I'm a fart fiction writer with several characters to my name and a love for all things ass. Even if that ass is attached to something a little bit...different.
Aina Lagorio, Melanie Sanderson, Anna the Hydruta, Sophia the Phalynthrion, Sibyl Vindherre, Isabella the Hydruta, Molly Devlin, Valerie the Hydruta, Princess Murry, Shevaun, and Emmerline are all characters owned by me!
Check me out on tumblr! Ask me any question you want!
Wanna hang? Check out my Discord server!
20. Suspension and Termination of Access and Membership
You agree that DeviantArt may at any time, and without notice, suspend or terminate any part of the Service, or refuse to fulfill any order, or any part of any order or terminate your membership and delete any Content stored on the DeviantArt Site, in DeviantArt's sole discretion, if you fail to comply with the Terms or applicable law.
Alright, so while DA will not actively police what you are putting up on their website, they do reserve the right to take down any of the content on their website. In other words, they've got the right to take down any number of stories, artwork, etc. that could be viewed as a violation of what their Terms of Service are. And they are pretty clear, numerous times, that they are not okay with pornographic content. Three times they remind you that they're not okay. It's even noted again within their section on Conduct: "You agree not to use the Service...to upload, post, or otherwise transmit any material that is obscene, offensive, blasphemous, pornographic, unlawful, threatening, menacing, abusive, harmful, an invasion of privacy or publicity rights, defamatory, libelous, vulgar, illegal or otherwise objectionable...to harm minors in any way, including, but not limited to, uploading, posting, or otherwise transmitting content that violates child pornography laws, child sexual exploitation laws or laws prohibiting the depiction of minors engaged in sexual conduct, or submitting any personally identifiable information about any child under the age of 13." You might recall this last part was actually the reasoning behind my last Pokemon story, "A Friend In Need, A Fart Indeed," was actually taken down from the website - notably because the characters in the story are, canonically, younger than 18.
So for DA's part in things, they are at least very consistent in outlining that pornographic content isn't okay. So you know, you can't exactly go posting things that you could find on PornHub here. That seems fine...at least on the surface. But it's when you get into the actionable details that things become a lot more gray.
A lot of you guys reading this are apart of a fetish community, and at the end of the day, that can be linked to pornographic content at times. Sure, not everyone in the community is writing or drawing farting in a sexually explicit manner, but we do have that connection. Now the thing is, where exactly does the line get drawn? What hits the border for when something goes into that territory? Well luckily, DA does outline this by differentiating between "obscenity" and "pornography": "'Obscenity' is a legal term that applies to anything offensive to morals and is often equated with the term "pornography." Pornography, however, is a more limited term, which refers to the erotic content of books, magazines, films, and recordings. Obscenity includes pornography, but may also include such other things as nude dancing, sexually oriented commercial telephone messages, scatological comedy routines, and other similar materials."
Now following up from that is a lot of jargon that goes into detail as to what all can then be submitted through DA and what would be deemed "acceptable" based on the outlined terms, but here's as quick a summation as I can make of it: basically, any character that ends up nude or ends up in erotic or sexual content must be at least age 18 (as not to violate the child pornography clause), and content cannot contain anything that could be construed as masturbation, sexual intercourse, sexual body fluids, erections, adult-oriented toys, spreading, penetration...and bodily waste.
Yep, that last one is what's particularly relevant to me. Because that would likely be the other reason that that story got taken down. That could be the reason that any of my stories get taken down. That could be the reason all of my stories get taken down. That could be the reason that my account gets suspended or banned. That could be the reason that previous stories that have been up for years could suddenly disappear. It could be the reason that suddenly a lot of stuff gets Thanos snapped out of existence. This is the part of the policy that relates to a fair number of people in the community.
...so why haven't they been taken down? Why haven't more members of the community ended up with their stories getting taken down?
