child expressed that trigger warnings actually harm her, as her life experiences are inherently triggering and traumatic for others. She emphasized that it is essential for people to acknowledge and accept the negative aspects of life that others go through, even if it may not be as intense for them personally. Transcript: Speaker 2 We haven't actually studied this before, but it's something that we've been thinking about because we have actually been seeing more and more of this online. So you see this a lot in the child loss space online in terms of miscarriages because a lot of people online find solo sharing their experiences and then other people will be like, I want To trigger warning on this for like child loss or miscarriage. And they're like, but I don't want to put that on my experience because it was really horrible, but it was also my experience. And I don't want you to say that my experience is too horrible for you to read or look at. And this came through really strongly. I was on a panel discussion on an Australian TV show Insight. Hi, I'm Kumi Taguchi. Speaker 1 On this episode of Insight, trigger warnings. They're everywhere these days. They tell us what to... Speaker 2 And there was a guest on there who had lost a child and she was really angry every time she saw a trigger warning the same way that I guess that person was that you mentioned. Speaker 1 Rachel, your baby daughter Mackenzie died when she was seven months old from a rare genetic condition. Do trigger warnings about topics like child loss help you? No, they actually harm me. My life for the last seven years has been what other people would find triggering or traumatic. Speaker 2 She said like, I went through this horrible experience and I don't know why you think that you should not have to also sort of see some of the negative stuff that other people go through. And it's not going to be as bad for you as it was for me. ([Time 0:47:07](https://share.snipd.com/snip/091657e9-2420-4a46-bb86-5167503eba03)) - ["] The Werther Effect and the Papagano Effect Summary: The Werther effect shows how stories about suicide can trigger real-world suicides, named after a novel's protagonist who takes his life after losing love. In contrast, the Papagano effect demonstrates that such stories can reduce the likelihood of suicide, named after an opera character who contemplates suicide but does not act. The difference lies in how these stories are portrayed, with recommendations to avoid glamorizing suicide, discussing methods, and providing media guidelines for responsible reporting. Transcript: Speaker 1 A 1974 study suggested the existence of something called the Werther effect. The Werther effect demonstrates that stories about suicide can inspire suicides in the real world. It's named after a protagonist in this novel where the hero loses his love and then takes his own life. But, in this part, I didn't know. A 2010 study discovered a different countervailing effect, the Papagano effect. This is named for a different suicidal fictional protagonist from an opera. He too loses his love. He too contemplates suicide. But he doesn't do it. The Papagano effect describes how in some instances, stories about suicide can reduce the likelihood of suicide among the people who experience them. It just depends on how the actual story is told, how it's framed. It's why the CDC offers members of the media guidelines for how we tell these stories. Common sense suggestions anybody online could follow, like avoid glamorizing suicide. Don't talk about methods. The guidelines contain no suggestion that the media precedes stories about suicide with any kind of content warning. ([Time 0:49:58](https://share.snipd.com/snip/f2283fb0-c712-4d42-8717-c0a4158d6309)) - ["] Responsible Storytelling and Suicide Prevention Summary: Irresponsible storytelling in media, such as depicting suicide as heroic, can have detrimental effects on viewers, potentially leading to a rise in suicides, especially among vulnerable demographics like teenagers. Personal stories of individuals battling with suicidal ideation highlight the importance of having a supportive network and professional help to navigate through such dark periods, showing that effective interventions can make a significant difference in suicide prevention. Transcript: Speaker 1 I can tell you the story of one piece of media that did come with a content warning. In 2017, Netflix released a TV show called Thirteen Reasons Why. Aimed at teenagers, it broke almost all of the rules we have about how to responsibly tell stories about suicide. It depicted the death of its hero in graphic detail. The rest of the story was about how her death got her the revenge on her enemies she so justly wanted. Suicide depicted as heroic, even possibly necessary. Researchers found a measurable uptick in suicides among male teenagers when it came out, although they were careful to say, this is correlation. They couldn't prove causation. I'll tell you one last story about suicide, a personal one that I hope isn't reckless to share. There was a chapter in my life in which I left a psychiatric hospital, and for a while, about six months, I remained profoundly suicidal. I did not want to talk about it with my friends because I was worried I would say the wrong thing and be sent back to the hospital. I was lucky though. I had a really great psychiatrist. During that time, we were working together very closely, and he used to do this thing that I found as effective as it was unusual. I had this pattern where I'd see something, often on the internet, that would set me off. I would very much want to die. I'd call him. ([Time 