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Hey there. Some concerns regarding suicide warnings on creator pages were raised on this ATT thread a few days ago.
In that thread, High Crate's options are either such warnings are allowed wherever someone feels strongly enough to put one in (which is how it de facto works at the moment), warnings are allowed on trope pages but not creator pages, or warnings are not allowed anywhere. War Jay 77 asked about other creators committing suicide, works where characters commit suicide or works that discussed suicide.
Given that, I'm starting a discussion here to get some feedback on what to do here: should we keep the suicide warnings if necessary on work/creator pages, or leave them out? Thanks.
Edited by gjjones on Aug 15th 2019 at 9:41:24 AM
Yeah, I think there's too much of a rabbithole when it comes to warning-tagging works and creator pages, because I can understand the potential risk on tropes entirely about suicide (or abuse), but with works, those things are often just one part of the work, or a part of a creator's life generally unrelated to their creative content.
It's usually only tangentially related, and can even be a spoiler!
I feel it shouldn't be in the description of Creator and Work pages. Though that said, if that's the final decision, I'm not heavily against it by any means.
Trope pages, however, I feel it's very relevant and worth keeping there.
Is this what you mean?
>A little public service announcement that we at TV Tropes would be very remiss not to make here: If you're feeling suicidal, please get help immediately. Talk to a loved one at the very least and let them know how you're feeling. There is help out there, no matter what you might believe.
I've seen it on different wrestler pages (Larry Sweeney, Crash Holly). I added it tonight to Luna Vachon's and Bam Bam Bigelow's pages.
Yes, that's what we're referring to.
I'm all for leaving them on trope pages and off Creator pages. Putting PSA's on the pages of Creators who have committed suicide feels, as said above, like putting too much emphasis on that one part of their life and not their content/work.
Though, I am curious—should we consider exceptions to works that heavily feature distressing content? 13 Reasons Why, for example?
Edited by iamconstantine on Aug 15th 2019 at 12:21:43 PM
I guess if it's what a work is famous for, that's one thing. There's a lot of disturbing shit in works like that, so I'd get it.
...But tagging works like, say, Doki Doki Literature Club not only focuses on a small part of the work as a whole, but also acts as a spoiler (while with this particular work the page is already spoilers off, you get what I'm saying). Another example would be Rocketman, which, true to Elton John's life, involves a suicide attempt, but it would be exactly like putting the warning on the actual Elton John page, and would be focusing on what is just a small part of the film.
Would it be possible to maybe have a thread for approving putting warnings on pages like that? Like you said, 13 Reasons and Doki Doki function differently since one features it (and a LOT of other stuff) as the focal point and the other has it as part of the twist. Alongside Rocketman, I'd think A Star Is Born and Dear Evan Hansen would also be cases where discussion might be the best route.
Edited by iamconstantine on Aug 15th 2019 at 12:27:12 PM
I agree that they shouldn't be on Creator pages. I understand the intent, but at the same time, it kind of seems like the death overshadows their work as a creator.
^ Exactly. Idk, it just seems a liiiiiittle disrespectful-but-well-meaning to have the first thing on Kurt Cobain's page be a warning about suicide?
I've gone ahead and removed it as a preemptive measure.
Edited by gjjones on Aug 15th 2019 at 2:25:39 PM
Yeah, folks, we aren't about delivering PSAs through our articles. That's tacky, demeaning, inappropriate, and a bunch of other mean words. Might as well put up warnings that Drugs Are Bad, Don't Eat Tide Pods, and Donald Trump is Evil.
If someone expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions via a post or edit anywhere on our site, immediately flag it for moderator attention. We will deal with it appropriately. We aren't going to wallpaper the wiki with life help messages.
Or maybe we can plaster this across the header: "Users of TV Tropes are presumed to be responsible for their own well-being. TV Tropes does not employ health professionals and is not a place to diagnose, treat, or seek counseling for any illness."
Edited by Fighteer on Aug 16th 2019 at 7:29:30 AM
I honestly saw DDLC as a case of All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game" myself.
