Episode's Community Guidelines (Updated 8/2020)

Right, but what I’m saying is that it never hurts to try and look in and see how things could be seen as harmful. If someone gets angry at how a character likes plants or something that’s their issue, but if it’s regarding a greater topic such as harmful potrayals of various sexualities, mental disorders, etc., then it’s worth looking into! Just because not everyone sees it the same way doesn’t negate the fact that someone could be genuinely hurt by something.

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Tysm, for this @Melani3.

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Some people call it the first step for change. It’s 5 or 6 years too late for the first step. Similar “community guidelines” have been put in place but no enforcement, racists have run rampant on the app for OVER HALF A DECADE and it hasn’t been properly addressed.

I hope this is going to change things, but I won’t hold my breath.

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Ok, there’s also a line:

… being receptive to feedback doesn’t come with a mandate to act on it.

:pray::heart:

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For sure, but simply saying “I understand” without doing anything to fix harmful issues isn’t very helpful to the discussion at hand :heart:

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Of course no one is going to force you to change a story that harmed or stereotyped a group of people, but if you actually care about your audience you will change it. You can tell a lot about a person based on whether or not they’re actually willing to understand their mistakes and act on it instead of invalidating the opinions of a harmed group with the “I write what I want” mentality. You can receive and understand criticism while not acting on it, but that isn’t really growth.

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Honestly “don’t use harmful stereotypes” and “receiving criticism doesn’t mean you have to act on it” can be pretty contradictory, particularly when Episode is determining what counts as a stereotype rather than the community being harmed by the stereotype who is offering criticism on content that includes the stereotype.

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Can someone clarify this for me

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The basis of this is “treat everyone the way you would want to be treated”.

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Thank you @Melani3 and Episode! I sincerely hope this will be done correctly.

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You said “a group”, not individual perceptions in your original post. If a group of individuals requests changes in your story, and that group is made of members of the community you are writing about, you should listen to them to see why they are hurt and offended.

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When the “group” in question is the part of community whose harmful stereotype you are promoting you need to listen to the group and understand why they are telling you it’s harmful, and make the changes accordingly. People would not be coming and telling you that your actions are harmful if you didn’t hurt them in the first.

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I apologize for my bad grammar, I should probably say “perception of individuals”.

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I understand.
But I also understand the guidelines. The feedback should be given in a friendly way. The writer should acknowledge the suggestions given and fix the story accordingly if believes that’s a good change of their story.

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Thank you!

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Regardless of “good” or “bad” changes to the story, if you are promoting harmful stereotypes, you hurting an entire community of people who have faced oppression.

As a creative content creator, it’s your duty to do extensive research when writing about communities you are not a part of or that you unfamiliar with. If you already do this in the first place, then you won’t have any harmful content in your work.

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I don’t think this is telling authors to “bend on the demands of groups.”

To me, this sounds like it relates to disagreements or arguments between community members. They’re simply suggesting a method of resolving a conflict. :thinking:

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Is there going to be a change in the process in which reports are investigated? Will people hear back from the team after their report is looked into?

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I think the main question here is this:

What is more important? A detail in a story or the feelings of a group of oppressed individuals who are hurt by that detail in your story? Hint- people with feelings will always matter more.

According to these rules, you cannot write whatever you want because some things hurt others. This isn’t “bending to the demands of others”, it’s being a part of society. If you’re an author on the app, by hitting the “publish” button you let the community read what you wrote. A community has a set of rules, like for example, you can’t walk around the street naked. Same thing for the Episode community- you can’t write or say harmful things. I’m sorry, but the feelings of people in this community will always be the most important, because they’re real human beings. Any harmful stereotypes an author displays should be deleted immediately, and I am so glad to see Episode include this rule.

For you and for everyone who is reading this comment, here’s a good way to know whether you should change something or not (in my opinion) :smile:

  1. Explanation- If there is a logical explanation to what people tell you. Don’t be confused though- no one is obligated to educate anyone. Google it.
  2. Talking to a minority group. It doesn’t mean that 100% of the group needs to agree that something is harmful. For example, some LGBT members believe “queer” is still a slur and that it should not be used. Doesn’t mean all of us do. But even if some people say it is harmful, you should remove the harmful thing from your story if someone tells you it is damaging.
  3. Believe and listen to minorities, especially if you’re not a part of that minority. If someone who is Muslim or Black contacts me with something problematic in my story, I will believe them without question. Because no one is just telling people to change things out of boredom, if I am ever contacted and told that I did something that could hurt groups I am not part of, I’ll change that.

Want to keep your story just the way it is, no changes at all? Don’t publish it to the community who could get hurt by it.

“I am not obligated to change things”
This is something a selfish person would say. If an author acts this way, the people they hurt have every right to be upset and report the story for doing damage to a marginalized group. For example, if someone has a homophobic joke in their story, the LGBT community has every right to report the story for hate speech against them.

Hope this explains it!

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@Melani3 why has “Contact Support” from the settings section of the app been removed? This was how we would find the form to report issues including the ones with regard to these new guidelines, and now it’s gone.

It was there a few days ago before I updated the app and now it’s gone. Do you seriously expect people to come to this thread to access this form for reporting any kind of issue (guidelines, app glitches and whatnot)?

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