Storify: 2013-06-25 Texas Senate Filibuster

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2013-06-25 Texas Senate Filibuster

@scATX: And I've heard the line is down and wrapped around the rotunda.

The livestream of the Senate is VERY QUIET. I'm understanding the filibuster has not started yet?

@scATX: No. NOTHING has started yet.

Storify: NYT Opinion "My Daughter Isn't Transgender"

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NYT Opinion: "My Daughter Isn't Transgender"

[This is a long thread, so lets get one thing clear up-front: The author-and-mother says her "daughter" has directly told her that he is a boy. That isn't mentioned in her first (and latest) NYT article, but instead comes out lower down in the thread from an older Parenting.com article. So we will start with that fact in mind: this child is a boy because he says so. It is genuinely that simple.]

@LisaSelinDavis: I wrote this piece for all the kick-ass non-girly girls out there: My Daughter Is Not Transgender. She’s a Tomboy.

@sapphixy: You wrote in an article on Parenting Magazine that your child has LITERALLY SAID THAT HE IS A BOY. YOUR CHILD IS A TRANS BOY.

Storify: Margaret Atwood and SFF

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[Content Note: Sexual Assault]

[redacted username] Is Atwood avoiding the term SF in her career because she's a snob?

No, and I hate when guys do this without recognizing that SFF is rife with sexual assault.

Also: Atwood isn't currently avoiding the SFF term. That's an old take that won't die. She did at one time disclaim the label but has since said she didn't understand the genre well enough to see how it applied to her work.

Storify: Ian McEwan's Nutshell

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This is the book in question.

@sazza_jay: who asked for this

Ana: ....narrated by an unborn fetus.

Open Thread: Metal Bird


I think it's some kind of weather vane.

I generally associate "Giant metal bird on the corner of a building" with:
a) not an eagle, and
b) the other side of the street.

A check of google street view shows that the reason for that (which is to say: the other giant metal bird) is across the street and one building down from this one.  Also, I'm pretty sure the other one is a static emplacement.

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are they:
   ● Avengers: Infinity War
   ● A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
   ● Black Panther

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Storify: Vulture, KatR, and The Black Witch

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Vulture, KatR, and The Black Witch: How a personal grudge ended with an NY Magazine outline ginning up harassment against indie and small press authors.

Part 1: Summary for people who don't want to read the long version.

TL;DR: The Vulture piece by @katrosenfield appears to be a grudge piece designed to harass people who objected to her calling WOC a "groupthink mob".

FIVE of the people she hate-links to were people who've criticized her in the past for loaded language against WOC and queer people.

SIX of the people hate-linked in that article are friends-of or friendly-to those five authors who criticized her in public.

In total, ELEVEN of the people Kat hate-linked to were folks she has an axe to grind with, or friends of those folks.

The Vulture article feels like a harassment hit-piece which casts harmed WOC and queer people as the "real bullies" for objecting to harm. An ethical reporter does not write a piece like this and "accidentally" only link to people who've criticized her behavior in the past.

Storify: The Black Witch

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Thread 1: The Review

Y'all. THE BLACK WITCH is BAD. This is important reading. Review: The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

You want some extra nitpicks? Because the GIANT TRASH HEAP wasn't trash heapy enough? I got them.

"Gardnerian", as in the white-coded mages descended from "Kelts" and fae in this book? Gardnerian Wicca is a real religion.

"Wandfasting", as in the magical mage marriage in this book? Handfasting is a religious wiccan ceremony very much like marriage.

The Tragically Chaste Gay Guy in this book is named Trystan, which of course sent me thinking about Tristan and Isolde. Bodes well for him!

There's an Athenaeum without Athens, an Amazon race (Amaz) without Greece, and the warrior woman is named Diana.

Storify: Redeemed Racist Protagonists

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[Content Note: Racism, Rape]

Redeemed Racist Protagonists:
Tweet thread on The Black Witch, on American Heart, and on similar books.

@jules_chronicle: Can we all agree that if your MC's big character arc is deciding that marginalised people are people, that your story needs to go in the [trash emoji]? I am so so appalled by this American Heart announcement. I can't believe anyone, anywhere, thought this was an acceptable book.

A Redeemed Racist protagonist is as harmful and valueless as a Redeemed Rapist protagonist, in my opinion. We are repeatedly asked to identify with oppressors as misunderstood woobies, while very much ignoring their victims. Any redemption arc for them is going to necessarily run up against either forgiveness and acceptance from their victims (gross), or writing victims who DON'T forgive the protagonist, earning the wrath of many readers whether the author intends that or not (even grosser).

