Should EPISODE be 15+ instead?

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#228

I’ve been on Wattpad and it’s true there’s a lot of Mature stuff, but it is usually tagged so when kids click on stuff then they know what they’re getting into. Wattpad is a teenaged website and for someone who set they’re account at 12 I shouldn’t have, but there are stories without sex and cussing in it, but they’re hard to find.


#229

Not to be rude, but you’d treat someone who stole a Hershey bar from a store and someone who took someone’s life the same. That’s not right. WOW


#230

What I meant was that they both did the crime on their own, they weren’t forced, and they did it knowing the consequences of their actions. Just because someone did something that’s considered “worse” than another action does not make it any better. They did the crime, they knew what they were getting into, and most don’t feel remorse, so why should I treat them any different.

I don’t know, must be the way I’ve been raised.

Cheers,
R.


#231

I have just spent a bit over an hour reading pretty much all the replies on this thread before presenting my own opinion. :sweat_smile:

I disagree with raising the age rating or making separate sections by age group. Those here who are supporting this are saying this because they believe that Episode is not following the guidelines and have stories inappropriate for 13 year olds and authors want to have more freedom with their writing.

First of all, I must clarify a misunderstanding that @Res seems to still hold. You can write about mature themes, but there are restrictions within that. I understand that you have spoken to an EPISODE staff member, however I would believe over the written and set guidelines from the company as a whole, rather than the one staff member. It could also be you understood the message differently, the staff member was trying to tell you to be cautious, or they straight up told you those things aren’t allowed.

These are the guidelines, copy/pasted:

promotes or depicts excessive violence or assault, including but not limited to sexual assault, murder, and torture against humans or animals;
any 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 usage;
- promotes gambling, betting or casinos;
- portrays adult themes, including pornographic content, nudity, or prostitution; slanders or libels a person or third party;
- 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;
- excessive promotion of the use of firearms, explosives, and ammunition; and excessive promotion of a political agenda.

You are allowed to have profanity as long as it isn’t excessive, you can include suicide, self-harm, abuse, bullying, alcohol, tobacco, drug usage, and gambling as long as you aren’t promoting such activities.

In regards to freedom concerning what an author may publish, an author can write a lot without making the story “kiddy”. There have been many stories on EPISODE that follow the guidelines set out by EPISODE that have darker themes, brilliant story lines, and amazing and mature lessons. If you would like me to name some, let me know.

In regard to the actual content on EPISODE, YES that is not appropriate for 13 year olds and under. Content that is inappropriate and violating guidelines is presented by EPISODE in official stories as well as user stories. EPISODE in fact, targets such audiences through ads that clearly violate their guidelines! Here, it is the community’s responsibility to hold EPISODE responsible for their actions and compel them to change the problematic areas. Although EPISODE removes many stories violating guidelines in the User section, they are unable to keep up with the amount. That is also a problem for Episode to solve by adding to their staff for moderation of content. Making sections by age sounds like a quick fix rather than solving the underlying problem of content violating guidelines being present on the app. OP’s goal of keeping inappropriate content out of young people’s hands is better achieved if EPISODE were to keep content violating their guidelines, off the app.

Here are problems that would come up if EPISODE were to have stories categorized by age group:

  • The biggest problem and one that was brought up frequently: users lying about age.

By making different categories, it means that each category has it’s own set of guidelines to follow. Guidelines get more lax as the age category moves up. This means having an increase in stories that violate the current guidelines. Most users under 13 will lie about their age. This means that those users who have lied now have access to more inappropriate content than they do now. This is the opposite of OP’s goal.

  • Determining which age category a story belongs to.

In the case of a User Story, the categorization of the story is dependent on the user. Obviously, EPISODE will not have the time or the staff to go through every each story to determine the age rating. This drastically increases chances of mature stories going into the wrong category. Again, young users who have been honest about their age will be exposed to stories inappropriate for their age. And if a moderation system is suggested in this case, let’s remember that there would be three different sections: 13-14. 15-17. and 18+. This means that EPISODE has to moderate all these sections. If EPISODE can’t handle the one 13+ section we currently have, how is EPISODE expected to make sure that all the stories on their app is in the appropriate section? This is, once again the opposite of OP’s goal and worsening EPISODE’s moderation system.

Overall, adding different age categories would be make the problem of inappropriate content on the app worse and we would go in the opposite direction of @Res goal. The best way to keep EPISODE safe for the current rating is for EPISODE and authors to uphold the guidelines set.

I had a few other reasons in my mind, but I can’t remember them right now. :sweat_smile:
If they come back to me, I will add on to this post.

