(Edited to remove the rest of the conversation, leaving just the good stuff )
A big thank you to $realitysquared for taking the time to chat with us, and to $haldron and ^deshrubber for managing the MN side of the chat!
<^Nyx-Valentine> Hi everybody! Thanks for joining us for our discussion this evening. We'll be discussing the mature content policies as they specifically relate to the Fetish Photography gallery. If you have a question, please /promote yourself!
<`satvika> I have noticed a shockingly extraordinary amount of what can best be termed as pornography, on this site. Moreover, these works have been quite popular, so it is not a case of something "slipping through the cracks" and being unnoticed by GD staff. Now, I would like to know, what precisely (according to dA) is the line drawn that separates pornography from artistic nudity?
<$realitysquared> Well, judging what is or is not "pornography" is something that can be incredibly varied as you ask different people because it is so incredibly subjective.
<`satvika> Where does dA make the distinction?
<$realitysquared> As far as deviantART policy is concerned we attempt to remove the subjectivity from the decision and we focus exclusively on certain specific themes which are present or not present in the work
<$realitysquared> A lot of what is reported to us is called "pornographic" because the viewer judges it to be "Not-Art" but policy doesn't try to call anything "Art" or "Not Art"
<$realitysquared> I've actually written a more extensive news article a while back which explains this in more detail than we have time for here
<$realitysquared> It can be found here [link] ~
<`electricjonny> realitysquared: I don't have a whole lot of experience with mature content (I don't post it or browse it much), but when you run into a deviation that you think needs a mature tag but doesn't have one, do you think it's better to do it formally and use the report tool, or do you think it's fine if you post a comment saying you think it should be tagged mature, or note the user that?
<`electricjonny> Or does dA have a way they'd prefer it?
<$realitysquared> That's always a loaded question; I would have to advocate that you quietly report the deviation and then go about your browsing. While rare if you approach the wrong person in the wrong way something as simple as suggesting that a work be tagged can result in some really overly dramatic reactions so it's always better to avoid painting a target on yourself.
<$realitysquared> Our system keeps you anonymous and free of retaliation from the overly sensitive. ~
<`electricjonny> realitysquared: Ah good point. Do you find people get annoyed or hurt if they get the generic devart notice telling them something was tagged mature?
<$realitysquared> Most don't, but when they do it's usually better if you let our customer service staff handle them rather than risk having some mob crawling all over your profile because someone took your suggestion the wrong way
<`OpalMist> What do you find are your biggest challenges in regards to your interactions with the community? I'm trying to think of a delicate way to put this, but some people feel they're always in confrontation with you, such as the recent news article detailing your interactions with someone, who, if I recall, was transgender.
<`OpalMist> and I tried to word it in a way that doesn't seem rude, and I apologize.
<`OpalMist> But it is something that has been on my mind.
<$realitysquared> Unfortunately because of the nature of what CEA does it is simply not possible to please everyone and sometimes when someone shows up with a specific agenda there is simply no "right way" to handle the conversation.
<$realitysquared> A lot of CEA interaction in customer service revolves around telling people what they cannot do or that their situation doesn't qualify for administrative intervention and as a result people will go away mad- we simply try to handle each situation as professionally as possible. ~
<`raine-angel> First, Im so glad staff make themselves assesable in this way Second, sorry I came in late, apologies if this has been asked all ready, aside from art theft what's the most common reason(s) people report deviations to you (from these specific galleries) and are they usually valid?( If that's been asked, I'd just like you to share a funny moment with us in regards to what you deal with in CEA.)
<$realitysquared> After possible permissions related issues the second largest volume of tickets is related to what people consider to be pornographic content and the majority of these tickets wind up being invalid due to the fact that the reporter has a different definition than the one officially in use; hence this chat to help explain and educate
<`YukiMizuno> I don't know if this has been asked already, but why is it that some artworks are taken down for underage erotica, even if the [OC or fan] character(s) in question are older looking (possibly early twenties, maybe)? I don't know if I said it right, I'm not good at explaining things.
<$realitysquared> Well, on the subject of fictional underage characters from established and popular entertainment,
<$realitysquared> The one problem point is that we had to deal with the fact that these characters seldom "age" and when they do their character design seldom reflects this.
<$realitysquared> So a decision was made that in order to eliminate as much subjectivity as possible from the process we would completely rule out attempts to "age" characters to an age old enough for sexual themes
<`OpalMist> Do you have a favorite deviation from the Fetish gallery you're okay with sharing with us? Given it helps to have an appreciation and understanding for the material you moderate, I imagine you'd have quite a decent exposure to the genre.