Storify: Stim Toys and Fidget Cubes

Storify is shutting down in May and has informed users that we have to migrate our content elsewhere if we wish to save it. This is one of my old threads.

This thread occurred the day after the AHCA vote in the US House of Representatives, hence the references to "yesterday".



"90% of the people playing with them are neurotypical." NOPE.

Oh my god. It's official, I've seen someone explaining that fidget toys are bad because neurotypical people use them to be trendy.

REMINDER: You don't know ANYTHING about another person's health or mental state by looking.

Storify: Food Policing and Food Morality

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I want to talk about Trump ordering his steaks well-done or burnt or whatever. I want to say up-front that I am TOUCHY about this, so... I... maybe please don't @ me if we're friends but you disagree?

I have multiple food allergies. My grandfather, who I gastrointestinally took after, DIED from our allergies. I never met him. I also have lived with disordered eating. I also-also live with a spouse who just... has very different taste buds. We've both worked in food service. I've taken LOTS of professional cooking classes. We know how food is "supposed" to be/do.

So with that in mind I will say this: STOP MORALIZING FOOD CHOICES PLEASE.

Storify: Modern Witches and Social Justice

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After seeing a man compare "Politically Correct culture" to witch trials of the past, I wrote the below series of tweets.

I'm still angry about that asshole's "PC culture is like witch trials" because THIS IS MY PET PEEVE.

The thing about witch trials, TO START WITH, is Salem is not a good example but it's the one Americans all know of. They know of it because it was romanticized during the McCarthy era as a sort of modern parallel that arguably fit poorly.

For the vast majority of witch trials, the victims were people who didn't fit into the community's white patriarchal ideal. And for the vast majority of those trials, the accusers and people running the show were privileged rich white men. So to try to jam "PC culture" into that framework doesn't work. At all. Period. Ever.

You can see hints of this in what ACTUALLY went down in Salem (not the romanticized version). Several of the "young girls" doing the accusing were white women in their late 20s and 30s. One of the reasons the Salem trials snowballed were because the property of the accused was seized by the authorities.

So the vision of Salem as a hapless community terrorized by young girls and helpless (due to their religion) to stop, is... no. Greedy, selfish, PRIVILEGED adult men and women used the system to kill and steal from the weaker members of their community. Which places modern people married to the use of their racial slurs on the side of the abusers, as usual. Not the victims.

When I say witch trials historically weeded out members of the community who weren't a white patriarchal ideal, btw, I mean it. Women who couldn't reproduce were regularly targeted. Infertile, elderly, very probably trans women, disabled women. People of color and people of different religions were targeted very often. Wealthy women who weren't attached to a man and family (widows, especially) were common targets to seize their property. Very likely queer people of all stripes were targeted as well. People who didn't fit a cis, hetero, allo, Christian, white mold.

This is important, both because those "PC POLICE!!" parallels piss me off, but also as why modern pagans BETTER NOT be bigots. We don't get to claim spiritual kinship with our forewitches only to turn around and perpetuate the same hatred. And this goes ditto for feminists who like to call back to our witchy mothers: you can't pick only the white cis allo ones.

If you won't support women of color, ace and aro women, trans women, disabled women, DON'T INVOKE WITCHES. So if you're carrying a "we are the daughters of the witches you failed to burn" signs, you BETTER be intersectional. Because we CURRENT witches who've failed to burn are subtle and quick to anger. (Props to JRR Tolkien.)

(as a side note!)

Every time I do Wiccan / Witch threads, I get sweet children in my mentions asking if Love spells exist. My dear hearts: There is no spell that can make someone love you, and even if there were it would not be ethical to use it.

There ARE spells to make you noticeable to others, the same way you might change your hair or clothes or scent or style. Those might be worth a look. Or you could experiment with your hair or clothes or scent or style. Or you could use your words. Telling someone "hey, I LIKE-like you" seems hard, but it is easier and more direct than most spells, I promise.

Above all else, be aware that "thanks, but no thanks" is a valid option for your love interest and respect that. Always.

Open Thread: Eight Pointed Star


Purple flowers.  Not much else to say.

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are they:
   ● Avengers: Infinity War
   ● A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
   ● Black Panther

-

Friday Saturday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us here, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Storify: Disney, Queer Rep, and Beauty and the Beast

Storify is shutting down in May and has informed users that we have to migrate our content elsewhere if we wish to save it. This is one of my old threads.



