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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   General Artist
Yay!
Reply
: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   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)
Reply
:iconcrimsonsmolder:
CrimsonSmolder Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Freakin Kierax kicked me out of the stupid group #RPDream twice ! [link]
Reply
:icondaichirox:
DaichiRox Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011
:Icon embarassed plz:
Reply
:iconsilent-hill-daughter:
Silent-Hill-Daughter Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I hate how people say "Oh, that's never going to happen to me, I'm perfectly safe!" It's real, and I know from experience. When I was 11 I was on a child's website that had a chatroom and someone kept IMing me saying they were going to come to my house and rape me. It's sick and twisted how pedophiles target minors and such. I mean, I always say 'It's their life and body they can do what they want with it,' but pedophilia is not okay.
Reply
:iconrexspec:
ReXspec Featured By Owner May 22, 2010  Student Writer
I'm going to try to be subjective here and address both sides of the issue. On one hand, it makes sense to tighten up the rules about predators, stopping any sort of explicit chat rooms and banning anyone who is participating in the like.

However, I also tend to hold the belief that a lot of what many would call "explicit comments" often happens between friends or simply just happens in ordinary conversation. You all know what I must be talking about. The core of the issue is what (or who) determines what is explicit and what isn't. After all, what if we inadvertantly ban a friend of another friend who posts a rather lude comment on one's journal page? Wasn't there a way to determine if this said post was benign?

At the same time, I also aggree that this is an art website...not a romantic friend-finder post forum and the rules should strictly filter the content...

So, I guess my question is, where is the middle ground? Don't get me wrong, I agree with these rules, but I can see some potential problems that will be borne out of these new policies.
Reply
:iconfishman3114:
fishman3114 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I personally disagree with Some parts Of this, but overall it's a good policy, despite having holes.
Reply
:iconvsmpireknightlover:
vsmpireknightlover Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2009
i agree with this annoucement its hard not knowing who and isnt a predator but if they bother you constantlly till you tell someone what there doing is wrong and i stand for my opinion i had a problem like this its not fun to deal with it makes you inconvertable wonder when the next time youll meet someone like that or if the ones your talking to are predators thats what there trying to get to us there not tryng to be mean or rude there trying to protect us the best they know how to
Reply
:icon5ta46az3:
5ta46az3 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2009
Really?
I saw the watch dog thingy and like over 300 hundred dots XD 300 out of 100,000 ppl,
not that impressive. /iv been approached by alot of "sexual predators" its really how you handle them NOT wat they'r doin. yes they shouldnt act like that but really? the internet is different its ok to post your city or wateva but NEVER tell anyone where you live like you street or wateva. Maybe these naive children shouldnt be on the internet if they dont understand that.-_- but oh no~ thats not fair right?
myspace and etc. always say you must be 14 + to join well the kids ignore that right? well they took the risk if they lie about there age even if they sya "oh im 12 ahhahaha"
its really their own fault AND the teens....come on ,they should now about this already.
The internet should of freedom of speech ANY kind of speech bout because of all the "naive" children and sheltering mothers out there things that should be free to do/say what eva are being blocked. If you want some one to stop saying something to you on the internet they should stop if not IGNORE THEM! yes i no about the ones who pretend to be your friend and its simple just dont met them in person! I really dont understand of complex that is to ANYONE!
RARWR!
Reply
:iconsinners-child:
sinners-child Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2009  Student Writer
I totally agree with this. I for one have seen this kind of stuff happen, A predator can and will do everything in his/ her power to make you believe that they are absolutely harmless. Yes even females are predators as well. Most predators pretend to be a child themselves. The post pictures of a neice/ nephew or son/daughter or someone in their family that is a child and say it is them. And Niave children think that they are safe. This is a site for children, when i first joined i was 12 years old. And i was protected, but other children are curious, niave and plain out just young. I think that banning people in a private room where it is not open to the general public is a little harsh. But you have to do what you have to do to make D.A a safer place.
Reply
:iconezio-auditore-di-fir:
Ezio-Auditore-di-Fir Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ok, we can look up naughty pics and can't do sex talk? irony killed the cat..i understand the polocies, i'm just wondering, why so ironic?
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:iconkumorispirit:
kumorispirit Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2009   Traditional Artist
Yet an underaged deviant can go look for naked people on here and look at it by pressing the 'show' button.

I have no opinion to this news article.
Reply
:iconfishman3114:
fishman3114 Featured By Owner May 13, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Your right, that is pretty, well, stupid.
Reply
:iconkumorispirit:
kumorispirit Featured By Owner May 15, 2009   Traditional Artist
exactly. It's ironic really how we try to prevent online preditors using kids for dirty things, when kids could look for dirty things. >__________>

