Episode Team - Discrimination and Unfair Treatment?


#1

Does the Episode Team take things personally?

Hi!

I’m actually a bit hesitant and afraid to share this with the community mainly because I personally believe this to be a real thing. Hopefully me sharing this with you guys doesn’t upset the Episode Team.

I would just like share a Disclaimer:

This isn’t an attack on the Episode Team or me trying to trash talk them, this is merely a concern that’s been sitting at the back of my mind for a while and I’ve decided to push my fears aside and share it. This is merely a concern that I hope the team addresses or clarifies. I understand this might be a misunderstanding on my part and I have wholesome respect for the hard-working staff of Episode.

My concern amongst many others,

I’ve had a chat with my friends who’s also agreed with me that this might or appears to be an issue.

Here’s my concerns:

  • Discrimination

I’ve had a friend of mine who has two stories published and many custom backgrounds uploaded. She had quite a few reads and worked extremely hard on her stories!
However, out of the blue her story was taken down for violating the Episode Guidelines.
All while that happened, whoever took down her story must have made the assumption that this author was “trouble” and they sniffed through her account.
They took down both of her stories, removed multiple of her backgrounds, and emailed her.
This is Discrimination!
They don’t exercise this type of behavior with other authors, so why on earth would they single this girl out? Even if she did break the guidelines, they’re singling her out and instead of communicating with her; they just went and ranshacked her account.

By literal terms, this is Discrimination and Harassment!

  • Backgrounds

Another friend of mine uploaded an art piece that she drew completely from scratch, it took her forever to do and it was a MASTERPIECE!
However, the episode team rejected her art claiming it was stolen from literary works etc.
I witnessed this girl draw her art and I know for a fact it wasn’t taken considering it was in HER style.
I don’t know what was going through their head but it seemed like they assumed “Wow, this doesn’t look like it was drawn by a two year old so it must mean it was stolen/copyrighted.”
That’s not how this works!
How do they even check backgrounds is my question? Do they reverse search them? Because if they did they’d know her background/art isn’t copyrighted.

Another occurrence happened with me:
I saw this background a girl used on her story and when looking for backgrounds through websites, I found the the EXACT same one as hers. I thought it was cute and uploaded it.
It was rejected.
I know for a fact that the girl who used it didn’t copyright it and it was from a different source online. So why was hers approved but mine not?

Now,
I understand the Episode Review team can be bombarded with reviews especially during holidays and contests. Like us, they’re people! However, when it comes to something as serious as copy-right and fairness, they should be more thorough, even if it means taking longer. I’d rather wait longer and be treated fairy then get a quick review and be traited unfairly.

  • The Guidelines

I hate to be that person but the featured story “In My Bed” was one of the most sex-oriented and lewd stories I’ve seen on episode.
The amount of stories that are taken down for “violating the guidelines” when they do something as simple as making a little joke or when their character is using the sensor bar for too long. Let’s not forget that In My Bed was completely revolved around sex and broke every sex based guideline EVER!
How they’re still getting away with that still shocks me.

I believe the episode team should either refine their rules, share a public apology, or nudge their age requirements on the App Store to 15-16+

Conclusion:

At times you can definitely tell different people are doing reviews and such. Sometimes things are unapproved and when reuploaded they’re once again approved.

I think episode should practice fair treatment and have their team work on the same terms. We shouldn’t have different results from different reviewers. They should remain even.

I think the episode team should also refrain from paying attention to account names and singling out others.

Note:

As stated in the disclaimer,
This isn’t an attack on the episode team but merely a concern from a fellow episodian who’s speaking on the behalf of others in the community too scared to speak on these issues.

If anybody has anything they’d like to point out about the conducts of the episode team in a respectful manner please share them. Hopefully the team will see this and understand where we’re coming from.

Please refrain from insulting the team, attacking them, or trash taking them. They’re people like use and we’re just trying to reach out. Without the team we’re not the writers we are today! Show them some love but at the same time express your concerns.


My story has removed what do i do know
Story Bad News is removed by Episode! Congratulations!
"Inappropriate" Stories
#2

You can share your concerns or stories that relate to this topic.


#3

I agree with some of those points. But some of the things might have been against the guidelines and they had to take the art/story down immediately, maybe the person’s story got multiple people reporting on them? I’m not sure, but we should never assume that the episode team is discriminating.
Yes, I feel like it’s important to contact the person who made the story if you’re going to take it down, but maybe they didn’t have time to.
Have you tried talking to the episode team or submitting a ticket?

I’m sure they have explanations for some of your points, and other I agree with.

Like the one about In My Bed (I never read it- thank gosh)


#4

I also feel like the episode team just doesn’t have time to discriminate. Yes, mistakes were made, but I do not feel like it’s purposeful discrimination, the Episode Team just doesn’t have time for that.


#5

I think some of the reviewers might just be more careful than others, maybe the ones that thought “Hey I think this is copyrighted.” Did so because the art work was so good that it looked like something you’d steal.


#6

I think in regards to the background approvals, it’s very hard to discern what is CR and what isn’t sometimes, depending on the person who is approving or rejecting them.

I know it’s frustrating on our ends as writers, but the Episode team does their best and as it’s approved by humans - not algorithms - sometimes things are approved even if they go against guidelines, and sometimes things are not.

And I agree with you that (ideally) results should be even throughout no matter who is approving it, but it’s really hard with human beings working behind the approvals/rejections and the only “real” way to get even results across the board would be through algorithms - which would be absolutely awful, honestly because algorithms don’t take things into context and even then.