[Content Note: Ableism, Sexual Assault]

Disney, Queer Rep, and Beauty and the Beast:

Why LeFou isn't new, unusual, helpful, or anything more than a punch to the gut for me.

I am REALLY UPSET about the "surprise-gay" Beauty and the Beast character being Le Fou. LeFou isn't just a grasping, foolish, aggrandizing, simpering minion to a bigger villain. He's one of the most evil people in the play. LeFou actively plots to imprison a man to abet the rape of his daughter. The "Maisson de Lunes" song from the Broadway version is chilling.

Storify: Disney Kisses

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To people saying "I'm not okay with same sex kisses in a children's movie because I don't want sexual content shoved at kids" okay hang on a second.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Storify: Anatar

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After managing NOT to watch Avatar The Last Airbender for YEARS (I don't have tiiiiime!) @elibyronbaldrsn talked me into watching. I am a RESPONSIBLE ADULT so naturally I stayed up until 4 am getting to halfway through season 1. This is WHY I'm not allowed to watch tv shows, btw. I'm chugging coffee and clearing my schedule for today, lol.

Anyway, @elibyronbaldrsn told me about Toph and I accidentally saw a clip mix of her and I was lost to all reason. NO SPOILERS PLEASE, but yeah somehow I missed there is a disabled main character. I woke spouse up this morning with the words "you have to watch Avatar TLA but not in a way that slows me down at all". LOL.

Okay, I'm not live-tweeting the thing, but I'll send highlights from my texts to @elibyronbaldrsn last night, who puts up with me.

Storify: The Last of Us (Again)

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This has been previously posted, but as a Storify widget which will soon be defunct.




SPOILER: The Fireflies were the villains.

tfw you're reading an interesting article on zombies in gaming and then they utterly misunderstand The Last Of Us. I try very hard to have as few as possible petty pet peeves, but People Who Misunderstand THE LAST OF US is one of them. I have straight up blocked people for creepily insisting that a pre-teen girl should be ritualistically murdered as a meaningless sacrifice.

Everything People Are Wrong About re: THE LAST OF US (spoilers below)

Storify: Xanth, a Romance Series

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*sits bolt upright* my god, Xanth is a romance series to me. My whole childhood just snapped into place with an audible crack. I have a lot of strong feelings about Xanth, as made evident on my blog, but it was hugely formative for me as a child.

I'm now going to list the things that I liked about Xanth and which I care about as influences on my own work. *stares into navel* I really liked the choice to (with a few exceptions) have a new protagonist for every book and therefore a new romance.

I really loved the huge sprawling world and epic cast, where even people you didn't see for much of the novel clearly had LIVES going on. Which was arguably part of the reason WHY there was a plethora of new protagonists waiting in the wings: because of the huge cast.

I do call Xanth a Romance series because most - maybe ALL - of the books are about a romantic relationship arc that ends in a HEA. But, gods, I can't imagine it would ever have been labeled as such or marketed as such when I was younger. Or really even now. Imagine the boy nerds clutching their dice in horror and retiring to the fainting couch.

