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deviantART Allowing Porn?

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 29, 2009, 9:50 AM


INVALID

The official definition of “ pornography ” has been modified at several points over the lifetime of deviantART, I know this because I'm the guy who does it each time, and it is done in an attempt to bring greater clarity in the wording used. The publicly posted definition needs to get the point across without delving into a lot of excessive detail, it's a FAQ entry which needs to be simple and easy to read and not a set of stereo instructions but in being somewhat easy in its language portions of the community not only have had a tendency to be confused on the exact definition but also expand upon what's written to include things which fit their own personal viewpoints, not to mention reports coming from people who don't even know an official definition exists.

The official policy for deviantART prohibits the submission of pornographic works. Just about everyone except for some of the people submitting the porn agrees that this policy is required but we get a wide range of people with an equally wide range of what they think is pornography.

This misunderstanding leads to a lot of reports being marked as invalid due to the deviation not being officially considered to be pornography.

Just to give you an idea of exactly how many; last week the number was about a thousand reports, give or take a couple of hundred. The overall ratio is absurdly high.

I've seen photographs of swimsuit models reported as pornography, pictures of people kissing, photos of same sex couples hugging, nude people just standing there, all sorts of subjects and themes reported which seem just darn crazy until you factor in that we have people from all sorts of cultures and that those cultures have a lot of their own taboos and social rules- and that is before you consider all the individual viewpoints, religious viewpoints and so forth.

With all these different factors and influences it is impossible to drawn the line of policy in an area which will please everyone. Draw it too far to the right and you get accused of undue censorship and the removal of valid artistic works, too far to the left and you get accused of allowing pornography.

No matter the official stance dissatisfaction is going to happen and that dissatisfaction tends to lead to some community members into maligning the staff or speculating that deviantART policies are not actually enforced or not enforced consistently.

I've lost track of how many times I've seen people accuse "staff" of not understanding the rules. I've stopped being offended at those types of statements; the people making them simply don't realize that the "staff" they are busy accusing of ignorance is me and my team and they obviously don't know that I am the person who has crafted those original policies nor that I've been personally involved in every modification as well as the training of everyone who has to enforce those policies or that those people enforcing the policies can get a near instant response from me if they need some sort of clarification.

So rest assured that the staff fully understands each policy; if anyone is confused it's the person claiming that they understand the policy better than the staff employed to enforce it.

The dissatisfaction over the resolution of certain reports isn't anything new; people have been making the same mistakes for years but recently we've been seeing more disinformation being put out into the community than usual; things like claims that the rules don't really apply, the staff are stupid, people with subscriptions get exempted, and so on.

To help counter this I've addressed the situation in the news so hopefully that will help diffuse the rumors for a few months until someone new pops up to make the same claims all over again.

I'll be devoting some of my time this week to addressing any concerns so if anyone needs further clarification they can be directed to this journal where I can reply to anyone who can manage to act like a civilized human being.

So whether you are happy or unhappy with the way things stand, the clarifying information is out there.



  • Mood: Content

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:iconaanir:
aanir Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Then why the FUCK arn't you put a god damned TAG on the fucking PORNOGRAPHIC pictures.

I DO NOT WANT TO SEE THAT SHIT.
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:iconaanir:
aanir Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
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:iconwatso3:
watso3 Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2014
Why can't you just allow porn and be done with it? Whats the big fucking deal?
Reply
:iconaanir:
aanir Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
because children browes this site. it's not a matter of allowing porn or nor, but that it is VISIBLE to everyone, including those who don't want to SEE it. Geez man, i can even brows thi site at school anymore, or just go thorugh traditional art looking for some inspiration without coming uppon this
aanir.deviantart.com/journal/A…
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:iconpwney:
Pwney Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It would be great if you guys had a poll to decide what the community thinks should be labeled pornographic and what shouldn't be. 

