DISCUSSION: Stories That Violate Guidelines

Oops, sorry my wording is terrible lol. I mean you can choose to keep or remove it from your app. :slight_smile:

Getting featured softened the blow lol but I was off the ranks for a week :sob:

Then I saw the exact same logo even bigger and more obvious in The Enchantress and am still so salty lol. Goes to show what can slip through the cracks :rofl::woman_shrugging:


Yes follow up questions

Hmm, I’m not entirely sure. I can see debates like ‘big authors’ have it easier if this happened. So maybe? I’d like to assume it would not be heated debates

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Extra follow up question now: Would you report The Enchantress if you could for that logo slip up?

No, I think that’s petty :rofl:
And like I said in my initial post, I only report things which are really “bad” (outright plagiarism, very descriptive sex that makes me feel uncomfortable as an adult).

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Really? I imagine it would be a parallel to the contest debates, where people say popular authors have a higher chance of winning. This would be like small authors have a higher chance of getting their story down if it’s reported… Though I’d like to consider guidelines violations are more serious than contests, and thus both popular stories and unknown stories would be reviewed the same way

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I think people were still able to view it, but it was no longer in the trending section. In the portal, it said the rank was “calculating”.

I emailed them back regarding specifics of the guidelines.
This was from my review over a year ago of my Mental Illness story “Speak” which later went on to be featured on a Mental Health shelf.

Episode helped me address the issues and word things in a better matter that followed guidelines.

It is a 5 f’s per Episode and it cannot refer to the sexual connotation of the word.


Wow, thanks for sharing and answering :slightly_smiling_face:

Your email has now also got me thinking of another Episode story… Um… “My Brother’s Best Friend” I think it was. The MC had returned after being away for a while to focus on recovering from an eating disorder… and I remember the choices at one point were basically how to have her relapse. There was no option to not relapse. Made me really uncomfortable at the time.


I haven’t read many chapters of My Teacher My Gangster, to be honest (I’m sure I don’t need to specify why, haha), but I think that any stories that portray gangs and the mafia as “cool” and “edgy” and never address what that kind of lifestyle actually entails and the amount of harm it does to people is sort of promoting that lifestyle in a way. I don’t talk about this much but I wish authors would just quit it with those stories. I’m close to people who have really suffered and lost loved ones because of gang violence and people who are terrified to go outside, even during the day, because of countless drive-by shootings and gang violence. Some countries have a serious problem with this and people’s lives are ruined and lost everyday because of gangs and the mafia. They’re not at all something that’s supposed to be seen as fun and entertaining, in my opinion.

However, I don’t report those stories on Episode unless they’re excessively violent… Why is that? I don’t know. I think I just assume that these authors are just young and don’t understand the harm that they’re doing by uploading stories like these. Part of me wants to let them have fun with this fantasy that they have of being the leader of a gang that somehow “only hurts the bad guys”. It’s a naive view of the world and that’s kind of beautiful in its own way, you know? I just hope that since the readers are wealthy enough to have a phone/tablet and free enough to read stories on Episode, they’re probably very unlikely to actually be inclined to join a gang. I cross my fingers.


I kinda feel like I should clap for your response, so :clap::clap::clap: Very well said.


Aww! Thank you so much! -bows- :smile: I love this thread, by the way!

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Aww, Thank you so much then hehe :blush:

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The reason why I don’t really report stories is probably that I always quit reading at the moment the author starts narrating a sex scene. I’m “mature” enough to read them but this is not why I’m reading Episode and I find those narrations kinda ridiculous. I think I would have a different opinion on this if I ever read those scenes through and this actually made me realize I should do this, because even if they don’t bother me that much (since I don’t care), they shouldn’t be seen by a younger audience. And because of this I think all stories under investigation should be temporarily removed from the app until they get fixed.


i dont really agree with episodes guidelines so unless if the story is racist/sexist or steals artwork or ideas, I wouldn’t do anything if a story violates guidelines.