0:51:09](https://share.snipd.com/snip/00d4b66b-1bda-4977-a0fa-e69aca55ab7f)) - ["] The Power of Waiting and Acknowledgment Summary: A psychiatrist used an effective yet unusual technique by encouraging the individual to wait when feeling suicidal urges. By asking whether the desire stemmed from something happened or anticipated, and advising to wait through the feeling until the anticipated event occurred, the individual discovered that either the feared event did not happen or it was less severe. The psychiatrist's approach was based on the idea that acknowledging and discussing difficult human experiences makes them more manageable. Transcript: Speaker 1 I was lucky though. I had a really great psychiatrist. During that time, we were working together very closely, and he used to do this thing that I found as effective as it was unusual. I had this pattern where I'd see something, often on the internet, that would set me off. I would very much want to die. I'd call him. I'd tell him how much I was struggling. He'd listen. He'd usually pause, and then he would ask this question. He'd say, the reason you want to do this is about something that's actually happened, or something you think is going to happen. Usually, it was more the latter. He'd ask, well, then, could you just wait? Just wait until the bad thing has actually happened. And weirdly, I would agree to this. And then the bad thing either it wouldn't happen or it would happen, but it just would not be as bad as I pictured. There's a joke in here which is that procrastination saved my life. But the other week, I actually asked my psychiatrist, why did you do that? And why did it work on me? And he paused for a moment, and he dug in his phone for a quote. The quote went, anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that's mentionable can be more manageable. ([Time 0:52:12](https://share.snipd.com/snip/9489765f-f42e-4cc8-afb1-36581ff8aac4)) - ["] The Power of Talking About Feelings Summary: Delaying response to a bad situation can make it seem less severe. Human emotions become manageable when discussed, leading to decreased overwhelm and fear. Talking about feelings with trusted individuals can provide support and reduce feelings of isolation. Strategies to address upsetting material online may involve processing similarly to therapy or discussions with friends. Transcript: Speaker 1 Just wait until the bad thing has actually happened. And weirdly, I would agree to this. And then the bad thing either it wouldn't happen or it would happen, but it just would not be as bad as I pictured. There's a joke in here which is that procrastination saved my life. But the other week, I actually asked my psychiatrist, why did you do that? And why did it work on me? And he paused for a moment, and he dug in his phone for a quote. The quote went, anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that's mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they can become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone. The quote was from Fred Rogers. My psychiatrist said, you needed to talk about it. Being able to talk about things is usually what makes people okay. The thing that I think the trigger-wearing people got right is that the internet can certainly hurt us in very real ways. And I would like to think that trigger warnings aside, there might be a way to make the internet better. Dr. Bridgeland has a forthcoming study looking at alternatives to trigger warnings, strategies that might actually be useful to people who have seen upsetting material. When she described these strategies, they sounded to me a lot like the kind of processing you do in therapy, or even just with a good friend. ([Time 0:52:52](https://share.snipd.com/snip/d126b083-3008-49fa-a687-78fec2ef1037)) - ["] Talking About Feelings for Mental Well-being Summary: Being able to talk about our feelings can make them less overwhelming, upsetting, and scary. Sharing our emotions with trusted individuals can help us feel less alone. The internet can have negative impacts, but alternatives to trigger warnings, such as distraction and reappraisal techniques, could be beneficial for individuals who have seen upsetting material. These strategies resemble the processing done in therapy or with a supportive friend. Transcript: Speaker 1 There's a joke in here which is that procrastination saved my life. But the other week, I actually asked my psychiatrist, why did you do that? And why did it work on me? And he paused for a moment, and he dug in his phone for a quote. The quote went, anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that's mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they can become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone. The quote was from Fred Rogers. My psychiatrist said, you needed to talk about it. Being able to talk about things is usually what makes people okay. The thing that I think the trigger-wearing people got right is that the internet can certainly hurt us in very real ways. And I would like to think that trigger warnings aside, there might be a way to make the internet better. Dr. Bridgeland has a forthcoming study looking at alternatives to trigger warnings, strategies that might actually be useful to people who have seen upsetting material. When she described these strategies, they sounded to me a lot like the kind of processing you do in therapy, or even just with a good friend. Speaker 2 Yeah, so in the study that we ran, I think we had two different kinds of strategies. We had like distraction techniques and more of a reappraisal technique. And I think probably aftercare could be a thing there as well, which we haven't