Lol jk you guys don't care :^)
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:iconhopedrop:
Hopedrop Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Either it isn't here or I'm being ignorant, but:

What about the 'Reader Inserts' where it's literature on the theme, sex? For example, the reader (most typically, not trying to be sexist but, a female) would be in the story, and have sexual activity with a fiction character, most likely anime/manga. Does that count as porn, or no?
Reply
:icontonystarks-girl:
TonyStarks-Girl Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I know this comment is old, but I felt the need to respond. I recently had a "lemon" removed, yet all I see when I log onto dA is naked women, and nothing happen to those people. The correct labels and everything are there, yet they still removed my story. And it was a Reader Insert too, so there's your answer in case you never got one.
Reply
:iconhopedrop:
Hopedrop Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
As a fellow fanfic writer of the dreaded reader-inserts, I entirely understand this outlook. :XD: But nonetheless, it's pretty unjust to compare reader-insert lemons to erotica/porn/etc, because the latter is a pretty massive topic.
Generally put, reader-inserts that focus on sex (lemon/lime/smut) are some form of fanservice, to satisfy a sexual craving between the said loved character and the reader.
Naked women artwork (and men too of course) can be slid between, like, two categories. A professional point of view and a somewhat immature view. I mean like unlifelike artwork that is drawn to to spark merely sexual behavior, that sort of thing. Like incredibly busty ladies, or men in lewd positions.
Not a "bad" thing necessarily, but I think you get the point.
Er, I'm honestly just saying "professionalism" because I'm not sure how else to describe it. It's basically, you know, erotica with an sexual appeal, but there's much more depth in the artwork than can be just visualized. It has to be felt, you know? In the quality, atmosphere, etc.

Anyway, that's my view. I'd love to hear from your perspective if you have more input on this. :^)
Reply
:icontonystarks-girl:
TonyStarks-Girl Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I understand that on those particular pieces, but I'm mainly referring to pictures of a guys junk or a woman doing something sexy in a bathtub. I've seen the artistic pieces and I don't mind those at all, quite a few have actually told a story to me. I understand stand my lemons are there for that purpose of imagination and all, but people can do the same in a picture and label it "Artistic Nude" and it's perfectly okay as long as they slap a mature content tag on it, and there's nothing artistic about a picture of nothing but a guy's junk, in my opinion.

But I'm over it, I have another place where I can put them too. :)
Reply
:iconhopedrop:
Hopedrop Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, I see! Thanks for clearing it up a little more. :^)
I guess dA's allowing any sort of art if it's like, "If it's visually appealing enough, it's in," without much thought, really, haha.
But perhaps they (as in art-blockers and all) think of it like lemons are literally describing everything going on in a sex scene, which, I guess, equals watching porn all the same? While a flat visual of something erotic is different...?

I'm not very sure, but I am quite sure that in the deviantART rules it notes they don't allow any sexual penetration. :XD: Not sure if literature is exempt from said rule, but maybe that's why.

Yes, backing up artwork is very smart thing to do!
Reply
:icontonystarks-girl:
TonyStarks-Girl Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I just don't really care at this point. If they remove it, it'll stay removed but will be on AO3 as well. :) Just some equality on what makes it in different types of art is what I'm asking for since one of the reasons my lemon was taken down was nudity.
Reply
:iconglaceon-rules:
glaceon-rules Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2010  Hobbyist Artist
It is said inFAQ #554: Is my deviation Mature Content? that naked breasts are considered nudity. [link] has naked breasts. I reporded it as needing a mature tag. The admin said it's not mature. Do you consider fur to be clothing or something?
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
That's an example of what we call "Bugs Bunny nudity"- like the old Looney Tunes characters she's "naked" without really being nude. There's no need for a tag there.
Reply
:iconglaceon-rules:
glaceon-rules Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2010  Hobbyist Artist
Okay then.
Reply
:iconpgmd:
PGMD Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2009
You should the 'Show' community what Deviant Art considers to be of Pornographic nature. Because people still don't get what you mean by ';porn'.
Yaay for free Porn. Thanks Da.
Reply
:icondarth-frank:
Darth-Frank Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2009   Digital Artist
It seems the only people who have a problem with this are the people who are to lazy or cheap to go to a site specifically for this material. Oh yeah, there is also the egotistical artists who, like small children, only do things because their told not to, and they don't really want to make art, they just want to break the rules because they don't get to make them.
Reply
:iconbigjim369:
bigjim369 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2009
IMHO you're doing as well as possible at navigating the vast and stormy ocean of hatred that separates "Prude" from "Perv". You may be called every pejorative name in the dictionary, but a web site such as DA cannot continue to exist without you. At least go home every night knowing you did your best and if your efforts are not entirely successful, knowing you failed in a great and worthy attempt. Thank you for doing a thankless job.
Reply
:iconravingeagle:
RavingEagle Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009
Glad this was shown to me. The version of FAQ # 565 that is posted has been what I have been going by. Rules should be applied to all, not subject for interpretation. I have reported a photo and found out that several others also reported, and they all have come back as invalid. [link] The preceding link is in direct violation of the FAQ you have stated you maintain, so why is it still up? I have seen several comments on this journal about what the community interpretation is, maybe the comments about the community wanting stricter standards are true and maybe what is needed. There are plenty of sites that these works can be posted on, but fewer place for the rest of the community to go. In my opinion what is this place going to end up, we had a DD that was nothing more then ad for the photographers porn site. The ones who rave that the stuff is great are here because unlike other sites they want to go to, it is free.
Reply
:iconanniefelis:
anniefelis Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009
If this is so, then why do reports of underaged nudity and bondage come back as "invalid"? I thought a line was drawn here.
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Most of the time this would be because the age of the model or character either isn't clear, isn't what you think it is, or the situation just plain isn't against policy.

