What is or is not acceptable on the Episode Platform and in the Episode Community?
Our Official Content Guidelines are as follows:
If stories contain objectionable or offensive content, we may not be able to feature or host them on Episode. Stories must always be appropriate for all readers ages 13 or older, which means content would be objectionable if it, among other things:
- promotes or depicts excessive violence or assault, including but not limited to sexual assault, murder, and torture against humans or animals;
- includes hate speech or content that promotes hatred or discrimination against individuals or groups, on the basis of race, ethnic or national origin, religion, marital status, disability, gender, age, or sexual orientation;
- promotes suicide, self-harm, abuse, or bullying;
- promotes excessive alcohol, tobacco or drug use;
- promotes gambling, betting or casinos;
- portrays adult themes, including pornographic content, nudity, or prostitution;
- slanders or libels a person or third party;
- includes excessive use of profanity or sexually explicit phrases;
- advertises for outside products or services, including but not limited to website links, reviews, and promotional language;
- excessively promotes the use of firearms, explosives, and ammunition; or
- excessively promotes a political agenda.
In addition, by submitting your story, you agree that it does not include any content that infringes on the intellectual property rights or rights of publicity or privacy of any third party.
This may include using any of the following without permission:
- Any copyrights or works of authorship of other parties, including excerpts or passages taken from literary works, video games, television or film;
- References to corporate or business names; or
- Any references to real persons or places.
If your story contains a scene that could be a trigger for some viewers, you should use a content warning. A content warning is a written notice that precedes potentially sensitive content.
Let’s give some examples of what is NOT allowed on the app. Please note this is not a complete list; these are just examples. Don’t post content if you think it may violate our guidelines.
- Story Cards - In addition to all of the below guidelines, the following guidelines apply to story cards:
- No implication that characters are having, have had, or are about to have sex. This includes (but is not limited to) any actual or implied nudity, a bed scene with more than one person, depiction of one or more characters who are sexually touching themselves or one another, images that depict sex work or a sexual act in exchange for compensation
- No sexual props or items being used in a sexual context
- No nudity, even with censors
- No guns
- No drug or alcohol use of any kind
- No profanity of any kind
- No depiction of bullying
- No language that relates to racism or racial profiling or stereotypes
- Children under the age of 16 cannot be the focus, including any context of overlays and backgrounds (e.g. a closeup of a child on a swing)
- No use of the Episode logo
- Copyright Policy & Take Down Requests
- No derogatory-based words or discriminatory language
- No use of profane language without bleeps or using an * (you can look to ratings from organizations such as the MPAA or TV Parental Guidelines to help understand what may be considered excessive for similar audiences)
- No use of sexually explicit profanity
- No profanity of any kind in story titles
- Nudity / Sexual Content:
- No depiction of sex (or anything suggesting that sex is occurring at that moment) in any form, including but not limited to, nudity in a sexual context, gyrating bodies, oral sex, or moaning/groaning.
- No explicit sexual details of what is happening, has happened or will happen off-screen
- No nudity without censor bars or scenery to censor
- No reference to orgies, sexual fetishes, and specific sexual positions
- No descriptions or depictions of non-consensual sex. Through content or through choice selection, the reader must be able to give consent to having sex or performing sexual acts (i.e. reader must always have the option to turn it down without punishment or judgment)
- No graphic/explicit/detailed description or depiction of active, ongoing sexual abuse involving a character who is under 18 years of age.
- No graphic/explicit/detailed description or depiction of illegal relationships such as incest
- Drugs & Alcohol:
- No description or depiction of active, ongoing drug, alcohol or tobacco use by characters who are under the age of 16
- No graphic/explicit/detailed descriptions or glorification of the use or effects of drugs, alcohol or tobacco
- No glorification of an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
- No characters may use hard drugs or associated paraphernalia, including but not limited to: cocaine, heroin or other injectables, non-prescription pills e.g. LSD, prescription brand or non-brand medication outside of prescribed use e.g. Xanax, unidentified powders or pills
- Assault, Violence & Torture:
- No graphic / explicit / detailed descriptions of rape / assault / murder / torture / violence / gore / etc. This includes (but is not limited to): heavy or excessive use of blood or weapons or scars, use of dead bodies or body parts
- No depiction of torture or parental abuse on screen
- Gambling & Betting
- No illegal gambling or betting. This includes but is not limited to cock fighting, underground fighting or illegal sports betting
- Suicide & Self-Harm:
- No graphic / explicit / detailed descriptions of suicide / self-harm / etc.
- No depiction of suicide / self harm that is depicted as feeling good, being a relief, or a means of escape
- No depiction of blood, wounds, gore or bodies resulting from suicide
- Hate Speech:
- No hate speech in any form on the basis of (but not limited to) race, ethnic or national origin, religion, marital status, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, or gender expression
- No glorification of any persons, real or fictional, who promote hate
- No promotion or honoring of hate symbols
- Authors may not advertise or promote non-Episode services or platforms on the app
- No excessive promotion of a political agenda
- Brands, Real People and Places :
- Brands cannot be a plot point or drive the story
- Story cards, backgrounds or overlays cannot contain brand references
- Real People and Places
- No images or illustrated likenesses of celebrities or historical or contemporary public figures are allowed as characters or on backgrounds, overlays or story cards
- Celebrities and historical or contemporary public figures cannot appear as characters
- Celebrities, historical or contemporary public figures, and real places cannot be a plot point or drive the story.
If we find that a story does not conform to the Content Guidelines listed above or our Terms of Service, we will contact the author via their portal account email and may suspend and/or remove that story from the platform. Authors who repeatedly violate Content Guidelines may be temporarily or permanently suspended from all or part of our platform. Please note these guidelines are subject to change.
Hopefully, this clarifies some of the questions and concerns we receive around what is appropriate in our app. As always, please reach out to our Support Desk with any questions you have about content within your story. We’re here to help!