I feel these disclaimers should not be anywhere. We are not giving medical advice to our readers, were are analyzing and discussing fiction. I doubt many of us are qualified medical professionals and while I appreciate the intent of these disclaimers, Prescriptive vs. Descriptive Language is also a thing we should attend to.
It's hard to tell which tropes "should" get warnings and which shouldn't. Weight Woe and pretty much all Driven to Suicide related tropes have a warning, but not Self-Harm. If Weight Woe has a warning, why not Big Eater for binge eating disorder? Super OCD for OCD? Sleepy Depressive for depression?
I don't think they should be on work or creator pages. Keep them on tropes. Anything could trigger a person, but it seems too messy to go around labeling every page concerning mental health unless you want to put trigger warnings on everything.
And I'm not happy about trope page warnings either. It goes against the mantra that tropes are about fiction, not real life. Although what I think is most problematic is that these warnings are being written into the content of the articles by random tropers who get it into their heads, and are not consistent.
While they violate a fundamental principle about the users of a website being responsible for their own reactions to its content, I am not averse to the idea of warnings in principle, just the slapdash way we seem to be going about it.
If we are really serious about content warnings in articles, we should implement a tagging system and have the warnings appear as modal dialogs (popups for the less technically inclined) that advise the user of the potentially objectionable content in an article, give them an opportunity to go "back", and give them an opportunity to indicate that they do not wish to see such warnings in the future.
I had something vaguely like this in mind for spoilers in TV Tropes 2.0 anyway, so it could potentially be expanded.
My main concern is that this could increase our exposure to liability rather than decrease it. If there are no warnings anywhere, then anyone using TV Tropes is doing so on their own recognizance. If we put warnings about some things, then we create an expectation that those warnings will be applied accurately and consistently. If someone then visits a page that is not marked and gets upset about something, they could reasonably argue that we have established an obligation to protect them. There's also the question of which things we warn people about. Some folks might get triggered by seeing puppies. Do we add a warning about "contains puppies"? Where does it end?
Also, I do not want our articles telling people to get help outside of TV Tropes. That's a rabbit hole of colossal proportions. It makes us an indirect party to their mental health care. I'm no lawyer, but that can't be a good thing.
Edited by Fighteer on Aug 16th 2019 at 9:33:23 AM
It's worth being clear about our terminology; at the moment, none of the messages being discussed are "trigger warnings". Those are a different sort of thing with its own set of baggage.
The current messages aren't saying, "if you are sensitive to certain types of material, you may wish to choose not to read further." They are more like a PSA saying, "if you or someone you know has this problem, please seek help."
I don't think anyone here is suggesting that we start implementing trigger warnings. If I'm wrong and they are, then that's a conversation we can have (I have opinions), but as far as I can tell that's not where we're at.
Edited by HighCrate on Aug 16th 2019 at 6:40:08 AM
Well, then my last sentence applies. Please remove those "get help" messages. They are inappropriate.
Works for me.
I find them tacky. I'd like it if they were removed.
Yeah, I'll clarify.
Trash those disclaimers. If need be, we can add a general disclaimer for all pages at the bottom of each page.
You know how there are YMMV, Flame Bait, etc banners at the top of pages? What if there was an index for these types of pages that automatically puts a message on top of the page? I think that's how other sites do it. I've gotten similar messages from Tumblr and Youtube just for looking up mental illness-related stuff.
The current warnings aren't trigger warnings. I was stating that posting these [=PS As] on all pages that mention commonly triggering things like suicide oreating disorders could evolve into trigger warnings.
Edited by Pichu-kun on Aug 16th 2019 at 12:03:48 PM
A person looking at the Driven to Suicide article should not be presumed to be contemplating self-harm and it is insulting to insinuate that. I have no information on how many people might find our article while searching for suicide prevention resources, but it seems like it should be trivially obvious that it's about fiction, not real life. You know, like all of our articles.
Those Trivia, Flame Bait, etc. banners are for editors. They are not advising people to seek help for their YMMV problems.
Edited by Fighteer on Aug 16th 2019 at 11:56:08 AM
So, do you think we should do a cleanup effort to remove those notices if no one objects?
I've never been a fan of the suicide PS As, personally.
After reading the newer posts, I can see why removing them altogether may be the better option.
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How well does it match the trope?