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  1.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #1
    [Logic is Erratic] Taw's Avatar
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    Ratings Guidelines Feedback

    Welcome to our community discussion about the Ratings Guidelines!

    The purpose of this thread is for staff to acquire feedback on possible flaws in our Ratings Guidelines, and to give users a place to speak freely about what is on their mind in regards to ratings.

    Before you post here, staff is requesting that your post adheres to the Forum Rules, and the following set of guidelines we have placed in this thread:
    1. Please keep in mind that this thread's purpose is to encourage an open discussion about the Ratings Guidelines- not the tagging system, Community Guidelines, etc.

    2. Be respectful of staff and other users. You are free to talk about your own opinions and experiences, whether they are negative or positive, but please post them in the form of constructive criticism and avoid insulting and/or harassing content. This thread will be monitored and moderated carefully.

    3. Staff cannot guarantee that every change suggested in this thread will be made to the Ratings Guidelines. However, we will be reading every post and discussing the changes with the most potential.

    4. Staff will not disclose any information about action taken in an individual's gallery. Any user who disagrees with moderator action taken against their own account should send an appeal to support@weasyl.com.

    This thread will be open for approximately one month, after which it will be closed and reviewed.

    Thank you for reading, and we hope this thread fosters a beneficial discussion for all of us!

  2. #2
    I would be interested in seeing the "general" and "moderate" categories combined into a single "Safe for viewers under the age of 18" category.

    I feel that the divide between 18+ and safe-for-work content is pretty well established across the internet, and should be intuitive for most users. My concern is that the PG/PG13 divide is less widely used, and considerably more subjective. For example, "Must be free of any sexual conduct or themes." Is kissing sexual? What about hugging? Hugging, but touching someone's thigh? I'm not really sure. Or, what constitutes "A compositional focus on sexualized anatomy"? If a character is leaning forward in a bathing suit to get her face closer to the camera, will I be in violation of the general submission guidelines for showing off her breasts? Does it depend on the degree of foreshortening? The bust size? Where's the cutoff? The mature category is a lot more clear. Nipples showing? 18+. No nudity? SFW.

    The reason this is an issue is that I've heard of users thinking they were appropriately submitting clean art, getting reprimanded by moderators who thought it should be 13+, and leaving the site. I feel that if you are going to have categories which you will be policing through moderator action, they should be clear cut and obvious to both users and staff, to avoid alienating members of the community who are making a good-faith effort to follow the rules. I feel that the divide between general and moderate is too vaguely defined, both in popular understanding and in the site rules as written, to be policeable without alienating the community. Combining them would allow for a much clearer and more intuitive category system.

    As an alternative, since I'm sure some people do appreciate those categories, I would be fine with keeping the categories as guidelines, but not punishing users for improperly rating general vs moderate submissions, and limiting moderator actions to simply re-categorizing these submissions.

  3.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #3
    The Lurking Wolfox Hendikins's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axikita View Post
    I would be interested in seeing the "general" and "moderate" categories combined into a single "Safe for viewers under the age of 18" category.
    I'm just going to chip in and say you're not the first person to suggest this.

    Personal opinion: I wouldn't be unhappy to see the back of the Moderate rating either. There's logic to splitting artistic nudes and violence from sexually explicit material, but it's significantly harder to make a case for the Moderate rating.

  4.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #4
    Retired Staff Frank LeRenard's Avatar
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    It is certainly true that we have the longest discussions about what does or does not go under Moderate....

  5. #5
    Junior Marc's Avatar
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    I'd be in favor of a more in-depth rating system, though I'm not sure how it would work as far as programming goes. Essentially, whenever someone submits artwork, they can select an overall rating--General, Moderate, etc.--and then select what the artwork specifically portrays--such as violence/gore, sexual themes, etc. Moderate might cover artistic nudes, anything above that would be sexual in nature if not outright pornographic. Archive of our Own has a similar warning system in place.

    This way, users can select what levels of each they're comfortable with in their settings. It'd essentially be a more specific SFW mode that you can customize. For example, while I'm browsing I wouldn't mind seeing gore (Moderate/Mature), but I don't like anything tremendously over-the-top (Explicit). I would make use of an option to adjust my settings to block explicit, violent works from thumbnails, etc. I also don't think that mature should mean non-sexual, and explicit should mean sexual, since I consider mature violence/nudity to be inherently different from explicit violence/nudity (think the difference between, idk, horror films and snuff films, or erotic art that leaves something to the imagination versus that which doesn't).

    (I don't even know where clearly-sexual kink art that isn't QUITE sexual enough--vore, transformation, etc.--would even fall in this mix. But moving on...)

    That might not be directly relevant to what you were looking for in this thread, but I figured I'd bring it up anyway. Any rating system is going to have some level of subjectivity involved, but I think allowing for more detail/customization would help bring some degree of objectivity to the matter.

  6. #6
    One thing I'm curious about is how the ratings guidelines deal with whether the acts depicted are consensual or nonconsensual.

    Consider two images. On one side, you have a character in an unequivocally consensual sexual situation that everyone agrees is Moderate. On the other side, you have the exact same situation, but it's obviously nonconsensual.

    Are these two images rated the same? Does a sufficiently 'small' violation of boundaries prevent a jump in rating, or should all depictions of sexual assault, no matter how minor, be rated up? In other words, is all sexual assault 'violence that is sexual in nature' for the purpose of rating a work up from moderate to mature?

    If you agree that a nonconsensual situation in a work changes its rating, how do you deal with a situation in which it is not clear from the work itself whether consent has been given? Say the tags, content, or description do not provide a clue for this. Do you assume the work is depicting a consensual encounter or err on the side of rating it as if it's a nonconsensual one?