By the third Episode? :scream: But they already worked so hard on 2 :flushed:

In my opinion, it would be nice before beginning a story that Episode asks the writers if they read the guidelines carefully and perhaps even accept that they have : )

Although the guidelines can be a bit confusing and what applies to one person may not apply to another :sweat_smile:

And to the other point, no, people don’t be tempted! But I know that it happens, sigh. Maybe there should be an option in mature stories to enter your age or answer a question that younger people may not know, hmm? But then again some people may lie when it comes to typing in their age or search up the answer to that question…:thinking:
However, they were given a warning :confused:

And thank you @Miss_Julie :orange_heart::sparkles:


Yeah, and for my first story I changed a whole bunch of stuff because of that email. It wasn’t until I was reading stories like Love and War and The Baby Project where I decided I could still include certain things, without breaking guidelines, since they had done it.
So maybe you’re right, and there should be a little something that pops up every time an author hits “start a new story”. Of course, it won’t stop people from writing what they want to write, but it would be a lot easier to hold people accountable if you could turn around and say: see, you knew what you were writing was against our guidelines

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I agree. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t do much since official stories are already previously reviewed and approved by the team before release. Meaning that they honestly think that their stories can’t possibly deserve to be reported. The only way to convince them to remove one of their featured stories is to show our outrage in the forums like with the IMB fiasco. Personally, I’m still waiting for @Cass and @Liz to tell us why and how some of their stories, In My Bed in particular, pass their TOS review. They said they’ll tell us in a later post on their IG but no answers have been given and it’s been more than two months.


Yeah, there’s been “explanations” I’ve seen promised that are still unexplained after months. Not just in regards to IMB, but other issues/things too. A bit of a bad habit Episode has developed :confused:

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This is a very interesting topic. Thank you so much for starting it!

  1. If a story violates guidelines, I will always send the author a fanmail trying to explain why it does first. I don’t want to be like those people who say “it’s not my job to educate you” because the person may genuinely have difficulty understanding the TOS and it may make them hostile if their story gets banned without them understanding why. I mean, who wouldn’t get angry if their story got taken down and they weren’t told why? Episode isn’t the best at telling us what’s wrong with our stories until there’s a ticket about it… as we’ve seen from other stories that have been taken down in more recent times. There are plenty of people taking to the forums for an explanation as to why their story has been taken down. Even a certain zombie story’s author (I think) was a little confused when it came to people calling them a racist. If we spent a little longer explaining why the story is (I hate using this word) problematic, maybe fewer people will do it next time. But, I mean, if they continue to violate the TOS after people have painstakingly explained what’s wrong, they definitely deserve to be reported.

  2. I think that readers should be asked a few more questions when they report a story… and a story should only be sent into review if multiple people comment on the same issue with the story. I think we should be able to answer questions like “which chapter violates TOS” as well, so that the team have more specific information and it’s a massive deterrent for people who report simply because they’re a troll. Stories should be given the benefit of the doubt, and only ones which could prove harmful to others should be temporarily removed before a review is made. That means plagiarism doesn’t immediately get a red flag and removed, but violence and hate crimes definitely should. You should be able to report specific lines when reading a story, too, so that things get even more specific… but your right to report stories should be taken away from you if you abuse it. At the moment, they email you after they’ve completed the review. I think that Episode should involve the author in the review process, say “we’re going to review you on _____. Do you have any comments?”

  3. If we do it in the way I suggested, an author who has been reported for a specific line should be given the chance to change that line. An author who has been reported for plagiarism should be given information on what story they’re supposedly infringing on the copyright of. We should all be given a no-nonsense, easy-to-understand guide to avoiding copyright infringement (maybe I’ll see if Episode will work with me on that since I did a little copyright law for about 3 of my jobs and I had to break it down into layman’s terms to understand it). In every case, the story should be temporarily taken down until the author has made significant changes to the story… then it should go through the review process again. If it’s still not satisfactory, then it should be removed. Otherwise, let it pass! Most people don’t even realise what they’ve done wrong!