looked at. ([Time 0:53:06](https://share.snipd.com/snip/bb876641-f72e-4658-bcd8-dd6fab7aae2c)) - ["] Navigating Trauma and Responsibility in Digital Spaces Summary: The study discussed different coping strategies for dealing with trauma, including distraction and reappraisal techniques. The concept of aftercare to manage triggers that ruin one's day was mentioned. There is a conversation about trauma, resilience, and healing. The discussion shifted to the responsibility of social media platforms in providing triggering content, with the idea that trigger warnings may shift the responsibility from the platforms to the users for their engagement. Transcript: Speaker 2 Yeah, so in the study that we ran, I think we had two different kinds of strategies. We had like distraction techniques and more of a reappraisal technique. And I think probably aftercare could be a thing there as well, which we haven't looked at. So by that, I mean, like, as you said, if it does start to ruin your day, what can you do? What can you do to help yourself? Speaker 1 I mean, as you talk about it, it's interesting. It makes me think that in some ways, yeah, there's absolutely a conversation to have about trauma and traumatic response and resilience and how we heal from things. But it's also like, when you talk about, oh, this Pandora's box experiment and people being attracted in ways that aren't always healthy for them to mentally unhelpful content, like That is what social media is. And in some ways, the idea of like, we've made a website that will sometimes please you and sometimes really hurt your feelings in ways that will addict you and keep you coming on. Like the trigger warning would go on your decision to go on these websites at all. The warning is almost a way of absolving the platform or the website or the internet itself of responsibility for the thing that we all go to it to do. ([Time 0:54:18](https://share.snipd.com/snip/5e923dc9-e495-406f-8137-83a07932bea3)) - ["] Strategies to Handle Trauma and Unhelpful Content Summary: The study identified two main strategies to address trauma - distraction techniques and reappraisal technique. It also noted the importance of aftercare to support individuals when traumatic experiences start to affect their daily lives. The discussion highlighted the need for conversations about trauma, traumatic responses, resilience, and healing methods. Moreover, the reference to the 'Pandora's box experiment' emphasized the attraction towards mentally unhelpful content on social media platforms. Transcript: Speaker 2 Yeah, so in the study that we ran, I think we had two different kinds of strategies. We had like distraction techniques and more of a reappraisal technique. And I think probably aftercare could be a thing there as well, which we haven't looked at. So by that, I mean, like, as you said, if it does start to ruin your day, what can you do? What can you do to help yourself? Speaker 1 I mean, as you talk about it, it's interesting. It makes me think that in some ways, yeah, there's absolutely a conversation to have about trauma and traumatic response and resilience and how we heal from things. But it's also like, when you talk about, oh, this Pandora's box experiment and people being attracted in ways that aren't always healthy for them to mentally unhelpful content, like That is what social media is. ([Time 0:54:18](https://share.snipd.com/snip/3e75e3b4-44cf-4a42-b777-27044292dbcb)) - ["] Responsibility in Consuming Content Summary: The concept of trigger warnings may serve to absolve social media platforms of responsibility, as individuals have a choice in what they consume. Social media often attracts individuals through content that can be mentally unhealthy and addictive. While individuals have a responsibility for their consumption choices, the pervasive nature of social media, especially for young people, complicates the issue. Transcript: Speaker 1 I mean, as you talk about it, it's interesting. It makes me think that in some ways, yeah, there's absolutely a conversation to have about trauma and traumatic response and resilience and how we heal from things. But it's also like, when you talk about, oh, this Pandora's box experiment and people being attracted in ways that aren't always healthy for them to mentally unhelpful content, like That is what social media is. And in some ways, the idea of like, we've made a website that will sometimes please you and sometimes really hurt your feelings in ways that will addict you and keep you coming on. Like the trigger warning would go on your decision to go on these websites at all. The warning is almost a way of absolving the platform or the website or the internet itself of responsibility for the thing that we all go to it to do. Like we go to it to sometimes disturb us and to be addicted in a disturbing way. And the trigger warning, like, just pretends that that's not the case when the research and like my own experience, like points to the idea that it probably is. Speaker 2 Yeah. Yeah. I guess like we do have individual responsibility for what we consume as well, which is another thing is like when you're using a trigger warning or expecting people to use them, you're Sort of asking somebody else to take responsibility over things that you're selecting. Yeah. But on the other hand, social media is so pervasive. You can't really go without it. And if you're a young person, like a young teenager or something, that's when it can get really bad. ([Time 0:54:38](https://share.snipd.com/snip/396ee4fa-c805-4ee8-8151-187f4aa362c0)) - ["] Individual Responsibility and Social Media Summary: Individuals hold responsibility for their