Guide to Content Warnings

On qoto, the only toots that require a content warning (CW) are:

- Spoilers
- NSFW (Not Safe For Work) – this is up for interpretation, but I assume refers to tits and dicks
- Using a derogatory epithet or racially charged language in a toot that itself is not racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise hateful speech (such as quoting a passage from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for critical purposes)*

Other reasons someone may want to use CW’s here on qoto:

- Strobe effects (to avoid triggering an epileptic seizure in people who are susceptible)
- Violence, accidents, rape, suicide, self-harm, death, etc., including to non-human animals (PTSD, etc.)
- Food (pics of food can prompt people with metabolic syndrome, eating disorders, which are relatively common)
- Pics of drugs (may trigger use by people who are addicted)
- Very long posts (so uninterested readers don’t have to scroll through them)

It’s better if the CW description is more specific (without itself containing CW-eligible content). Instead of just “Spoiler”, say “Spoiler – The Wizard of Oz”. Also, it’s generally a good idea to repeat the CW description within the toot itself at the top of the toot for those who may have the auto-open feature enabled.

What doesn’t need a CW:

- swear words
- content that might hurt someone’s feelings
- unpopular opinions
- political content
- pictures of animals (that are alive and well)
- content from those with autism or who are otherwise neuro-atypical
- using the CW as a title or heading for your toot or trying to place actually content into the CW description is irritating for others

Overuse of the CW feature ultimately undermines it’s usefulness because it forces people to have to click on each toot or just enable the auto-open feature. However, someone with a condition like epilepsy or PTSD, the auto-open feature is not really an option so CW overuse effectively forces people with disabilities to click each toot while everyone else can just enable the auto-open feature, which doesn’t seem fair.

Other Mastodon instances have varying rules and views on CW use.

Note: I’m not an admin or moderator here, this is just my opinion. I don’t always adhere to these guidelines and you can do what you want.

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* This epithet restriction isn’t listed in the rules, but it was adopted as a compromise in response to some specific events. Of course hate-based speech such as sexist, racist, homophobic or anti-trans speech will not be tolerated. (Note: I personally block anyone who uses epithets in any context because the intent is often ambiguous and you can communicate the same info without explicitly using the epithet.)

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QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves
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