  4. No, there are some issues that deserve a more sensitive approach when they’re violating TOS on Episode. Of course, all authors should get the same starting point: they should get a full explanation/guide on the specific issue that their story is violating through their email when a team member is going to start reviewing their story and a chance to comment on the review process to a human being through email. However, multiple reports of sexual assault in a story, or any type of abuse, should be removed immediately pending a review so that it can no longer cause an issue to the young people on the app. Copyright infringement doesn’t harm anyone in the same way that the depiction of violent acts does, so they need to be handled differently. (I feel like I’ve answered a and b already).

  5. I don’t believe so. Unfortunately, there are still young children on this app and it is still 13+. Of course, trigger warnings and a chance to skip sexual scenes are a fantastic idea, but there are many young kids who wouldn’t skip. a lot of People don’t skip simply because they’re young and their parents wouldn’t like them to see that kind of thing. I mean, a lot of young teenagers may use the cute-looking nature of Episode as a cover to watch sexual things that they should probably not be exposed to… without the permission of their parents. This touches on the sense of entitlement that a lot of authors on Episode seem to have. I’ll go into it a little more at the end of this long essay but in short, people don’t just get to decide what age range an app is going to be for simply because they want to. Episode has chosen its audience and it’s incredibly spoilt, selfish and self-entitled to try and change it just to suit yourself. We all have a duty to keep our stuff PG 13, and if PG 18 is just one click away, it shouldn’t really matter if there were warnings.

  6. Yes and no. I think that it’s a very interesting idea, but I also think that the formula will get really difficult when you think about the fact that a lot of popular people get away with murder simply because they’re popular. Even on Episode, if a story has a big enough fanbase, people will be willing to argue day and night over whether or not it should be reported simply because they like it. A weird frenzy surrounds popularity that is really uncomfortable. I’d hope that a story that gets popular would have been reported when it was small if it had issues, but if not, I would maybe look into having stories that reach over 1 million views automatically go through a review process with Episode or something since that story would now represent the app in some way or form. It doesn’t have to be 1 million, but there should possibly be a general review for popular stories. @ChaoticDeluge suggested that people who qualify for payments should get a general review because they’re getting paid by Episode, which gives the implication that Episode are endorsing them to some degree. I agree actually.

  7. I haven’t had my own stories reported. I am that sad, meticulous person who reads through all the TOS, googles anything I don’t understand and asks questions. My stories would be very difficult to take down simply because I know how to toe the line between acceptable and unacceptable. I can push boundaries without getting in trouble. You could, too, if Episode decides to work with me when it comes to de-jargoning the TOS. Or maybe I’ll put an E-book on my website for people to access…

  8. This is what I was looking forward to:

I agree to some extent, but art should be subject to the platform it’s on. If you want to write an explicit story, find an app which allows you to write explicit stories. Episode is private property owned by the creator… so just like in a house, the owner has the right to say "I don’t like your behaviour. Take it somewhere else. Do what you want, but not in my house. It’s exactly the same as YouTube or Twitter. It’s not their fault if someone is violating their TOS. Maybe less people should lie about “I have read and accept the terms and conditions” because you can’t make an account without accepting those and you’re agreeing that you won’t do certain things when you click that button. It’s a contract and contracts don’t just stop applying simply because they’re on the internet where we’re too lazy to read them.

It certainly is okay. People have a right to choose where damaging books go. You can’t just stamp all over someone else’s rights simply because you want freedom or arts. There are other rights in play here… especially when a book can be so damaging to a whole race of people. Also, I’m a bit worried that you consider Mein Kampf art? It’s Nazi propaganda… and propaganda and censorship come hand in hand. Hitler was a massive advocate for censorship. Should Mein Kampf be banned everywhere? No, I don’t think so… I think (just like Episode) people should have a little sense when they decide where to put it, though. Not in schools, but in universities. This means that people are given the opportunity to read it once they have the critical skills to be able to understand why Nazism is wrong. Not out in the libraries, but in the archives where people can request it. That means no impressionable young teens will stumble upon it without warning and allow it to affect their worldview. People who choose to read Mein Kampf should be starkly aware of the fact that they’re reading work written by one of the closest humans we had to a monster. If they don’t have that awareness, it becomes so much more than a book: it becomes a dangerous ideology which calls for violence against minorities. If they are aware of the implications of this book and are mature enough to read it, then they should have access to it. I think I’ll buy a book jacket if I were to ever take it out of my university library, personally. I may be brown, but I don’t think I want the stares I’d get if I read it on the train.