consumption, including the need to consider trigger warnings. However, social media's pervasive nature requires platforms to safeguard vulnerable users, notably young teenagers. The case of Molly Russell highlights the detrimental impact of negative content consumption on social media platforms like Instagram, emphasizing the responsibility to protect users from harmful content. Transcript: Speaker 2 Yeah. Yeah. I guess like we do have individual responsibility for what we consume as well, which is another thing is like when you're using a trigger warning or expecting people to use them, you're Sort of asking somebody else to take responsibility over things that you're selecting. Yeah. But on the other hand, social media is so pervasive. You can't really go without it. And if you're a young person, like a young teenager or something, that's when it can get really bad. Because I think if you're a big multi global platform with billions of users and a lot of money rating in, you do have some kind of responsibility to ensure the users who might be these Young vulnerable users are safe. Right. Case in point, the reason why we started looking at these sensitivity screens was because we saw all these press releases after a 14 year old girl took her own life. Her name is Molly Russell. And there was a coronal inquest and they actually concluded that her consumption of negative content on Instagram was one of the direct causes of her death. ([Time 0:55:39](https://share.snipd.com/snip/99e99db8-b95a-4bdb-bc18-e1852b7796e3)) - ["] Youth Safety on Social Media Responsibility Summary: Individuals hold responsibility for what they consume, but in a pervasive social media landscape, platforms must take action to protect young, vulnerable users. An example is the case of Molly Russell, a teenager whose suicide was linked to negative content on Instagram. This incident led Instagram to enhance sensitivity screens and remove harmful content. The debate on trigger warnings involves acknowledging the real emotional harm individuals, especially young people, can experience, emphasizing the necessity of platforms to prioritize safety measures despite criticisms and challenges. Transcript: Speaker 2 Yeah. Yeah. I guess like we do have individual responsibility for what we consume as well, which is another thing is like when you're using a trigger warning or expecting people to use them, you're Sort of asking somebody else to take responsibility over things that you're selecting. Yeah. But on the other hand, social media is so pervasive. You can't really go without it. And if you're a young person, like a young teenager or something, that's when it can get really bad. Because I think if you're a big multi global platform with billions of users and a lot of money rating in, you do have some kind of responsibility to ensure the users who might be these Young vulnerable users are safe. Right. Case in point, the reason why we started looking at these sensitivity screens was because we saw all these press releases after a 14 year old girl took her own life. Her name is Molly Russell. And there was a coronal inquest and they actually concluded that her consumption of negative content on Instagram was one of the direct causes of her death. And after that Instagram beefed up all of this morning stuff, they beefed up all of the sensitivity screens. They started removing a lot of like self harm content, but it's not hard to find any of this kind of content. So they're trying to, I guess, you know, put warnings on things and take things down, but it's really not doing all that it could be. Speaker 1 But it's interesting when you tell that story, like this young woman, Molly Russell, it's like the other part of this argument that you see people having about trigger warnings is there's One side that says, we should take seriously the emotional harm people feel when they see things that hurt them. And there's sometimes another side that says, no, that that's not real pain. We don't, we'd like, let's not all be babies. And you're saying the pain actually is real and particularly for young people can have real consequences. It's just the thing we're calling a seatbelt isn't a seatbelt. Speaker 2 Exactly. ([Time 0:55:39](https://share.snipd.com/snip/0738b5ac-078b-4ef7-afda-874ef55d1c73)) - ["] Acknowledging Emotional Harm from Triggers Summary: The debate on trigger warnings involves two sides: one acknowledges and respects the emotional harm caused by triggers, especially in young people like Molly Russell, while the other dismisses it as not real pain. The pain triggered individuals experience is genuine and can have significant consequences, particularly for youth. It is likened to recognizing the importance of a 'seatbelt' in protecting individuals from harm. Transcript: Speaker 1 But it's interesting when you tell that story, like this young woman, Molly Russell, it's like the other part of this argument that you see people having about trigger warnings is there's One side that says, we should take seriously the emotional harm people feel when they see things that hurt them. And there's sometimes another side that says, no, that that's not real pain. We don't, we'd like, let's not all be babies. And you're saying the pain actually is real and particularly for young people can have real consequences. It's just the thing we're calling a seatbelt isn't a seatbelt. Speaker 2 Exactly. Yeah. Speaker 1 Dr. Victoria Bridgeland, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Flanders and the author of a long and growing list of trigger warning studies. ([Time 0:57:00](https://share.snipd.com/snip/2c46cf30-b6fb-40ab-9dee-53cc2ba9919b))