Well, good news first: if your content only contains characters farting, this is not outlined as a violation of the Terms of Service that DA has put up! As long as there isn't some erotic or sexual connotation that can be construed from it, your stuff can be deemed safe from the dubious banhammer wielded by the shadowy figures that monitor DA. Farting is not considered a sexual act in and of itself, so the idea of any character farting is okay. But then we get to bodily waste, and it's here that DA specifies, "There should be no depiction of urine, feces, or other bodily waste." Not that I can figure on what "other bodily waste" means outside of...I dunno, snot? Earwax? Are those too sexual for DA now? I dunno, but specifically the usage of urine and feces is what's noteworthy here, since that does end up applying to a lot of bathroom-related content.
Here's the thing about that though, and this is where it gets reaaaaaally gray: what bathroom-related content can be deemed inappropriate? Taking a shower doesn't seem that bad, aside from the expression of being nude, and brushing one's teeth isn't bad, but what about the comedic usage of a character having to use the toilet? What about the necessary need to go to the bathroom? Are those fine? Well a character can certainly go to the bathroom, but could a heavy description of their bowel movement end up being deemed as inappropriate and a violation of DA's Terms? Would it be considered more of a sexual depiction, even if the application is being used as a means of education, such as to showcase the biological process of excretion? Is it too much or not enough to simply say that, "There should be no depiction," of such content? It's hard to say exactly where the line gets drawn in regards to what happens on any daily offering to the Porcelain God.
And it seems that, even now, DA is having trouble figuring it out. I mean, why else would stories that have been up for years suddenly end up getting taken down? Truth be told, it's a lot easier to figure on a piece of art containing such material rather than a literary piece, and it's likely the case that whoever or whatever is monitoring the DA submissions isn't actively reading through every single submission to decipher whether or not the content itself is actually a violation of the policy. The line is just blurry enough that a lot of us can put out our content easily while avoiding any actual violation of the Terms, but there are a lot of us that do have content that, technically speaking, does violate the Terms. Things do slip through the cracks.
So what all does this mean, Freeman? What's ultimately the "tl;dr" version? Essentially, because of what some of my stories contain (not all of them mind you, but a lot of them), any of my work could be taken down seemingly at random. This could include the Aina stories, The Weirdest Story, the "Not Done Yet" series, anything with my characters on a toilet, in a bathroom - even the tiniest shart could be interpreted as a depiction of such content and be utilized as justification to take down any of my stories. And this could happen at any given time! Needless to say, a lot of my stuff is at risk of getting removed.
Now am I going to be doing anything about it? Well, I am going to retrieve a lot of my work from the site and have a back-up of it - whether on my computer or posted up elsewhere. A few of my early stories are already posted up in other places, but I'll be gradually uploading the more recent ones in other areas as well. That way you won't have to worry about Aina not feeling so good and fading out of existence! But with that in mind, I would encourage other artists and writers to do the same - keep a back-up of all the work you put up on DA, in the event that it gets taken down. The last thing we want as a community is to suddenly have all of our work taken away because of a policy that, while clear in its stance, isn't well-enforced enough to justify such content disappearing.
I know that at times, DA can be unfair in how they end up enforcing their policy. It can be unfair to have a story or artwork that has been up for years suddenly taken away because they only just now got around to it. It can be unfair to have content that isn't sexually explicit in nature getting threatened because of what is outlined in the policy. But ultimately, this is a risk that the content creators of this community take whenever we put up something that could be considered a violation of these Terms of Service. It is something that, as outlined, we have to take full responsibility for as the people who put up this content, and we have to regrettably acknowledge that DA has the right to enforce their policy and take down our content at any given time, even if they are inconsistent with how and when they actually enforce it. Whether or not we agree with the decision they make, we did end up agreeing to these Terms when we signed up to utilize DA as our platform of choice for this content. It's a controversial topic at times, especially considering that our community is one of many communities that have grown around DA, and it's something that will ultimately come up time and time again until something changes and the policy is more appropriately enforced. Stories that have been up for years shouldn't be taken down without justifiable reason, without some form of communication. Because while it may be policy to have such content removed from the site, it should be the content creator's right to appeal, to have that discussion on the content, and to have the ability to change it to meet with the Terms if need be.
The last thing I'll put here is the main reason I would encourage all writers and artists to back up their content right now, because it is critical to understand what happens when a piece of content is removed from the website:
Unfortunately, once you’ve deleted something, even in Sta.sh, DeviantArt staff cannot recover it for you.