As I'm certain most long time watchers of this space are aware, deviantART policy is not completely static and unchanging. While there are certain tenants of it which must remain, such as the bits concerning certain restrictions involving copyright, pornography, and other such severe matters, there are several policies which we have in place which we have some discretion in how they are worded and how they are enforced when necessary and we usually try to take a good hard look at them once every year or so.
This is part of the delicate balancing act we try to strike between artistic freedom and censorship; like it or not we simply can't accept everything and we're always trying to make certain that the line between what we accept and what we don't accept is in the best interests of the community as a whole.
One of these areas discretionary areas is Mature Content and in preparation for 2011 I'll be taking a good look at what should be tagged and what shouldn't be tagged and how the whole thing should be presented to you guys out there in the community.
What I would like to see during this review period is some input from the community at large - how do you use the tag? What sorts of things do you think should be tagged? When you look at something potentially offensive, such as nudity, how much is enough to justify a tag in your opinion and when do you think the work can go without?
Some other things to consider are;
Do you browse with the tag on or off? Why?
If you had the option to filter out certain types of content would you? Would it change your browsing experience?
If you could "rate" certain types of mature content on a scale of 1-10 and then elect to filter out works of a certain value or higher while viewing others would you use this option?
If you've seen any good arguments or commentary for or against certain things concerning mature content tagging can you give me links to them or invite those deviants over here to express their ideas and/or dissatisfaction?
A Step Beyond Acceptable
Now as most readers here also know, the fact that deviantART has a mature content system does not mean that we accept pornographic works.
The definition that we use to determine whether or not something should be considered to be "pornographic" or not is also something which we have just a little bit of discretion as to where we set the line.
We've fussed with this one on and off in order to ensure as much artistic freedom for people to be provocative and erotic as possible without allowing the clearly pornographic stuff.
What do you think about where the line is drawn?
Do you think it is too permissive? To restrictive?
If you don't like the current system how would you change it? What would you suggest to be done differently?
In depth discussions and opinions are welcome.
Just To Be Clear
Simply because we are doing our annual review of what we are doing on these subjects and calling for community input doesn't necessarily mean that there will be any sweeping or major changes - we are mainly looking for your opinions and suggestions on the subject and they may or may not influence the coming staff discussions but since we certainly don't have a monopoly on good ideas we'd like to know what you think on these subjects.
Petitions, ranting, and general asshattery will be ignored.
Intelligent discussions and worthwhile opinions will be noted.