To be honest, it completely depends on why Of Mice and Men is banned. Imagine there was an issue with student violence surrounded by Of Mice and Men. It would be sensible and sensitive for a school to remove it if a student were at risk as a result of the book. It’s all about context with issues like that.

But there aren’t warnings for books like Mein Kampf. That’s why they should be reserved for people who understand the implications of the book. Students who are old enough to read it objectively… because remember Hitler was a charismatic man who was able to get a WHOLE COUNTRY on his side. A young student is a lot more at risk of having their views changed than a wizened old man… yet Hitler managed to convince old men too.

Now to go into the issue with Episode writers: would you go into someone else’s home if they were kind enough to let you stay and change things around just because you want it that way? No, you probably wouldn’t. So why do people think it’s okay to try to force Episode’s hand when it comes to 18+ stories? Episode isn’t OUR app. It’s owned by the people who thought of the idea in the first place. They get to choose what kind of stories they allow on their platform. When you came here, you agreed to Episode being for 13+ and to keep your content to that age range. I think it’s incredibly rude for people to demand Episode to be changed just because they want it that way. What society are we living in where people think they can just go around making people do whatever they want? It’s disgusting that people genuinely try to have everything their way. You want to write an 18+ story? No one’s stopping you from doing it on an 18+ platform.


Ok, there are so many things I want to comment on, so brace yourself… (And thanks for the contribution)

First of all, I like your ideas for how the process should go and I like this especially…

because I think some of it is hard to understand for some people…

I’ve never thought about that before, but it’s so true. I know it’s hard for episode to read EVERY story, but I think they could definitely read everyone in payments programs stories to make sure it’s upholding the guidelines.

I understand what you’re saying, however, I think a lot of people - myself included - aren’t saying Episode should allow their content to change. What we feel is though they themselves have changed what they’re featuring in their stories, but users are getting pulled up on it when they do the same thing. My personal stance on this is that Episode needs to change what they include, not leading user stories be allowed to go 16 or 18+…

My follow up question for you (but also anyone)
Should I reader get a warning or something of the sort for wrongly reporting a story? If the reviewer determines there is nothing in the story that could be mistaken as a breach of the guidelines, should the reader who reported it be held accountable for trolling?

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I didn’t mean to suggest no censorship particularly for this app. I meant in general, and for THAT reason, that’s why I don’t report stories. What do I do if I read a story that violates guidelines? I don’t report because of a personal belief, not because of Episode’s rules. Now, if I felt like I had more of an obligation to Episode, sure I’d report things that violate guidelines.

And if we’re going to starts censoring and banning anything for any reason, when does it end? I understand and appreciate your point of view, but I’m just a patriotic American through and through and that is just my very strong belief that nothing should be censored because it starts with one small thing and then leads up to far worse things until our rights are chipped away one by one by one and then all of a sudden, we have no rights.

OF COURSE, if we are using our rights to infringe on other people’s rights, that is not okay. Examples are directly calling for violence. Mein Kampf does not call for violence at all. It’s an autobiography.

There are so many things in our world that encourage other people to commit violent acts and those things are perfectly fine to some people so long as it fits a person’s agenda. You can’t have it both ways. You either get all or nothing.

And forgive me, but if you pick up Mein Kampf and don’t have a clue about it…um…I just don’t really think that’s actually possible. I’m not sure how to respond to that, lol. It’s Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler…so, if that doesn’t tell you all you need to know, I’m sorry?

I agree with you on a couple things, but I strongly disagree that we need to hide stuff from people. Freedom is very important and it does get infringed upon all the time by all people to all people. <3 I’m glad you had so much to talk about! I really like meeting people with different viewpoints.

I feel like that’d be a cool idea, but do all people have accounts exactly? If they don’t how would they get that message? If they DO have accounts, I feel like that’d be a idea to try. I’m not entirely sure how it would work out though.

Forgive me, I just woke up XDXD

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