I can't be more specific than that with what you've said.
Reply
:iconcristianaapostol:
CristianaApostol Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009  Professional Filmographer
Take a look at this favourites gallery cathegory entitled "Vagina" - [link] and please tell me it's full of shots of swimming suit people or people just hugging.
Now look at the google search i did of the word "porn" and "vagina". [link]
If you still tell me that none of the deviant art gallery photos are porn (just cause they got a cool name like "flower" or "intimacy" or "butterfly" and are sepia toned), there's no sense at all to be made. I, for one, don't feel at all confused when stating that some are blatant porn. Not all of them, i believe, but a whole lot to make us think that maybe you, the staff, have no idea what goes on in your back yard. If you are saying that no images on [link] are porn, i would like a very thorough explanation, please.
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
It appears that you have a basic misunderstanding of what we consider to be pornographic.

FAQ #565: You prohibit the submission of 'pornographic imagery'; what do you consider this to be?
Reply
:iconcristianaapostol:
CristianaApostol Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009  Professional Filmographer
Hmm.. please don't make me start giving links as there a lot that violate the rules :
"• Vaginal or Anal Spreading
Female subjects should not be depicted with their labia spread or parted in any manner by hand or manipulated open or parted by any other artificial means or object. Neither sex should show the anus manually opened in a similar fashion.
"

"• Sexual body fluids (actual or simulated).
There should be no depiction of semen or vaginal lubricants."


It seems you don't even bother going on links and studying them, then you say i have a "misunderstanding"!

That is the final thing i am going to say. Remove it as you wish, but it is clear to me now that you have no intention of doing anything even if a said deviation is proved to be porn even by your own rules and standards.

I feel the need to paste this again just to make sure you will be able to make a logical connection to it and the image i will paste.
"• Vaginal or Anal Spreading
Female subjects should not be depicted with their labia spread or parted in any manner by hand or manipulated open or parted by any other artificial means or object. Neither sex should show the anus manually opened in a similar fashion.
"

[link] and [link]
Very illustrating. That's right, they are in that link you never bothered to check out till the end if ever!

Good night and do NOT make any other people have to go through having to do your work for you!
Reply
:iconkargath64:
kargath64 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2009
I've seen odd things in my time reporting stuff. ~ARCHVERMIN had one pic removed for a drawing of a woman licking another woman's bellybutton, whilst I've reported pics with fullly visible penile-vaginal insertion (no 'implied' here) and had it replied as "no violation".
Reply
:iconlittlekirara:
LittleKirara Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad you posted a journal on this, may I ask you a question?
I read in the FAQ's "Hands should not come into contact with genitalia in a manner which is clearly a display of fondling or masturbation."
So maybe I'm reading this wrong, I reported a deviation of a vector with a woman with her finger in her vagina rubbing her clitoris, and the report came back as invalid. Did I misunderstand something? The clitoris is a part of the vagina only used for extremely sexual things like in this case masturbation, where am I wrong?
Reply
:iconmishahyde:
MishaHyde Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for this journal post. <3 I've reported works before which I personally considered pornographic, but I know to accept it if the deviantART staff disagrees with me. Obviously deviantART would know its own policies better than I would, it's just sad that other users don't get that. :shrug:
Reply
:iconnieman:
nieman Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2009
Wow, this much later, and it's still a popular issue, lol.

