Hey Episode Community!
Since we announced the revisions to our Content Guidelines, we received an incredible number of questions (some of which we’ve answered in an FAQ) and requests for story reviews. We know getting answers is taking longer than many of you anticipated – and in truth, it’s also far longer than we hoped it would as well. We’re sorry about the wait times and are doing everything we can to review the stories you’ve sent us.
Recognizing everything above, we are still committed to keeping the content appropriate for our whole community; today (10/10/2019) marks the date that we announced our revised content guidelines going into effect on the Episode Platform. As a result, you’ll see this reflected in the app in the following ways over the coming days and weeks:
Temporarily limited content on all the trending shelves. We anticipate that today’s update will make these shelves the shortest they will be as we work towards getting the leaderboards re-enabled again.
- To do so, we are improving our review tools so we can more quickly and efficiently review your stories. While we work to get these improvements in place, the trending section will be updated once a week, with the goal of having it back to updating at the previous rate as soon as we can. We hope to be able to add more stories to the trending sections with each weekly update.
Temporary removal of Contest Winner shelves and shortened Editor’s Picks Shelves. We’re committed to getting these shelves back up, but we also want to be fair to all the winners. We’ll re-enable each contest once we’ve completed reviewing all the stories that were declared winners, so please bear with us as we go through this process. We’re also going through the previous Editor’s Picks and will add those back to the shelf as we work through them.
Rejection of story covers that are not in line with our revised guidelines. If this happens to your story, it will in no way affect your story’s availability on the app; instead, the story cover will be replaced with the default E cover for your readers until the next time you update your story with an approved story cover.
Note that even if your story hasn’t been reviewed or approved yet, it IS still available in the app. Stories not shown in trending are available in your readers’ Favorites, search, New User Stories (if eligible) and your Episode Profile. Even if it’s not shown in the trending section stories or Contest Winner shelves, your story will continue to accrue reads and be re-ranked at the usual time our leaderboards get recalculated.
However, as we continue our reviews, there are some stories whose content cannot be edited to fit within our revised guidelines. In the coming days, you may see a few stories removed from the platform for this reason. In cases where a story needs to be removed, Episode will communicate with the author directly via their portal email address. Stories will not be removed without the author being contacted.
Finally, we’ve reviewed and made changes to our Episode Originals and story covers. As we move forward, we hope that you look to the content in Original and Featured Stories as examples of what is allowed within the guidelines and on the platform.
If you have questions about the guidelines, content in your story or your story covers please reach out to our review team at our Support Desk. If you missed it, we recently answered some common questions about the guidelines, including standards on profanity and specific story cover questions.
The Episode Team
PS: We know many of you are excited by the idea of a more mature app and we wanted to let you know that our team is moving forward with this idea and continues to work on it. Stay tuned for more news about this in the future!
Thanks for all the help and feedback you’ve given us as we go through our review process. We know the last 24 hours since our revised content guidelines going into effect have been rocky, and we appreciate your patience as we continue to work through our rollout.
In spite of our best efforts to work through reviews for as many stories as we can, as quickly as we can, it’s become clear that our team has been overwhelmed by the number of requested reviews we’ve received – and that’s with us tripling the amount of agents ahead of time in anticipation of the volume of reviews we knew we had to complete.
Our goal is to get as many stories back up as fast as we can. As the process to update the shelves is entirely manual at this time, it’s highlighted further areas for us to make our process more reliable and efficient in the future.
We’re sorry for any confusion and frustration you may be experiencing as a result of this process. Please know we are working through the genre trending sections, your requests and other stories from things like Editor’s Picks and Contest Winners, and are continuing to use your feedback to further improve your experience.