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Submitted on
May 8, 2008
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As mentioned last week in Policy News we announced some clarifications in our rules governing child and teenage photography which came about primarily due to concerns about online predators and other undesirable persons. This week we announce some other clarifications stemming from these same concerns.

In our efforts to continue to make deviantART an undesirable destination for online predators we looked into research regarding the behavior of these types of people in an effort to identify the greatest risk factors associated with actually encountering them.

Research into actual case studies on the subject show that what puts children at risk for receiving the more serious kinds of sexual solicitation online is not revealing personal information or having a blog or visiting a website or chat room but rather what puts them at the most risk is a willingness to talk about sex online with strangers or having a pattern of multiple risky activities on the web such as visiting sex sites, sexually oriented chat rooms, or initiating sexual discussions with strangers.

Notice a pattern there?

Currently the policies which we have had in place for years already address this primary risk factor; we have always forbidden sexually oriented discussion in any area of deviantART and we also routinely suspend  those caught participating in such discussions and even go as far as to indefinitely ban those involved in severe or explicit discussions.

This news article is intended to serve as a reminder that we do not allow any sort of sexual commentary on site, which includes everything from deviation pages to the forums to your journal, account page and even the chatrooms on dAmn.

Anyone caught engaging in "cybersex" or any other explicit sexual discussion on site will be facing a suspension at the very least when it is brought to the attention of staff; this is a situation which we have always taken seriously and which we will continue to take seriously in the future.

The one area where the policies will be becoming stricter will be in regards to the deviantART Messaging Network (dAmn).

Currently we have a recurring problem with chat rooms created and used almost exclusively for sexual role play; the primary risk factor for risk of encountering an online sexual predator. While the actual number of rooms and the number of people participating is small it remains a highly undesirable situation.

Up until now penalties for being caught engaged in this sort of behavior while accessing dAmn has consisted mainly of closing down the chat room being used and perhaps a suspension from dAmn for those involved.

Over the next couple of weeks a new set of policies will be phased in to replace the comparatively more lenient dAmn policy in place now in an effort to keep deviantART an undesirable destination for predators;

• • Any user who becomes too sexually explicit in an officially recognized chat room will be kicked from the chat room. Repeat offenders will be suspended from dAmn for some period of time appropriate for the situation.

• • The standard penalty for sexual role play or explicit sexual discussion while accessing dAmn will be a two week minimum site suspension.

• • Chat room founders and operators will be considered responsible for sexual role play or explicit sexual discussion found in their chat room and will receive the same two week minimum suspension that is given to those found engaging in the behavior in their chat.

• • The standard penalty for the creation of a chat room specifically for the encouragement of sexual role play or explicit sexual discussion will be an indefinite ban from the site.

With these shifts in policy we hope to both curtail explicit sexual role play and also encourage room Founders and Operators to be more aware of what is occurring in their chat rooms and act to intervene before administrative action is necessary.

We encourage everyone to help keep deviantART a safe and comfortable community by denying online predators what they seek the most; being able to talk sexually with children.
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:iconlinkachu7:
Linkachu7 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014  New member  General Artist
Yay!
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:iconillbuyyourocs:
IllBuyYourOCs Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013
Agreed
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:iconthoughtfulnightowl:
ThoughtfulNightOwl Featured By Owner May 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
As a chatroom founder and someone who enjoys roleplaying with my characters... I think that there should be a adult chat room setting much like there is mature content warning on deviations. That way, the adults (all persons who are 18+) can enjoy their roleplays with fellow adults without fear of repercussion due to a tightening of policies due to a relatively small group of persons (at least compared to the general population). I think this would be a fair and reasonable compromise. There could also be warnings for foul language, violence, ect that may go on in roleplays.
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:iconkakashi-baby:
kakashi-baby Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I think they should make rooms for adults, after all some romance rps will have a slight sexual scene. Plus DA has 'mature over 18 sexual content warnings' for their art as I have used it for my story. I totally agree we need more protection for children on here. But we also need more children to stop pretending to be adults
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:iconvofthew:
vofthew Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2012
This is the first time I've actually read this, interesting as it may be. Seems to be a little excessive and over the top but, at the same time, likely necessary. If people really want the whole cyber boat there are sites specifically for that kind of thing I'm sure as there seems to be a website for literally everything. Hopefully this doesn't get to out of control that they will start flagging and destroying pictures of all the artists for having anything sexual on them. After all I'm pretty sure that's why the site has a maturity filter on it.
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:iconturtlekraken:
TurtleKraken Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012
I hate online predators.
Reply
:iconmarformation:
Marformation Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
If you don't allow explicit role plays, don't allow explicit stories, or galleries full of nothing but borderline porn people somehow manage to pass off as 'artistic nude'.
Reply
:iconhidekiryuuzaki:
HidekiRyuuzaki Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Thats...a relly good question.
Reply
:iconsimi78049:
Simi78049 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2011
I am in agreement! I am against sexual predators and I like how dA is cracking down on it like they should be.
Reply
:iconterrablaze:
Terrablaze Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree, deviantART has been good to me for already a year! And i don't want to see people get hurt by these predators. I really want it to stay the way it is. 8)
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