I bet you get tired of rehashing the same points over and over, eh?
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:iconwiimeiser:
Wiimeiser Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2009
What about two usame-sex minors kissing? Is that allowed?
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:iconcristianaapostol:
CristianaApostol Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009  Professional Filmographer
Bah, nevermind the kisses, should this be allowed? [link] :))
Reply
:iconwiimeiser:
Wiimeiser Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009
Judging by the name, no.
Reply
:iconcristianaapostol:
CristianaApostol Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2009  Professional Filmographer
You should check out the gallery instead of just looking at the name, as some did.
Reply
:iconajglass:
AJGlass Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Might it be a good idea to send a message to those who keep making erroneous reports that they need to actually read the policy?

Just wondering.
Reply
:iconzananeichan:
zananeichan Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009
Thanks :heart: :love: you are right there are many different perceptions on the subject . I am going to write an essay-combined narative story which I would submit as a deviation and note you the link which you could use as study and resource to help understand things and then we understand each other in the end. Since the main thing is the lack of understanding, on both sides, as there has been major unecessary reportings which overload . When I find some time after I gone through all my messages i will get the litrature done The difference between Arts of Sensuality and pornography. Arts of sensuality insights all senses including the sixth, and the evidence is in my gallery, especialy in the deviations called "Neverland 1&2" which lead to Neverland Pattern relating to a triangular corn circle based on the simplist form of Matatron's cube, which then lead to a sheet of series containing X-chromosomes which is fascinating and proof of sixth sense(telepathy) in action. Lotsa love and huggles
:heart:
:hug:
:love:
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:iconnullwalker:
Nullwalker Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2009
Pictures of women touching themselves are blatantly ignored. Is there a reason for this?
Reply
:iconallie2590:
allie2590 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009   Digital Artist
Read the news article. It's explained there.
Reply
:iconbubby-bobble:
Bubby-Bobble Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
The fact that so many people feel the need to report the artistic nudes in spite of the fact that dA's rules clearly state that such artwork is allowed has me utterly baffled.
And the fact that some people report photographs of swimsuit models and same sex couples as pornography made me headdesk.

Seriously... how in the HECK does the $taff manage to stay sane?
I think I would have went mad a long time ago if I was in your shoes, Daniel.


Also, I couldn't help but notice a change in FAQ#565

"• Erections.
There should be no use of imagery depicting a male erection that a reasonable person would believe is intended to elicit a sexual response."


In other words, this would mean works like Ben Heine's "God is love" would be allowed on dA, because the erection isn't meant to provoke arousal?
Or would it still be against the rules, since other pictures which contain condoms have been removed as violations of policy?
Reply
:iconjaime9526:
jaime9526 Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
its a strange change to it isn't it, baring in mind in many countries in he western world and erect penis one of the definitions of pornography for legal terms.
Reply
:icongiantflyingturd:
giantflyingTURD Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009
I posted this in the news section too but i am still curious about this:

There is one other issue with the reporting system I think.

Many, Many, times if something is reported under the "not listed" section it will be returned as having been reported under "pornography"

This issue has come up for me many times (almost everytime I report an erection) I dont see erections as being pornographic therefore i report it as "not listed" and it will be marked invalid for not being pornographic, Which is true it doesnt meet the definition of porn, but it not, its just a violation of the no huge pulsing erections rule.

why does this happen? sometimes on 2nd and 3rd reports even.
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:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Chances are you've reported it as "Not Listed" but several others have reported the same work as "Pornography"; since all reports are consolidated into a single case file you would all receive the same resolution notice and since more people reported as "Pornography" that was the response selected to be sent back to you all.
Reply
:icongiantflyingturd:
giantflyingTURD Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009
interesting.. thanks.
Reply
:iconthearcher777:
TheArcher777 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Being that you said you'd be willing to help clarify these rules, I was hoping you could perhaps help me understand a particular situation regarding these rules.

