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A guide to content warning abbreviations 

Some of the abbreviations used for content warnings aren't obvious so I decided to make a guide. Feel free to add if I missed anything!

cw: content warning
mh: mental health
ph: physical health
-: negative
~: neutral
+: positive
?: uncertain
pol: politics
ment: mention
adj: adjacent
pers: personal
ec: eye contact

I try to avoid using emoji in content warnings for the sake of those with screen readers, but whether or not you do is ultimately up to you.

A guide to content warning abbreviations (part 2: triggers) 

nsfw: not safe for work (usually used for lewd imagery)
sfw: safe for work (usually used for non-lewd imagery)
alc: alcohol
meds/rx: medication
420: cannabis
csa: child sexual abuse
sh: self-harm
noncon: non-consensual
sui: suicide
USpol: US politics
(can be replaced and applied to other country abbreviations (UK, DE, FR, etc.))

If something is a trigger, there's no harm in letting someone know.

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A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@owashii I keep saying that I'm going to make a guide of common ones to add to fedi.guide when I build that site out.

I had a few others offering suggestions too. If you have any others to share would you. mind letting me know?

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@david Absolutely! I listed the ones I could think of off the top of my head, but I will let you know if I think of any more.

At some point I might add to this with more advanced tips, like parentheses and when to add "+" or "-"

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@owashii things like food, alcohol, nsfw, etc are common as well from what I've seen.

I'm going to break it into some subcategories as well as the various modifiers. When would you use parentheses?

Plus, I'll want to point out various reasons that people use CWs in the first place

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@david @owashii i often use CWs for content that isn't really relevant to the community - for example if i'm posting about my rimworld colony on a furry instance

it's also good for summarizing long posts

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@budgiebin @owashii That's another two good usage points of them, thanks!

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@david Parentheses are a direct content warning modifier. Examples work better than definitions here:

ph +, mh ~: Physical health positive, personal, and neutral. "A good thing happened physically but I'm in a weird mood."

ph + (mh ~),: Physical health positive, personal neutral. "A good thing happened physically but I'm not sure how I feel about it"

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@owashii Mind if I use these examples?

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@david Go for it!

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@owashii Ok, well I'm just starting the page, but it's time to finally do it. I should reach out to everyone who offered to help out here.

I think @Kat may have been one? Oops I forgot, sorry!

Anyway, I at least made myself start so I can add more over time.

fedi.guide/content-warnings/

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@owashii Also, the page is in progress, so not really "live". I am just tossing things in right now and debating whether a list or table looks better for the data.

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@david Fair enough! I figured more people might offer to pitch in if I boost it.

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@david @owashii I still have the list of CW's from @furkachi bookmarked and from caw

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@david @owashii @furkachi less about cw but kinda like a starter guide to the fediverse snouts.online/@caymanwent/1045

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@Mondanzo @owashii @furkachi Thanks for the links! I think @caymanwent offered help on this in the past, and any additions of content would be a great help and not just a my take only guide.

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@owashii @david Huh, we'd probably parse those two as the same, personally.

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@david @owashii I don't know if there's a way to work this in to y'all's guides, but there's one abbreviation I see now and then that I find ambiguous enough and, in one form, severe enough, that I'd strongly prefer it not be abbreviated: csa. I keep expecting to see something about the US Civil War, and it's not.

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@naga @david I see where you're coming from, but I believe the CSA in this case may be Community Supported Agriculture. I think it's safe to assume that if you see nothing about the US in the content warning, then it's not about the US civil war

At the same time I'm not disagreeing that another abbreviation would be useful

perhaps comm. agri.?

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@owashii @david No, the one that trips me up is "child sexual abuse"

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@owashii @david I don't care if I see community supported agriculture by accident---that's a subject line, not a trigger warning. Same for the Civil War version.

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@naga @david It's tricky because the only abbreviation I can think of is "pedo", but that word itself might also be a trigger for some.

I think it's just safe to assume that "csa" specifically does not refer to the US civil war, then. Again it's a tricky one.

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@owashii @david Yes. My point is that things that are actually common PTSD-linked triggers need to be unambiguous in the CW.

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@owashii @naga I see the other ones being issues, though I wouldn't suggest changing the agricultural meaning since CSA is already a commonly used term to describe those groups.

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@david @naga I'd be inclined to agree but I thought about it and I don't think agriculture is a significant trigger that people would add a content warning for. It's almost exclusively used for the abuse meaning.

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@owashii @david My point is that "csa" in that usage is a rare enough abbreviation in general parlance that it's insufficient as a CW for something potentially very harmful to read. This is an example of a broader issue with abbreviations in CWs. I know I'm not the only one who's opened something with that label not expecting what they got.

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@owashii @david Therefore I think CWs for things that are closely linked specifically to PTSD should *not* be abbreviated. Maybe the "csa" example is being used frequently in a community of survivors, but if a toot with it is boosted outside that community, the person who sees it does not have that context to interpret the abbreviation and make an informed decision.

A guide to content warning abbreviations, additions 

@owashii

sh: self harm
alc: alcohol

A guide to content warning abbreviations, additions 

@catherine @owashii Also "420" for weed/cannabis, which is some bizarre slang term.

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@owashii We sometimes use a ⚠️ if the thing is particularly bad, like a trigger for someone we know or maybe a /massive/ spoiler. Eye-catching, helps interrupt the "automatic open CW" thing brains can do.

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

@owashii Screen readers can now mostly read Emoji, but yeah some, mostly on Linux, can't.

A guide to content warning abbreviations (part 2: triggers) 

@owashii so that's what 420 means. Thanks for this list. V helpful.

A guide to content warning abbreviations (part 2: triggers) 

@GwenfarsGarden Happy to help!

A guide to content warning abbreviations (part 2: triggers) 

@owashii I'd add "si" to "sh" -- "self-injury" is the more common term where I am.

A guide to content warning abbreviations (part 2: triggers) 

@naga @owashii dispute: SI is de-contextually ambiguous with 'self-insert', calling back to the "when things get boosted outside a Contextual Community" remarks upthread. CW block AIUI has enough length that that level of abbreviated compression causes more risk of confusion than the time value saved in typing, even on a phone

A guide to content warning abbreviations (part 2: triggers) 

@hyratel @owashii You're preaching to the choir: I've been arguing through this thread that major trigger threats should not be abbreviated at all. Any abbreviations are going to be ambiguous in a diverse community. This post was that if you are going to list abbreviations, at least include the main common variations.

A guide to content warning abbreviations (part 2: triggers) 

@hyratel @owashii And my understanding of the list is that it is descriptive, not prescriptive. Telling people *how* to abbreviate something triggery isn't going to help if there are numerous synonyms.

If we can get posters not to abbreviate, that's better. But if we can't, then a descriptive list for readers should include common variations to minimize risk.

A guide to content warning abbreviations (part 2: triggers) 

@naga @hyratel Yes, I did mean for this to be more of a reference guide than a direction guide. I agree that there should be no abbreviations for any trigger content warnings, but since I can't stop people from using them, I at least think they should have a tool to avoid triggers with not-so-obvious abbreviations.

A guide to content warning abbreviations (part 2: triggers) 

@owashii @naga I tried to read through, but there was A Lot to get through; apparently I mis-parsed some posts with trying to keep track of the participants

A guide to content warning abbreviations (part 2: triggers) 

@hyratel @owashii no worries. I can't see the part of the discussion you referred to looking from the top post. It happens.

A guide to content warning abbreviations (part 2: triggers) 

@owashii "emeto" for anything pertaining to vomit is a decently common one as well.

A guide to content warning abbreviations 

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