On triggers

content warning: This is my response to someone who is offended by the idea that anyone could possibly be triggered by rickrolling



kind of curious as of to why you’re not sure rickrolling is ok in any case, if you don’t mind talking about it without being sure about it
realsocialskills said:
You never know what’s triggering to other people.

ohfuckimadeablog said:

Holy fucking shit people

Poe’s Law in action

Rickrolling is a trigger

realsocialskills said:

That post wasn’t really specifically about rickrolling. There’s nothing specifically awful about that song. 

The thing is, there doesn’t need to be something specifically awful about something for it to be triggering. Triggers aren’t reasonable, and they’re not always things like rape or violence.

Sometimes, a trigger is something like: a harmless rock song you used to listen to after abuse to calm yourself down. Sometimes hearing that song can take you back to that state of panic and fear. Not because there’s anything at all wrong with the song, just because you have that association. That’s a common kind of trigger.

For most people, rickrolling is harmless. But for people who are triggered by that particular song, being tricked, unexpected music, unexpected human voices, or sounds coming out of their computer they didn’t play on purpose, rickrolling is not harmless.

Rickrolling friends is one thing. That’s often totally fine, although it depends on the friend. But if you put a public rickroll bait on the internet where it’s likely to be seen by a lot of people, you run the risk of tricking someone into clicking it who really, really shouldn’t click it.

Depending on which corner of the internet you’re posting on, the risk might not be very high, since it’s not a particularly common trigger. But the value of rickrolling isn’t very high either. I don’t think much is lost by avoiding it.

Basically, I don’t think it’s right to trick people for fun unless you can be reasonably sure that they will also think it’s fun. And one reason it’s better to err on the side of not tricking people is that for some people, there’s more at stake than avoiding a brief moment of annoyance.