<$realitysquared> While my gallery does contain a good number of works which I consider to be artistic nudes I can't say for certain whether or not I have any fetish pieces in there. ~
<*Dametora> I'm not sure if my question really applies here, considering we are speaking specifically of the Fetish category, but here it goes. [link] [link] [link] tl;dr what is exactly the reasoning behind disallowing erection photography/art? All I hear is that it's "too sexual" when the nature of the Erotica and Fetish subcategories are very sexual.
<$realitysquared> Overall most depictions of erections aren't allowed and while we do grant exceptions they are somewhat rare.
<$realitysquared> Generally speaking when we were putting together the list of themes which we made the decision that erections would not be allowed and that decision was based at least in part on legal advice. ~
<~jmortonci> Back to the question of age: how does age 'come into play' when it comes down to the "matureness" of the content? Isn't still... mature?
<$realitysquared> That's a bit of a vague question- could you clarify it for me a bit so I can be certain to answer correctly?
<~jmortonci> realitysquared: I guess I mean to ask 'how does age affect the "matureness" of the deviation'?
<$realitysquared> Well, if we are talking specifically about a fetish theme we have to insist that all models be eighteen years of age- the legal penalties should a work with a minor be found to be too sexual are simply too severe for us to even think about allowing any minor from being exploited in such a way in the deviantART galleries.
<$realitysquared> So as a result younger models can be prohibited from being shown in some situations which are perfectly allowed for an adult. ~
<~jmortonci> So going down 10 years, if a 8 year old was seen in an explicit way it's "definitely" an automatic breach of dA guideliness of mature content?
<$realitysquared> Depends a lot on exactly what the theme and situation is but essentially yes.
<$realitysquared> There are certainly these we would not allow for an eight year old which we would allow for an eighteen year old ~
<`Pola-444> From what I've heard talking to other deviants and seen myself, there seems to be an issue with mature content and how dA has been allowing more and more mature content, particularly in recent years. Do you think that mature content has become a bigger issue recently then before?
<$realitysquared> Pola-444: could you clarify what you mean exactly by "mature content"; do you mean what needs to be tagged or are you referencing content specifically?
<`Pola-444> realitysquared: what needs to be tagged particularly seems to be an issue, along with the issue of dA allowing "pornographic" art.
<$realitysquared> As far as pornography is concerned I'll simply redirect to the article which I linked eariler; [link]
<$realitysquared> As far as tagged content, tags are placed based specifically on what is or is not actually visible in the work
<`Pola-444> I understand, but do you feel that in recent years the whole 'mature content' field has become more important then earlier in dA's existence. XD
<$realitysquared> So two nude models in different poses, one fully exposed and one in a pose which hides certain anatomical points could result in one being tagged and one not
<$realitysquared> We treat the subject of mature content tagging pretty much the same now as we did several years ago- there actually hasn't been much change
<`OpalMist> You mentioned the granting of exceptions. Is the process and criteria whereby such exceptions are granted something you're free to go into? (For those unaware, deviantART has this big scary nondisclosure agreement legal setup where you spontaneously combust if you've got loose lips.)
<`OpalMist> Also, while I entirely support and applaud such exceptions, I imagine it would anger and confuse sections of the community who already feel they've been marginalized and discriminated against, and hypocritically, given this. Do you feel information dissemination that would help to calm this issue is a challenge?
<$realitysquared> Unfortunately granting exceptions for certain content, like depicted erection, isn't something which has been formally standardized. Something like that typically comes about because the artistic styling or the artistic statement seems (subjectively) to be good enough to make the exception.
<$realitysquared> No, it's not at all a standard or "fair" decision making process and we don't expect to use it often. ~
<*Dametora> All right, a quick and easy question. In the FAQ, it used to include depictions of substances meant to simulate sexual fluids as also being prohibited, but now it doesn't. A while ago you solved a ticket for me on the grounds that the fluid being depicted did not appear to mean to be viewed as seminal fluid. So it appears simulated sexual fluids are still prohibited, but why is it no longer listed in the FAQ? Is it a case-by-case thing now?
<$realitysquared> Actually that FAQ still mentions sexual fluids,
<$realitysquared> In the case where there is something present, such as shampoo or milk, which could perhaps be interpreted as a stand-in for semen or another fluid we judge it based on how similar they are and whether or not it actually appears to be intended that way
<$realitysquared> Some reports tend to be more liberal in their interpretation than our staff is trained to be so some get marked invalid while others will not. ~
<^Nyx-Valentine> Alright guys, that wraps up our featured chat for this evening. A big thanks to $realitysquared for taking the time out of his evening to join us, and to all of you for participating!