Community Engagement Week
In this article, we’ll focus on mature content. We’ll answer questions about what it actually is, what sort of categories and levels it has, what DA’s policy on graphic content and sexual themes is, what breaks the regulations and how you can report the pieces breaking it, and how you can
customize your browsing experience to stop seeing things you don’t want.
How to tag?
You can tag your work as mature during submission by simply clicking a checkbox. Since it’s a requirement, DA will not allow you to submit a work where you did not specify whether it’s sensitive or not – if you try, you will receive a prompt to click the right checkbox.
If your work is mature, then it will be hidden behind a special warning thumbnail for anyone who has the “Show Mature Content”
checkbox unchecked in their Settings.
You also have the option to tag your submission later by editing your deviation. Important thing to note here:
using some form of self-censorship, like cropping, blurring, putting a red circle over the sensitive area etc. is not guaranteed to work. If the method you used is deemed not sufficient enough to comply with the policies, your work can still be tagged, or even removed if it breaks them.
There are two levels of Mature Content tags which you may choose. As you can read in FAQ:
- Moderate: Choosing Moderate will mark your work as Mature Content, and deviants who have their mature content filter on will be met with a warning page. They can still choose to view your work, however.
- Strict: Anyone under the age of eighteen (18) will not be able to click through the warning filter in order to view your work.
In addition, you may also choose to flag your material with one of the specific tags, which will give the viewer a hint as to what kind of image will they see behind the filter. Again, quoting the FAQ:
- Nudity: This flag is appropriate if your work contains explicit nudity; revealing the genitalia of a model or fictional character or revealing a full female breast including nipples.
- Sexual Themes: This flag is appropriate if your material contains references to sex, overt sexuality, including sexually based humor or other mild or moderately sexual themes.
- Violence/Gore: This flag is appropriate for realistic bloody or violent imagery, generally associated with horror and macabre, but can also apply to photojournalism or written work.
- Strong Language: This flag can be applied to deviations containing profanity, vulgarity, and otherwise coarse or offensive language at the discretion of the submitter.
- Ideologically Sensitive: This tag is intended to be used in the event that your work contains a controversial opinion, religious, political, social, or otherwise which can be considered offensive.
How can I hide mature content?
To hide mature content from your browsing, hover over your profile icon on the right side of the top menu and go into “Settings”
. From the menu on the left side of the screen, choose “Browsing”
, and then uncheck the box “Show Deviations with Mature Content”
Doing this will hide all deviations tagged as mature from your browsing. Keep in mind that if you’re younger than 18, you won’t be able to see mature deviations anyway and you won’t be able to make them visible.
If there is a particular member whose work you don’t want to see, you also have the option to hide it by blocking them. To do that, you can use the Report
link found under the Watch button, just under and to the right of the deviation thumbnail or journal entry. If you choose the option “I just don’t want to see this”
, the deviation will be hidden from you. If you decide to block the deviant completely, their works will be hidden from you as well, also while browsing.
What is allowed and what is not allowed?
The material not allowed on DA can be generally described as explicit. That goes for both violent and sexual themes. What does it mean exactly?
Your work can be removed if it displays actual self-harm, shows an actual injury, cruelty or death. Fictional depictions of these may be allowed – for example achieved through make-up or other effects – but images of actual injury or death are not.
DA is probably one of the most inclusive art communities currently active on the Internet – which means that you can submit works with mild sexual or erotic themes, however with some restrictions. Remember that tagging your work as mature does not mean you can ignore these restrictions.All models or fictional characters shown/described in such works must be 18 or older.
In this case, unlike the graphic content clause described above, it does not matter whether or not the model/character in question is fictional or not. And yes, it also applies to fan art.
When it comes to nudity, DA forbids pornography – remember though that not everything that you consider pornographic will also be considered such by DeviantART.
Here’s what falls under the pornography clause:
- Masturbation - Hands should not be shown or described as coming into contact with genitalia in a manner which appears to represent masturbation.
- Sexual Intercourse - Subjects should not shown or described in explicit detail as engaging in sexual intercourse. This includes depictions of sexual penetration, oral to genital contact, genital to anal contact, and oral to anal contact as well as other similar positions or interactions.
- Vaginal, Penile, or Anal Penetration - This includes depictions of any object being inserted into the vagina, penis, or anus.
- Sexual Body Fluids (actual or simulated) - There should be no depiction of semen or vaginal lubricants, including substitute materials which appear to act as replacements or "stand-ins" for these fluids.
- Bodily Waste - There should be no depiction of urine, feces, or other bodily waste.
- Erections - There should be no use of imagery depicting an erect penis, however there may be exceptions granted to illustrations created for legitimate medical or educational purposes.
- 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.
- Adult Oriented (sexual) Toys - "Adult toys" consisting of dildos, strap-ons, vibrators, and similar items which are crafted to realistically represent a phallus or "receptive" vagina are not allowed. Items and devices which do not depict a male or female organ in a realistic fashion will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis for acceptability in a submission.
How can I report a submission?
If you see an image, a Sta.sh file or a journal
that breaks the rules as described above in same way, you have the option to report it. Here’s how to do it, as described in this support article: How do I report submissions?
- Click the “Report” link found immediately below the Watch button, just under and to the right of the deviation thumbnail or journal entry.
Disclaimer: Rowye's work here does not, obviously, break any rules - the screenshot is here just to show you the placement of the
- You will be offered a small window featuring four basic initial options to classify your report.
- “I just don’t want to see this” enables you to exclude the deviation in question from your DeviantART experience and does not file any actual report. By selecting this option, the deviation will no longer be shown to you during your personal browsing. This is intended to assist members in avoiding content which they do not wish to view but which otherwise may be acceptable for submission under DeviantART policies.
- Content ranging from explicit sexual material, abusive posts, and spam advertising can be reported to the staff this way.
- Keep in mind that works of art often address controversial issues and evoke diverse and passionate response. It is not surprising that some artistic expression will prove to be personally offensive to some viewers. Even if it may be offensive, it may not necessarily violate DeviantART terms of service or require removal.
By selecting any of the other three options (“It’s inappropriate”, “It violates intellectual property rights”, “It’s something else”
), you will be able to make further selections and provide additional information about why you believe the deviation in question should be reviewed by the staff.
If you choose “It’s inappropriate”
, you’ll be prompted to explain whether or not the deviation is sexually explicit
, needs a Mature Content tag
or includes Underage Sexual Content
If you choose “It violates intellectual property rights”
, you will be prompted to declare whether or not you are the copyright holder. To minimize the risk of someone claiming that the work is theirs when it’s not the case, DeviantART will only take reports from the copyright owner. You can read more here about DA’s copyright policies and on how to file a proper DMCA (copyright infringement notification notice): about.deviantart.com/policy/co…
If you choose “This is something else”
, you’ll also have several options to choose from: “This deviation is misplaced”
, meaning it was placed in the wrong category, “This is spam, malware, or warez”
, “This is abuse”
, meaning hate speech, personal attacks or death threats, or “This is self or animal harm”
, meaning depictions of realistic violence, gore, self-harm or animal harm. Your reports, with the exception of DMCA notices, are completely anonymous. All reports you file enter a general queue within the Moderation System, where they will be reviewed in a particular order of priority by a member of the DeviantART administration. DMCA takedown notices enter a special high-priority area.
Okay, folks – that will be all. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer. Hopefully, this article will shed some light on complicated issues and give you answers you were looking for!