I always tell people my first and most formative books were fantasy, but this calls EVERYTHING INTO QUESTION.

~~~later~~~

I'm at pain level 8 tonight and the meds aren't helping, so I'm going to talk about something that brings me happiness: fantasy romance.

I realized this morning that Xanth is, by my personal definition, a romance series. Many of them follow a very a very pleasing (to me) pattern of "person has problem, goes on journey to solve problem, finds love". (I'm not going to get into here the many many problems with Piers Anthony's writing; you can find more on that here.)

Let's break it down.

Book #1, A Spell for Chameleon. Romance arc between Bink and Chameleon.

Book #2, The Source of Magic. Romance arc between Bink and Jewel Nymph. A fast one is pulled to match Jewel with Crombie at the end (so as not to undo the previous Bink/Chameleon HEA).

Book #3, Castle Roogna. Romance between Dor and Millie, with Jonathan swapping out at the end and Irene set up as Dor's future wife.

Book #4, Centaur Aisle. Romance between Dor and Irene. Dor is given a rival, but Irene can't bear to leave Xanth.

Book #5, Ogre, Orge. Tandy + Smash. Here, their romance is LITERALLY the answer to Tandy's question taken to the Good Magician.

Book #6, Night Mare. Mare Imbrium + the Day Stallion. (Later replaced with another, non-evil Day Stallion.)

Book #7, Dragon on a Pedestal. Arguable. Hugo is setup as a future romance for young Ivy (though that arc is later abandoned) and Irene has a "romance" arc that... isn't. Really, the less said about Dragon on a Pedestal, the better.

Book #8, Crewel Lye. The romantic epic saga of Jordan and Threnody.

Book #9, Golem in the Gears. A romance between Grundy the Golem and Rapunzel--the only woman in Xanth his size.

Book #10, Vale of the Vole. Eskil and Bria Brassie. Not a romance that particularly thrilled my soul, but it's there and it's a major arc.

Book #11, Heaven Cent. A love triangle between Dolph, Nada Naga, and Electra. In 1988. No, Twilight didn't invent love triangles.

Book #12, Man from Mundania. Gray + Ivy.

Book #13, Isle of View. This book resolves the Dolph / Nada / Electra triangle that seemed to go on way longer than it actually did.

Book #14, Question Quest. This is a polyam romance--or a series of monogamous romances that end in a polyam marriage--for Humphrey.

Book #15, The Color of Her Panties. One of the weakest in the series, tying up loose ends no one cared about. Mela Merwoman finds a mate.

Book #16, Demons Don't Dream. This book was awful so I barely remember it. I think Dug the Mundane falls for the other mundane girl player?

Book #17, Harpy Thyme. Much better and has the prettiest of the Xanth covers. Gloha Goblin-Harpy asks Humphrey where she can find love.

A girl with angel wings in a pretty pink dress converses with a flying mer-horse. I think.

Look at that cover! A girl protagonist whose motivation is to find a lover. Tell me that's not Romance. But an Important Man authored it, so we were all told it was Fantasy and not Romance.

Book #18, Geis of the Gargoyle. Gary Gargoyle searches for his freedom and in the process finds Gayle.

Book #19, Roc and a Hard Place. This one might not be a romance depending on your POV, but much is made of Demon Metria and her new husband falling deeper in love after their hasty arranged marriage.

Book #20, Yon Ill Wind. This is a romance between Chlorine and the Demon Xanth, although she doesn't realize who he is or what's happening to her.

Book #21, Faun and Games has a lot of love triangle flirting between Forrest Faun and Dawn and Eve. Then it disappears up its own butt. Like, seriously, the franchise was stagnating hard then and you could tell.

I think I read some of Books #23 to #41, but they were not memorable to me. I'm pretty sure a lot of them are romances, though!

I actually felt tangible peace this morning when I realized Xanth is a romance series. Because it was so formative for me as a writer, I've felt "weird" for gravitating to romance as a genre when you'd have thought I would write fantasy or scifi, my earliest readings! So realizing that capital-R Romance was with me all along, from the very beginning? That was so hugely affirming to me.

I'm a proud writer of romance. I'm a Romance writer. I've read Romance since I was a little kid. They just didn't tell me it was Romance. I'm frustrated, I won't lie, that Piers wasn't hit with the R-label in the same way that I suspect a woman writer would have been.

"Tell me the plot."

"Well, a special one-of-a-kind girl with angel wings goes on a quest to find her perfect mate--"

So never let yourself feel that you're an imposter in the romance world just because guys told you those romance books weren't romance. You are a romance VETERAN. You cared so much about fantasy romances that you slogged through 10+ books in that series. ;)

You got this. Put 'er there. *fistbump*

Storify: Appropriation of Religious Tools

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Appropriation of Religious Tools: Harry Potter, Wands, and Stop Mis-Using the Concept of Karma

Headline: Witchcraft shop refuses to serve Harry Potter fans because it sells 'spiritual tools' not toys for young Muggles

As a witch, I totally support this store owner and omg the IN-ARTICLE comments are shit. LIKE? Zak, a 20 year old man, is baffled to have something denied to him. Is that legal? Mariella, who is 21, says wands aren't toys GOSH they're actually more like Happy Meals WITH toys. ARGH.