It IS stupid...
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:iconfishman3114:
fishman3114 Featured By Owner May 16, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
I know exactly what you mean.
Reply
:iconkumorispirit:
kumorispirit Featured By Owner May 16, 2009   Traditional Artist
yeah... realitysquared forgot that point.
Reply
:iconvampiregirl174:
VampireGirl174 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2010
I will have you know I didnt fall for your signature... Although, you should really click the link in mine... Its epic.
Reply
:iconrexspec:
ReXspec Featured By Owner May 22, 2010  Student Writer
That is another issue. The core issue here is preventing predators from using this sight as a means of finding kids, not filtering content so kids can't see dirty pics.
Reply
:iconkumorispirit:
kumorispirit Featured By Owner May 27, 2010   Traditional Artist
....true.
Reply
:iconcloudenvy112:
cloudenvy112 Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2009
Nice information.
Reply
:iconcloudenvy112:
cloudenvy112 Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2009
Well put and thought out as well.
Reply
:iconalucard-dracula01:
Alucard-Dracula01 Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2009  Professional Artist
I believe in the hold "prevent Predators" thing, but if somone is going to create a Private room to use for any sexual usage, they really shouldn't be banned right off the bat. Closing of the room and Suspention from dA should be a good "hey, stop it, or else" don't you think? I mean, when i say make a private room, i mean its totally private, 2 members, no access room. Techincal, they wouldn't be in a Publically accessible place, so if the two doing such a thing at comfortible in doing that with one another, then why would you go and ban them for taking, what they can't do in person, to a location that is totally un-accessible but the public.
Reply
:iconinuyashalucariofan:
inuyashalucariofan Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
the threat isnt in a bunch of people participating in the chat, one sexual predator could invite one kid into a chatroom, which is equivilant to the problem of many people being invloved, in a way, a totally private chatroom is WORSE, since its harder for teh predator to be caught sexually harrasing a victem in greater seclusion
Reply
:iconrexspec:
ReXspec Featured By Owner May 22, 2010  Student Writer
This brings up the issue of a privacy policy and it goes back to my point of what is a benign private chat room and what is a "predators" chat room.
Reply
:iconalucard-dracula01:
Alucard-Dracula01 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Professional Artist
let be redirect then. If some one feels harassed in a private room, why not just leave? Its the internet, so if you leave one room its not that big of a trouble to do. I mean, if i ever am feeling harassed, i'd just use the ignore command or leave the room. there are more then one room out there after all.
Reply
:iconinuyashalucariofan:
inuyashalucariofan Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
all I know is that this kind of thing happens alot, its never happened to me, im sure its never happened to you, but there are alot of naive little kids who fall for that kinda stuff, if you ever watch the news you know exactly what im talking about
Reply
:iconalucard-dracula01:
Alucard-Dracula01 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2009  Professional Artist
indeed i do understand what your saying. but my thought on the matter still stand.
Reply
:iconmythicalblossom:
MythicalBlossom Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2009
Eh, I somewhat disagree. I mean, why try to protect kids/teens from anything 'sexual' if they're just going to learn about sex anyway?
Reply
:iconmythicalblossom:
MythicalBlossom Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2009
And who would be stupid enough to tell where they live? And what sexual predator is going to travel across the country or whatever to get to them? Seriously.
Reply
:iconpurpledancer:
purpledancer Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
IT happened so often they made a show about it... and still COULD keep it running... to catch a predator ...ever heard of it?
Reply
:iconolivegreencrayon:
oLIVEgREENcRAYON Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2009
A lot of people, surprisingly, it happens more often than you would think.
And what if the predator isn't across the world? And it happens, watch the news once in a while.
Reply
:iconoriginals:
originals Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009  Hobbyist
Then you grossly overestimate the youth dA population.
Reply
:iconbloodandbones:
BloodAndBones Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2009
that's insulting
Reply
:iconoriginals:
originals Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2009  Hobbyist
Its spoken from a primary source. :paranoid:
Reply
:iconbloodandbones:
BloodAndBones Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2009
i see...
Reply
:iconthesunshotme:
thesunshotme Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think these rules are sensible.

The point isn't to protect kids from learning anything sexual.

"Who would be stupid enough to tell where they live?"

Look around Myspace and Facebook. How many kids are up front about what school they go to, post half-naked, suggestive pictures about themselves, reveal a lot of intimate detail? How many kids put up slutty pics of themselves in their underwear, or pics of themselves smoking and drinking?

Most sex predators put in the time to build trust and a "friendship" with their possible victims. So who would be stupid enough to tell where they live? Teenage kids who build online relationships with people, who in most cases know very well are adults, soon grow in trust.

"And what sexual predator is going to travel across the country or whatever to get to them?"
Not across the country. [link]
You'd be surprised how many sex offenders are in your county.

[link]

Just last year, Myspace had to delete thousands of accounts by sex predators.




And besides that, do you really want porn and retarded stuff on a chatroom for an art website? It's fucking stupid, and annoying.

By the way, there aren't
supposed to be any kids under 13 here. The point isn't to protect kids from learning anything, it's a courtesy to many deviants, young and old who are irritated as fuck by the unwanted sexual discussion on the message boards and chatrooms. Please. If we wanted that, we wouldn't have gone to Deviantart.
Reply
:iconmythicalblossom:
MythicalBlossom Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009
Yeah, I guess you make enough sense.
*is an idiot*
Reply
:icondai-sama-no-kitsune:
Dai-sama-no-kitsune Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2008
i had a thought...the founders get punished ...for something they dont do? or may have no knowlage of...their seems to be a bit of a problem with that to me but idk....but really if someone goes on dA one day and then just checks messages leaves never goes in their chat and their happens to be a explicit chat going on thier someone finds out reports it that person who owns the chat comes on the next day with a 2 week suspecsion....i could see alot of people getting pissed off at this
Reply
:iconanamaniac:
anamaniac Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2008
Or we could deal with pedophiles the way my mother used to say... with a rifle. >_>
Or maybe just castration...
Or finding were they live and chasing them with lead pipes and baseball bats. ^_^

I've seen friends get into horrible things... and the less that happens, the better.
Reply
:iconolivegreencrayon:
oLIVEgREENcRAYON Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2009
A rifle is good, but a knife is better...more emotion in their face...
Reply
:iconzimmrie-kanoah:
Zimmrie-Kanoah Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Quick question. What about Role PLaying with characters that are from a fandom? I mean people are posting things like that on the site, so if two people are Fandom Rping is it still I no no if it gets explicit? Even if we are of age?
Reply
:iconshadowrunner240:
Shadowrunner240 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2008   Writer
Good idea! It keeps this site safe for everyone to enjoy, but also keeps the predators out!

:nod:
Reply
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