    I suppose another way to put this question is, do you require explicit consent or explicit nonconsent to alter the rating of a work?

    And if you do decide that explicit consent matters (a view I would strongly support), how much explicitness is required? Should works be tagged 'consensual'? Should there be a nod to consent in the description? Or in the case of disputes, should Word of God be enough, i.e. 'It's consensual because I say it is'? Or is the mere fact that you've rated a work 'moderate' enough to imply that consent is present?

  7. #7
    Regular IntricateVision's Avatar

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    There's a lot of fuzzy areas about what constitutes pornographic or disturbing violence. As someone mentioned above, it can get really strange when you include niche fetish.
    I understand the rules were sort of lightened up at some point. But I don't see the point of Mature and Explicit as separate sections any longer. You can have porn in both now.
    I was very vocal when it came to the initial separation because I didn't like my life drawing in the same category as pornography. Now it's sort of a moot point.

    Instead, I'd posit that we combine the 18+ categories and allow for museum-nudity in 13+ Maybe change 13+ into 16+ ? Just having a stream of consciousness here. Having trouble articulating my thoughts lol.
    I do want somewhere I can post work that has mature themes and where I can see work with mature themes and not have to see as much gore and erotica if I didn't want to. I don't know if anyone else feels the same however! And I'm sure someone could come up with something more thought out than what I got here~

  8.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #8
    Retired Staff Frank LeRenard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glire View Post
    One thing I'm curious about is how the ratings guidelines deal with whether the acts depicted are consensual or nonconsensual.

    Consider two images. On one side, you have a character in an unequivocally consensual sexual situation that everyone agrees is Moderate. On the other side, you have the exact same situation, but it's obviously nonconsensual.

    Are these two images rated the same? Does a sufficiently 'small' violation of boundaries prevent a jump in rating, or should all depictions of sexual assault, no matter how minor, be rated up? In other words, is all sexual assault 'violence that is sexual in nature' for the purpose of rating a work up from moderate to mature?

    If you agree that a nonconsensual situation in a work changes its rating, how do you deal with a situation in which it is not clear from the work itself whether consent has been given? Say the tags, content, or description do not provide a clue for this. Do you assume the work is depicting a consensual encounter or err on the side of rating it as if it's a nonconsensual one?

    I suppose another way to put this question is, do you require explicit consent or explicit nonconsent to alter the rating of a work?

    And if you do decide that explicit consent matters (a view I would strongly support), how much explicitness is required? Should works be tagged 'consensual'? Should there be a nod to consent in the description? Or in the case of disputes, should Word of God be enough, i.e. 'It's consensual because I say it is'? Or is the mere fact that you've rated a work 'moderate' enough to imply that consent is present?
    Under the current version of the Ratings Guide, the short answer is 'no, consent isn't considered regarding ratings'. It's a good point, though, that we might consider that.

    Here's my initial thoughts on the matter, however: if we want to simplify the ratings system, to make it more accessible, delving into issues like 'does the sexual content in the image look consensual or not' is probably going to drive us in the opposite direction. We ran into a similar issue (from a functional perspective) with regard to "fetish" material. We removed the word "fetish" from our staff vocabulary, because we could find no way of objectively determining, 100% of the time, what constituted "fetish" material and what didn't. It all came down more or less to artist intent, which is really something only the artist can know for certain. Else it's one of those 'you know it when you see it' type of things, which are notoriously unreliable.

    I would be worried that 'consent' could easily fall down a similar rabbit hole, albeit one that's not as deep. In any case, like I said, those are just my initial thoughts on the matter. It's worth discussing more.


    In response to IV: just to clarify, you're saying allowing high levels of violence under Mature defeats the purpose of the Mature category? Or am I off-base?

  9. #9
    Regular Samael's Avatar
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    How about instead of someone externally deciding for the artist that something constitutes as mature 13+ or 18+ when its a niche or fetish thing, the artist is allowed to just straight up check a box to allow them to restrict it showing up instead of the inference that its too saucy? Like this means that if someone draws overly realistic feet, that's not a case of it being too sexual but its clearly a kink thing potentially, they can set it as tame and check the niche box.

    I principally draw fat cartoons. They are not everyone's cup of tea and I am absolutely okay checking a box that restricts their accessibility to purely those who want to see them - in fact, I'd rather do that as I never wish to make people feel uncomfortable. I was a bit wounded to come off of FA and find a couple dozen of my images were retagged without any attempt at discussion. I don't do overtly sexual work and whilst I was fine with some of it being tagged, nipples were deemed offensive whether male or female and whilst I was okay with some of the more suggestive (but not actually sexual or revealing) expansion being tagged, some of it felt incredibly arbitrary.

  10. #10
    Regular IntricateVision's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank LeRenard View Post
    In response to IV: just to clarify, you're saying allowing high levels of violence under Mature defeats the purpose of the Mature category? Or am I off-base?
    A bit, yes. Explicit & Mature both allow the same level of violence via the ratings guidelines. And to clarify, I mean that Explicit and Mature should probably just be combined since other than the sexual Situations, they're functionally the same.
    And I don't personally see the point in Erections and Spread Butts n' vulvas being considered 18+ Nonsexual and two figures engaging in intercourse as 18+ Sexual

    The two literally only exist separately for the porn. and both Functionally contain Porn. Why not condense them into one Explicit category?
    And I suppose on changing Moderate in some way, I still just want somewhere I can post non-pornographic images that isn't going to get flagged for a platonic areola lol. I've no good ideas about Moderate unfortunately.

    But I hope that clarifies my opinion on Mature & Explicit! Apologies for the nonsense words in my original post XD

 

 

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