I have an essay due tonight, but I feel like I wrote an essay on this post instead. :joy:


#232

:+1:


#233

Good Gracious! That’s one heck of a book you wrote… :joy: You even made @Res go silent… That’s a first.


#234

lol didn’t make me go silent, I just agree. If I did make a mistake, then I’d willingly admit it. Also life has been tough on me lately so I don’t have time to be argumentative over the internet. It’s a well said, well constructed argument, and if I try to ‘argue’ literal logic, I’d make myself look like a fool rather than a sensible human being. So yeah, gotta step down sometimes.

Cheers,
R.


#235

No need to explain. I fully understand…just a bit of light hearted humor. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#236

We all go through tough times…I’ve had a migraine for the past 4 days in a row and still had to carry out my daily routine. (And get up the nerve to give a talk in front of the circuit overseer.)
Sometimes, it’s just nice to have a laugh once in a while…
Hope things get better for you. :v:t4:


#237

Dang, hope you feel better. I know what migraines feel like, feel bad.

Cheers,
R.


#238

I’m not very mature- and I like more tame stories! Thank you for this idea! I love the idea of a 13+ shelf that I can go to


#240

I think Episode really needs to take this into consideration. From what I see, some children can take inappropriate and mature language, some can not take it. And their psychology definitely get affected by it. We just can not say modern 12-13 years old adolescents can curse a lot better than us, say some things a lot worse than us means they have the resistance and maturity for the exposure of strong language; this is because their environment and their family hasn’t given them a proper etiquette education. And they do not have a good understanding of what is good and what is not at that age. They do not have the decision mechanism because they are so young. And I personally think being unaffected from the exposure of strong and mature language has nothing to do with if they can curse and say awful things; it has to do with whether they have the maturity or not. They are still children, and since they do not know what is good or not, since they do not have the conscience and the ability to do enough emphaty, they get affected by it. The more they get exposed to it, the more they think this attitude is appropriate and accepted by society, so that they should act accordingly.


#241

I totally agree with you. Such a thing can not be healthy at all, and in case of such an event there are definitely certain outcomes by law.


#242

I think so, but it won’t stop most people under the age range, so there’s not much of a point. If someone’s determined, they will do it, no matter the simple or complex obstacles.


#244

Yes, personally I do because so many people on episode are actually above the age set limit and are 18 and over. Not all of us are underage or teenagers who write and publish stories on episode. This needs to be taken into consideration. I also recommend that episode works on releasing a mature shelf which will be geared towards a more mature audience. Episode should also reconsider coming up with stricter guidelines for the younger audience on episode that read certain content they have no business reading. If someone 18+ creates a story then it will more than likely be geared towards a more mature audience. Why should his or her a story get banned from having certain contents which were created for a more mature audience as the younger readers receive no type of disciplinary action for reading certain contents which weren’t geared towards their age bracket? Is this really fair to the numerous of adult writers on episode who put in dedication to writing and publishing his or her story on episode? I question why young readers aren’t being supervised or given stricter guild lines on what they should and shouldn’t read on episode.


#245

So many great stories are being banned because the are not pg 13 I do think that a 18 + shelf would allow these stories to be read and loved I think if we did remove all nonpg 13 stories from the shelf there would be none left


#246

I don’t know about laws of other countries but in England anyone who is 16 or over, that films, distributes, or watches etc anything sexual with someone under 16 or engages in any form of sexual contact with anyone under 16 is put on the sex offenders register.
Teachers that are inapropriate with students even over the age of 16 are fired for abuse of position and in some cases are either put on the sex offenders register or banned from working in any sort of position with kids or vunerable adults. These are the laws Im used to in my country and this is what I believe is the right thing to do so that is why some episode stories, and lets face it there are a lot, that portray this kind of thing and often try to decriminalize it, don’t sit right with me and a lot of other people. Show the teacher getting arrested etc then I might be ok with it being aimed at younger kids.


#247

I’m also from England! And I definitely agree with you! Although I think portraying minors having sex is a whole different ballgame Episode needs to deal with.


#248

Yep. They don’t seem to mind stories like that. Any stories I don’t think is appropriate i just don’t read. I don’t report stories (usually) because it’s up to episode to protect their product and it’s reputation and if I did report I’d start with a lot of their feature stories…although there is no option available to report feature stories. I have a high tolerance and I’m the complete opposite of prudish :joy:. But anything sexualising kids it a massive no no for me!!! :-1::angry: now those I would report. If I could I’d report ‘it starts with a bra’ !!!


#249

No. Authors should respect the guideines and write for the PG13 audience. Why should under 15’s be penalised because so many authors disrespect the guidelines and breach them.