Religious witches have been hurt the LEAST of all the groups Rowling has appropriated from, and she had the most justification for it, like, this is in NO WAY on par to the racism in the series. At all. Full stop. But still, I support him refusing service to Potterkids.

@alexandraerin: No different than a Catholic religious store not selling crucifixes to people who want to vampire LARP.

YES. Religion institutions are allowed to not facilitate the desecration of their tools. No one owes you communion wafers either! These are HANDMADE wands that he has a limited supply of and wants in the hands of actual witches. C'mon.

"He'd sell thousands of wands if he served us"--THEY'RE NOT MASS PRODUCED.

@kingdomofwench: And also, this shop owner is awesome and those entitled whiny Potter fans need to stfu forever and find a diff wand ffs. It isn't hard. They just want these because they can't have them.

YES. That's the thing--there are a zillion wands they can buy, but they're angry to be denied THESE wands. And they want the religious experience of the books: homemade wands that pick you and then you have a bonding ritual. So, YEAH, they pretty much DO want to use this man's religion as a toy or game or roleplay and I pity them not at all. And this is the thing that gets me. We're supposed to ENJOY being a "ren faire booth", as you so aptly put it. (said to @Postnuc_mama)

@punningpundit: I have seen lots of high quality wands sold at Ren Faire to potter fans. I think actual pagans are selling them.

I'm totally okay with selling "real" wands to non-practitioners IF THE MAKER WANTS TO. Consent. ("Real" in scare quotes because to me, all wands can be REAL. It depends on the user, not the maker.)

I am VERY disappointed in @BookRiot's take on this. These are hand-crafted, limited-supply religious tools. By demanding he sell them as toys, you're denying access to real witches.

He also engages in a religious ritual AS PART OF THE SELLING EXPERIENCE, and they want to roleplay that. It's disrespectful. That's like demanding that a pastor baptize and serve the host to someone wanting to roleplay a vampire hunter.

Can we talk about the appropriation in your post, @BookRiot? "If you give joy to a Potterhead, you’re going to get a major karmic kickback." Karma is a key concept in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Taoism. Are you a practitioner of those? Karma is NOT in Wicca. (We have similar concepts but do not appropriate that word.) Why do you exhort a Wiccan to earn karma?

REALLY tired of white people appropriating every religion they can get their hands on but it's okay because they're excitable fans. KARMA IS NOT YOUR WORD TO FLING AROUND WHEN YOU WANT TO THROW A HISSY-FIT.

"Maybe you’ll learn they have some questions you can help them with." I cannot deal with the level of entitlement in this post. REALLY?

"a good way to combat [stigma] is by educating people." GET OUT.

"How do you expect to do that when you are turning away people who might be somewhat ignorant about the details of your faith?" GOOD LORD.

"You’re effectively preaching to the choir by only serving people who already think the same way as you do." JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL.

Privileged people just refuse to accept that the world does not exist to cater to their every desire. Sit the bloody hell down. Wiccans and Pagans often aren't interested in proselytizing and converting others.

@butterflyzan: Why are they assuming we are out to convert anyone??

Because if you're a Weirdo Crayzee Religion you MUST want to spend every day explaining it to people!

@butterflyzan: Yeah, no. I just want to practice in peace, not be fired and/or burned alive for it. Oy.

@NathanOfOz: Christian supremacy is so ingrained that some ppl have a hard time imagining non-evangelical religions.

Things that Harry Potter fans could do instead of buying religions implements from a creator who doesn't want to sell to them: Make their own!

@kingdomofwench: YUUUUUP. If they want to rp it, they could *do it for themselves*. But noooooooo. seriously though they could buy other wands, or make some with hot glue and paint like that Pinterest tutorial I keep seeing, and set up their own little choosing ritual rp for themselves. Instead of stealing and stomping on our religion.

But then who will roleplay the expert who gives them their wand JUST LIKE HARRY.

Storify: Trigger Warnings

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These panels are from Captain America: Sam Wilson #17.


Several people have asked me about this, so we need a thread on Trigger Warnings. Trigger Warnings serve many people for many reasons, but this heavily includes people with PTSD, who are trauma survivors. Trauma is built into the name there: post-TRAUMAtic stress disorder. When I say trigger warnings are for trauma survivors, that's a fact.

Trigger Warnings are also "for" many other people, but trauma survivors figure prominently in the demographic being served. For a person with PTSD, a "trigger" is something that can take them (often unwillingly) back to a place of trauma and distress. Trigger Warnings serve to WARN readers about upcoming TRIGGERS (hence the name) so they can prepare themselves if they wish to read. Sometimes the "preparation" is simply knowing the material is coming. Sometimes it's waiting to read in a safe space where they can cry.

Trigger Warnings do not mean that the material is bad, or problematic, or that trauma survivors shouldn't read it. You have seen Content Notes--an umbrella term which includes Trigger Warnings--all your life on movies and movie previews.

