Teal Swan liking mindfulness victim Teal Swan

If You're Interested in Documentaries and True Crime Like I Am, Here's How to Avoid Exploitative and 'Trauma Porn' Content

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The concept of trauma porn first came onto my radar about three months ago when I was working on an article about the documentary “The Deep End,” an exposé about alleged cult leader Teal Swan.

In the research process for that article, I stumbled upon a podcast entitled “A Little Bit Culty” hosted by Sarah Edmonson and Anthony “Nippy” Ames, whistleblowers of the now infamous Nxivm cult and stars of the critically-acclaimed HBO documentary “The Vow.” In one of their discussions, they brought up their concerns with the proliferation of trauma porn and how those who are avid consumers of true crime, cults, or other media focusing upon the misfortune of others should be mindful of how and what they choose to watch or listen to.

Being an avid fan of all things true crime, cult, and other non-fiction, my internal alarm bells sounded upon hearing this, so I wanted to take a deep dive into what trauma porn is and how I could be a more responsible consumer of this type of media.

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