However while the prohibition is very clear for teenagers there has always been a bit of grey area involved when the child was much younger, aged from infancy through five years old or so for example. It has been traditionally very difficult for us to set specific policy for these younger children since quite often these types of photographs can very often be found residing innocently in any family album.
Admittedly the line has wavered slightly from year to year as we have responded privately to concerns from many quarters ranging from child advocacy groups right through to the parent who just wants to show their family photographs.
This year however we have made a greater effort to seek definitive legal counsel in regards to the issue and set some solid and unwavering rules on the matter but before I explain exactly what these rules are I feel that it is first important to outline the reasons why we have taken these measures, particularly in regards to those types of photographs which could be considered innocent family photographs.
We have always been motivated to allow the greatest range of submissions and to that goal we are always very attentive to community feedback. Complaints concerning the removal of certain types of content are always listened to and considered. Likewise complaints that we shouldn't allow certain types of content are always considered. While almost all of these situations are complex none are quite so complicated as those involving children and nudity.
There have been two primary motivations for clarifying exactly where the limits are drawn in relation to child nudity; the first stemmed from child advocacy or protection groups and individuals who were concerned over the mere presence of the photographs and the fact that young children cannot truly make an informed decision concerning the publishing of these photographs online; a family album is private while the internet is very, very public.
The second issue actually sparked more concern in some ways and this concern came directly from some of the parents of the children whose photographs were being posted and it involved the very sickening subject of online pedophiles and predators.
The concerns of these parents and photographers over who might be looking at the child photographs they have posted in their galleries prompted some very serious research into the behavior of these types of predators. While the actual problem and presence represented by these types of individuals is not quite as epidemic as the media sometimes portrays we here at deviantART have decided that the issue of safety and making the deviantART galleries an unattractive destination for these individuals is nonetheless a high priority.
With that in mind we have spent several weeks formulating some clarifications to our policies which I will list below. Most of these policies have remained unchanged for the most part but I would ask that you all bear in mind that the changes that we have made were changes made with safety in mind and not simply changes made for the sake of restricting you as an artist or photographer.
To make the changes more clear they will be bolded while existing policies which are unchanged will not be bolded.
Official limitations on child/teenage photography;
No photograph will be allowed to show a penis or vaginal area of any child of any age below the legal limit of eighteen (18).
This includes infants and children under the age of two.
There will be no exceptions for 'artistic content'
No photograph may display a nude minor with an appearance of being age two or older.
This includes any angle of shot including front, side, back or any other possible viewpoint.
This prohibition stands regardless of whether breasts or genitalia are visible or not.
An exception for infants under the age of two with a bare bottom showing may be granted providing that neither penis nor vagina is visible. Exceptions are not guaranteed.
Female children may be shown topless only if they appear to have not yet passed their second birthday.
No female between the ages of two (2) and eighteen (18) may be depicted topless or implied to be topless in any manner whatsoever.
Minors below the age of eighteen (18);
May not be photographed in lingerie or undergarments.
May not be photographed in any bondage or sadomasochistic scene or manner of dress.
May not be photographed in any clearly sexual or alluring pose.
This applies for both clothed and unclothed photographs.
May not be photographed in possession of sexual toys, condoms, or any related "adult" materials.
Efforts to bypass any of these restrictions through the use of transparent clothing, blurring, 'black bars', props or other means of censoring will be considered invalid and inadequate by reviewing staff and will be treated as if these measures were not used at all.
For minors (primarily teenagers) caught resubmitting nude or erotic content which has been previously removed a Two Week Suspension at minimum will be given on the second offense. If the same minor resubmits similar material a third time an Indefinite Ban will be placed by staff and they will be barred permanently from operating any deviantART account whatsoever.
Any minor caught creating an account in order to deliberately falsify their age so that they may submit otherwise prohibited erotic content will be placed under an Indefinite Ban and they will be barred permanently from operating any deviantART account whatsoever.
We ask that all of our members and artists be understanding as to why these changes have been enacted and we ask for your cooperation in voluntarily removing any photographs which may now be considered unacceptable.
We also ask that all other community members allow for a grace period of two weeks before searching for or reporting any family-style photography which may violate these newer limitations.