I stumbled across this image about a month ago: [link] and reported it. When I first found the image, it clearly depicted sexual penetration. I was told that that my report was marking invalid and dismissed. So, asking the opinions of some seniors and gallery mods, I sent a note to $chix0r asking for some clarification on this. Since then, then image has been cropped so the penetration is not visible. It was my understanding that self editing like that to get out of a violation wasn't allowed. And it still seems to me that this image this falls under the following:
"a work contains a visible indication that sexual penetration is occurring or the work is judged to be too graphic in its level of sexual suggestiveness".

I never received a reply from $chix0r and all I'm looking for is just some clarification. I'm completely open to the possibility that my understanding is incorrect, but penetration seems like a blatant violation to me. ^^;
Reply
:icondannscreations:
DAnnsCreations Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
:glomp: You have done a Wonderful job of clarifying this :icondelightfulplz: Art is freedom, freedom of saying or doing all that is possible, but there is a place and time for pornography... I am no prude as I am a strong believer in nudity and freedom of that, but that does NOT mean I would Ever show a picture that intimate with the whole world :giggle: might just blind someone :rofl: as well as traumatizing someone, well, I just won't do that :rofl::icondragonlaugh::rofl: :giggle:

My point is, you have done a GREAT Job and anyone who says different can just come talk to me! *humf*
:glomp::iconsomeconfettiplz::love::iconlovepurpleplz::love::iconsomeconfettiplz::glomp:
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:iconpygar:
Pygar Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
I think the problem is more that your rules let gross crap on the site and the vast majority of members would prefer to see tighter rules on the issue. Here's an example of some of what I'm talking about which I've copied from someone else's journal on the issue [link]
[link]
[link]
These sort of things are pretty horrid, no one wants to see them and they have no artistic merit. When it comes to these type of images you should really apply a quality judgement as well as looking at whether they break your rules.
With your encouragement dA is becoming a porn site, look at the Collections, the most popular is almost always dominated by nudes and rarely of the artistic variety, they are mostly as close as is possible to porn that scrapes within dA rules!
This is the reason you get so many violation reports, you will have a small number who will report almost anything but still 95% of people here will agree on what is artistic and what is porn, if you adjust your rules slightly to ban the close ups of genitals and spread legs shots then you will safe yourself and your staff a lot of work!
Reply
:icongreensprite:
GreenSprite Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I think you're right, but there are a lot of problems with that kind of policy.

First, the admins would not get to all the "distasteful" images in time, so you'll get thousands of displeased people complaining that their picture of a vagina was deleted, but a very similar one of another deviant stayed.

Second, it would take a lot more time for the staff to juudge using criteria such as "is this art" as opposed to "does this depict intercourse". You know the definition of art is one of the most controversial things there are, certainly even more so than the definition of porn :) And with them having literally hundreds of reports to handle per week, it's just not physically possible.

Third, I don't expect everyone to get or to agree to this point, but the less censorship there is, the better off we are. Censorship might be against something you hate today, but tomorrow it might turn against a freedom that is dear to you.

And in the end, what if someone wanted to depict the ugliness of human condition by gross, distasteful and shocking nudes? It would probably be true art, but by your definition it should be taken down. Not ok, if you ask me.

I stopped caring about these things. I avoid looking at what I don't like here, but on the other hand it's true that I don't share my dA link with an employer or people I know in real life. The context might give them a wrong idea of what my art is.
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:icondazza1008:
dazza1008 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009
links don't work
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:iconpygar:
Pygar Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Haha that's me being lazy with a cut and paste, probably best as they were totally gross!
Reply
:icontalescaper:
Talescaper Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Perhaps it's possible to make the actual replies to the reports a little more clearer too. Not only do a not of people still not read the news or your journal, this is also a matter that needs to be solved on a case to case basis. From the replies I'm getting, it just seems like the reports I send are just being put down the invalid tube without consideration. Even when the reported photos show exactly that which is described in the faq.
Reply
:iconsoramidori:
SoraMidori Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009
With the number and variety of dA members it's not surprising that you get this number of reports, but it must be super frustrating to deal with all the I-know-better-than-yous. Well, you can never make everyone happy no matter what you do, but I think you guys are doing a great job.

:+favlove:
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