"Rated R for graphic sex, violence, nudity, and language" is a content note.

"The material we are about to air on the news may not be suitable for young viewers" is a content note.

"This is a Ginny/Harry fic, not Hermione/Harry" is a content note.

"This is a capital-R Romance novel with a proper Happily Ever After" is a content note.

In short: You have very likely been exposed to content notes and trigger warnings your entire life.

A "safe space" may avoid certain topics entirely, but most simply enforce warnings for content. They don't set content off-limits. Indeed, your average Safe Space probably deals with heavier topics than most spaces. But they deal with them CAREFULLY.

Final note: I want to be clear that "trigger" is a multi-use term, not JUST used by people with PTSD. There are other trauma survivors who don't have PTSD and people with mental illness who use the word "trigger" in slightly different ways. That usage is valid, so I do ask people not to police them. But, yes, anyone saying "LOL TRIGGURED" is using it wrong.

I leave this note because some folks have been like "if you don't have PTSD you can't use the word!" and I don't agree with that. Mental illness and health are complicated and there's some overlap re: "exposure to thing that hurts me in mental health-related ways". ANYWAY, that is what trigger warning is and why mocking trigger warnings = mocking trauma survivors (among others).

UPDATE: I really want to stress that this thread is about MOCKING trigger warnings, not about POLICING the use of the word "trigger". A lot of people who have triggers don't have a full mental health work-up saying so. A trigger can sometimes send me into a full panic attack or can other times just make me really emotional or other times nothing. It varies.

Most of the people using the word "trigger" are using it in good faith, in my experience. I'm uncomfortable with policing the word use. I policed my own self for years, fretting over whether I was triggered "enough" to use the word. That was unhealthy and unhelpful for me. This thread is about why it's cruel to mock trigger warnings (with a freaking comic-weapon that looks like a grenade, ffs), it is not a thread policing usage and adoption of a useful and valuable term for discussing mental health. Thank you.

Storify: DDOS Attacks and Social Media Callouts

Storify is shutting down in May and has informed users that we have to migrate our content elsewhere if we wish to save it. This is one of my old threads.



Good morning, loves. Today I'm going to talk about harassment on social media using the metaphor of network hacking. Pull up a chair.

There was a lot in the media this week about the DDOS attack that indirectly hit Twitter. I saw a lot of "what's a DDOS again?" "DOS" (we'll start without the extra D first) is a denial of service attack. The goal is to disrupt a service from its intended users.

In ye olden days, you could DOS attack a network by flooding it with messages. Ping-ping-ping-ping-ping until the network can't deal. Network designers got smarter from that and created networks that would selectively ignore a spamming signal. That was a good thing! If one computer was malicious or broken, it couldn't take down the network. The network just muted it.

So then the DDOS was born: a distributed denial of service attack. Hackers gather a LOT of computers (usually through trojan viruses) and they count down to spam a network together as a unified whole. This is massively effective because the attack is distributed across multiple attackers. The network can't just mute one and be done.

Networks can't function when hundreds or thousands of signals are screaming at it over the valid traffic. But... we expect humans to.

I keep seeing this cycle play out, where a target is inundated with traffic they're not expecting. Maybe in good faith, maybe not so much. Eventually--maybe a few days, maybe a few hours--they're snippish or make a mistake or lash out. This becomes the impetus for new interactions. People who didn't witness the first mistake get tagged in, often without context. They add to the signal.

A network CAN'T function normally or healthily under these conditions. It's NOT a matter of trying really really hard. The only way to restore normalcy is to take the network offline entirely (delete account, make new one, go private) or block the signals. And, hey, maybe some folks are okay with that for some people. I don't want Actual Satan on Twitter either, I guess.

But I think it's important to understand that this is a pattern of ATTACK. There's no "Distributed Denial of Service Constructive Criticism". It's not an 'attack' because hackers are mean. DDOS attacks can happen by accident! It's an 'attack' because the system CAN'T HANDLE IT.

I'm against harassment because it's violence. But I'm also against most (most! not all!) large-scale callouts because they don't work. Unless, again, the goal IS to drive the victim away. In which case they work very well, but I wish people would be honest about their goal.

I've seen a lot this year about how [target] blocked [multiple people] during a well-intentioned DDOS attack. Well... yeah?? I don't care who it is nor who they blocked; that's the only way to restore normalcy when pings are coming in. Even if the pings are good, correct, helpful traffic (DDOS messages can be!), the network can't function in a flood.

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