Kaito / Katie Sinclaire @KS

I haven't done long-form posts in forever, but now seems like THE time for one of them, regarding a lot of things that have been going on in Mastodon lately. CW: uspol, meta cw.

Let me lead this off with something very important right off the bat: Black lives matter, especially so in these times where a lot of powerful people are trying to assert that they don't. If this is the section of my post that's problematic for you, then don't waste any more of your time reading; just leave right now, and preferably take a good, long, introspective look at yourself on your way out. I have no time or patience anymore to deal with those that are actually racist.

With that having been said (this is the end of the uspol section of this post, essentially), let me touch on the argument that's concerning to me from standing back and watching Mastodon for a bit. People need to be able to disengage when they feel they are not capable of handling the situation anymore, for the sake of their mental health. And unlike Twitter, where—by design—there is no way of disengaging apart from completely stepping away, Mastodon and other fediverse software have content warnings so we can choose whether to engage or not. (They might be called a subject line or something else for you, if you're not using Mastodon; it's the same functionality, though.)

Given content warnings already exist, as a tool that helps people manage their mental state without forcing themselves to completely cut themselves off from one of their communication channels, it really incenses me that some people are deciding to cut the CW because they deem what they're posting to be "too important". It makes me feel even worse when those same people also mock those that request a warning, or worse, declare them to be part of the problem for daring to do such.

And for the people that counter this with "just filter it" if we don't want to see it; for one, that requires the software to have reasonable support for filtering out posts, which I'm not sure is a universal thing—for instance, I do not consider a regular-expression based filtering system as feasible for most people to understand, and that's all Mastodon had for the longest time. More importantly, the content warning itself is one of the most reliable ways to filter posts, and that's what you're getting rid of.

Please, just CW your posts; we really don't need to make the fediverse as harmful to the well-being of people as Twitter is. It is okay for someone to need to take a step back.

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