But I do believe the teams that do approvals do or try to, at least, look @ things in a contextual manner. I don’t think they’re singling people out, per se, but I think it’s just hard to be the same across the board because every person who approves or denies will look @ things differently. Like someone else said, some reviewers may be more careful than others etc.


#7

I agree with everything you say. As a test, I uploaded a crappy drawing and a good one. The horrible one (shown here), was accepted, while the other (shown after) was not. I’m really annoyed…



#8

I also noticed that they are not “very” consistent with the overlay and background approvals. Honestly I don’t think they would discriminate any authors, and I agree with @Stargazer54, maybe they just have a review team of different people and some of them follow the rules more strictly than others.
How the story ‘In My Bed’ made through the approval process beats me, as an Episode featured story it should have been reviewed by many people and man, they didn’t even have to look deep to see the issues with it, the whole story was screaming ‘inappropriate’ from the very beginning. But let’s move on, we discussed this many times and Episode will surely come up with some explanation for this LOL.
So why a story gets taken down… Again, I don’t see any consistency in this, I know about authors who were completely banned, while others were only asked to revise a few things in their stories.
What happened exactly to your friend? Did they explain anything in the e-mail she received? Did she go back to them to ask details about this? In the defense of the Episode team, I have a quite good experience with how they handled the support tickets I opened so far. They are usually helpful and try to reply all my additional questions, so if you or any of your friends have concerns about a rejected artwork or a removed story, I would definitely try to clarify things with the support team if you haven’t done it yet.


#9

Oh and as far as the guidelines - THAT is something that absolutely needs to be clarified better because we’ve all noticed the hypocrisy in the featured stories and what is allowed there versus user stories. So I agree with you fully on that.


#10

In terms of your comment about backgrounds and overlays… So ages ago, like last year sometime, I did a little test with this by uploading a cover that included a picture of a cartoon dog with a watermark on it. It first got rejected, but then I uploaded it a second time, watermark still visible, and it was accepted. I was pretty surprised at the time because the watermark was clear as day, but it made me think sometimes approval just comes down to luck of the draw


#11

Yeah… I mean, I think that they just assumed that if you submit something really good, then you “stole it”… I mean, I might too, and again, they’re humans, not robots. Side note, I think the “crappy” drawing is actually good!


#12

I was reviewing a story which had a giant “Shutterstock” logo on the background. I sometimes have no idea how things slip through the cracks.


#13

Yeah, I was reading a story just the other day that the overlays had lines on them like they were from a png site that you pay for but the image was not paid for. How those made it through the process, no telling.


#14

In My Bed was one of the worst stories I’ve ever read. It didn’t follow basically any of the sex rules and yet, it gets put in the spotlight. I didn’t think it would be too bad, since it was featured. But, I was very very wrong…


#15

We can also appeal images that have been rejected, which is probably faster than uploading them again and hoping for an approval. Particularly in the case of pictures we drew ourselves that have been mistaken for a copyrighted image, the appeal process should be fairly easy, especially if you include WIP shots to prove you really drew it when you file the support ticket.


#16

I believe that the ‘good drawing’ was not accepted because of copyright, and because you, yourself do not own it.

The ‘cr*ppy’ one passed because you yourself had made it, meaning they couldn’t find anything when searching for that art piece.


#17

@ZADDY thank you for making this thread, it’s so helpful for us to talk about Episode’s “problems”. You have nothing wrong with creating a rant thread, and it’s completely okay. There have been so many problems with Episode lately! As you mentioned, I also had a friend who I helped a bit with coding. She had written her stories carefully and it took her about one month to complete this wonderful story of hers! Sadly, Episode suspended her account and closed the story. It is no longer visible on the Episode app. She didn’t do anything wrong! I hope I at least know why.

The same thing has been happening lately with #EpisodeHypocrisy. They have been violating their own rules by publishing: “In My Bed” or “It Starts With A Bra”. Isn’t Episode 13+? Please sign @Alex_Af’s petition! It is viewable on her Instagram: @episode.alex_af

On another note,

Episode is still a wonderful hard-working team creating stories, and managing many different things! I have nothing against them, nor I am disrespecting them.


#19

I’ve uploaded backgrounds once (day and night version of the same one) one was approved one was rejected :woman_shrugging:t2:
My friend draw an art for me and it got rejected, they finally accepted it after a few emails.

One of my friends currently waiting days for answer about one scene which might or might not break the guidelines, but she want to know for sure.


#20

So, what I’ve been seeing throughout the days I’ve been checking out the forums is
“MY STORY GOT REPORTED/REMOVED FOR NO REASON”, and etc.
And to be honest, people have been reporting stories for the dumbest reasons, I can’t even explain.
Like bro, a persons story got taken down because in the story the MC said “Shit”, wow society.
If Episode is this butt hurt over cussing, mature scenes, then why not explain to us why is this happening, because it shows me a sign of hypocrisy as half of their featured stories are extremely inappropriate.
If young kids have a problem with mature stories, then there’s always a reminder saying “Warning:Mature Scenes Included”,etc and if there’s not then I totally understand why it would be taken down.

The community needs answers as soon as possible, this has been going on for a while.


#21

I totally understand. My story was banned, and there was no adult content except for kisses. Still no idea why. And Episode doesn’t even bother to mention the reason, why it throws all your hard work into trash. This all sucks. And don’t get me started on this PC generation being offended by everything. Can’t read anything without being offended? Go hide somewhere.