So I want to discuss a topic that has been around for quite some time: problematic stories. First of all, it’s honestly annoying how people call everything problematic these days. How are these.stories problematic? Secondly, if people find something problematic, why don’t they just leave it? Instead of insulting the author? Honestly, this is so annoying
Oh god, not this again. I honestly thought this ended way back in 2019 or even 2020
Let me think about that
They’re problematic because:
They mostly promote rape
They promote abusive relationships
They promote teacherxstudent relationships, which, if you didn’t know, is not correct. There will never be a good enough reason to justify a relationship between someone posed with the responsibility of being in charge of a group of people, then taking advantage of them
Step parent/sibling relationships, which promote incest and can never be ok, if you didn’t know.
Once someone sees something, won’t it stick with them forever? And why doesn’t the author just not write about it? That’s unfair and not right at all
If you think those stories are alright, then no offence, but you need to be reoriented. No way in hell can those stories be ok for an audience of majority being 13-16. And anyway, regardless of this, an author should be prepared to get criticism.
Not to sound offensive but your thinking is the reason why the community must continue to denounce these problematic contents. To say that we should leave these stories active on the app is just unimaginable, because we are normalizing what is dangerous. We must not forget that Episode is an app that also gathers 12-13 year old girls, so yes, it is important to denounce authors who romanticize toxic issues in their stories, before young girls find this kind of things normal. And most of these authors are old enough to be educated on these subjects, so I don’t agree with you. The only thing I’m against is harassing these authors.
ok no this is NOT it. girl pls go touch some grass because i-
the definition of a problematic story is generally accepted to be a story that misrepresents minority groups/promotes harmful stereotypes. it’s very very difficult to “just leave” a story that is promoting blatant homophobia/transphobia/ableism , or reinforcing harmful stereotypes about minority groups that simply are not true .
i’m an autistic, queer mentally ill person who often sees ableism (eg bashing neurodivergent people, using slurs like rtard/spastc, etc), homophobia/transphobia (eg using slurs like fggot/trnny, degrading queer ppl etc) or even just harmful stereotypes like the white cis gay femme best friend who is predatory + makes straight men feel uncomfortable , or the autistic kid who can’t do anything on his own …a lot of other episode stories have ben known to promote rape or teacherxstudent stories (which are heavily pedophilic and are just No).
stereotypes + discrimination + generally harmful concepts that people shouldn’t be promoting are all over the platform (whether they’re intentionally harmful to a minority group or if the author is just ill educated) . because of this , a lot of people try to EDUCATE the author on the fact that their content is harmful. (remember that when you publish your content on a public platform like episode, you’re opening it up to critique from everybody. literally ANYBODY can read it.) there is a difference between bashing/insulting an author and trying to teach them how their content is very very harmful to minority groups.
what makes an author or story problematic is when they fail to fix their mistakes and don’t care about the harm they’re causing to minority groups.
so in conclusion, no, it’s more annoying when a story is problematic, actually.
I don’t mean to sound rude, really, but if your questions are reduced to:
then, just go back to those threads and read them top to bottom (or just a good chunk will do) and you’ll get your answers. People have explained multiple times what are the topics that by common sense are problematic, and why it’s important to ‘call out’ stuff that should not even exist frankly.
You mentioned how people call everything out and deem it problematic these days. This stuff mostly happened in old threads which you can still find here on the forums. They were threads entirely dedicated to this topic. Just open one and read it
They don’t leave it bc episode is an app for teens. For example if there is a toxic relationship between a boss + employee that makes a 13 yr old think that’s usual. When in actual fact, that’s sexual harassment.
Authors romanticising rape, that’s extremely harmful for a 13 yr old bc it could influence their opinions on these topics forever. The Li saying ‘it’s your fault, that dress is too short.’ Could make a teen think it is their fault, if anything was to happen to them. Problematic topics r damaging n harmful for ppl n v influential. We talk abt it bc problematic themes (physical abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault) r normalised on episode n r used for romance/comedic effect.
It’s vital to inform members of the community abt this n make sure ppl know what they see in episode is not realistic n is wrong. Make sure they know a teacher sexual touching a student is not romantic, it’s harassment. All the above is definitely problematic, perhaps it’s not us exaggerating how many problematic stories and maybe it’s just they’re being normalised more and more…
Stories are problematic if they glorify the wrong things. Honestly it shouldn’t take a person to know that there are people who are 13 year olds and under reading the stories to understand that you shouldn’t make light of sexual harassment, it’s just common sense. Although there are some people that are just plain toxic, calling out authors for no reason and just bullying, that shouldn’t invalidate everyone else’s actions for trying to get the author to change an actual problematic scene/story. I don’t think people understand this, but stories can have a strong influence over kids who just randomly stumble upon the app, like it’s not hard to pretend to be a 13 year old, all you need to do is press agree and you’ll have access to the stories.
Ignoring an issue doesn’t make it not an issue. I think an important thing to remember is that causing harm or romanticizing abuse, misogyny, etc. doesn’t have to be intentional and often times it may not be. Everyone may say it’s just a story, but we’re all conditioned by the media we consume. That’s the entire point of telling stories - to send messages. They don’t always have to be deep, of course.
Stories can also have problematic elements without the story as a whole needing to be written off. I know people who care about the impact of stories are often accused of wanting something ideologically pure or without conflict, but anyone making that point is just creating a massive strawman. There are a lot of events and experiences that are really serious that can be written about responsibly and not for the sake of adding low-effort dramatic plot points or shock value.
Who’s writing the stories and how we respond to them matters too. I would not expect the same standards from someone who is 16 compared to someone who is 26. Mostly because the teenagers on the app (who are the target demographic of the app) are often just emulating the media around them, both on and off Episode. Episode’s guidelines deal with specific scenarios of content, but they aren’t really written to address the cultural influence of stories and the messages they send. They have guidelines against sexual assault, but those scenarios have to look a very specific way in order for Episode to actually consider them guideline violations - otherwise you wouldn’t see an MC getting assaulted or being the victim of an attempted assault in so many stories just for the purpose of the LI playing the hero and bringing them closer together. But just because it’s not necessarily a guideline violation doesn’t mean it’s not culturally harmful; it still sends a very particular message about what assault looks like and how people should or are likely to respond to being assaulted, etc.
And a lot of these issues pop up in places you don’t expect them. Or they rely on stereotypes in ways people who aren’t affected by them don’t see as an issue and get to dismiss and deflect. No one will ever be able to write a story where there aren’t a bunch of ways to do things more carefully or with more nuance, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be doing the best we can.
Put yourself in the mcs (who you’re playing as) shoes and ask yourself,
Do you want to be sold by human traffickers then somehow fall “in love” with them?
Do you want to be forced to marry a mafia leader?
Do you what to be in a gang?
Do you want to be raped?
99% of episode readers don’t want any of those things and the app is for 13+ middle schoolers who read episode shouldn’t be thinking any of that is “love” so portraying them in stories is bad.