University of Oulu

Trigger warning : the development and popularization of new forms of censorship in social media and microblogging platforms

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Author: Nummenpää, Sara1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Humanities, English Philology
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Pages: 75
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : S. Nummenpää, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-03-09
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Coats, Steven
Reviewer: Keisanen, Tiina
Coats, Steven
This study examined the development of a form of cooperative censorship as it has presented on the microblogging platform Tumblr, in which language is utilized as an agent of consensual censorship. With the popularization of personal content production and consumption through social media, the use of content warnings as metatags has evolved from content classification into a distinct social action. The nature of cooperative censorship through trigger tags is a dynamic marker of a more complex social phenomenon, and study of its usage offers an insight into a rising social culture and its evolution. The aim of this study was to describe the form these metatags take, their relationship to the content they mark, and the popularization and evolution of their usage. Analysis of a set of metatags related to sensitive content (emetophobia, arachnophobia, and agoraphobia) and their main variants reveals general tendencies in usage: chronological analysis following the lifetime of each tag shows a marked increase in usage over the course of five years, and qualitative analysis of a select sample of text suggests a tendency of favoring content-specific tagging over topic-specific tagging of triggers. Subsequent corpus analysis of the arachnophobia trigger tag variants, comprised of 41,106 tokens, further supports this tendency.
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Copyright information: © Sara Nummenpää, 2017. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.