Trigger Warnings & Content Notifications

As part of our commitment to looking after the emotional and physical wellbeing of anyone who works with us, we ask all our clients to indicate if their audio recordings contain content that is difficult, disturbing or potentially distressing.

Trigger warnings in academia & business

Trigger warnings are used to safeguard individuals who may have experienced a traumatic event in their life from being exposed to potentially triggering material in the workplace.

It has become common practice in some academic institutions and businesses to provide “trigger warnings” when content is potentially upsetting to a listener. It is of course very difficult to identify what is going to cause significant distress to a particular individual, but there are of course certain subjects that may well do so.

There has been quite a lot of debate about trigger warnings, usually with criticism seemingly originating from the usual ‘get angry about everything that may be politically correct’ brigade! In terms of audio & video recordings and transcription, we transcribe a variety of work and inevitably some of the recordings contain potentially distressing subjects.

Our triggering policy for transcribers

We ask all our transcribers to indicate if there are subjects they want to steer clear of, and we ensure that they are not sent recordings in these areas. If anything does come up we were not aware of, transcribers are always able to stop transcribing and return the audio recordings to us for another transcriber to complete. This does happen in practice, and our transcription managers have no problem reallocating work in these circumstances. It is part of our active commitment to supporting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Trigger warnings – what is the point?

Trigger warnings are beneficial to all. They remove the element of surprise, and in an academic setting they assist with discussion around difficult issues. Similarly in academia and business, they play a role in indicating that racial slurs or discriminatory talk/behaviour will be challenged.

Why trigger warnings are important

While some subjects seem quite obvious as to how they can trigger negative memories for some people, others are a little more obscure as to how they potentially cause harm. However it is not possible to make assumptions about what people have been through in their lives. What might trigger a memory for one individual may have no impact on another. The aim is to make people aware and enable them to make an informed choice about whether to work with or view the material.

How do I use them?

Simply notifiy us, where possible, of any trigger warnings when requesting a quote or uploading a file.

Examples of triggers

Triggers warnings are provided as a written or verbal list of contents that may have a negative impact on an individual.

Here are several, but this list is not exhaustive:

• Sexual assault
• Abuse
• Child abuse/paedophilia/incest
• Animal cruelty or animal death
• Self-harm
• Suicide
• Eating disorders, body hatred, and fat phobia
• Violence
• Pornographic content
• Kidnapping and abduction
• Death or dying
• Pregnancy/childbirth
• Miscarriages/abortion
• Blood
• Mental illness and ableism
• Racism and racial slurs
• Sexism and misogyny
• Classism
• Torture
• Islamophobia and anti-Semitism
• Hateful language directed at religious groups
• Transphobia and transmisogyny
• Homophobia and heterosexism