I could use your help because I’m not really sure about the cover situation…
I understand that children who are under 16 cannot be the main focus of the cover. My cover is two people and of them is holding a baby (the prop they offer). Technically, it’s a baby under 16 and it’s an important part of the cover. But it’s not a character as the other two if you know what I mean.
I’m confused here
Thank you! I’ve seen that so many people are confused about this (too) and spread misinformation within the community. This is my understanding too: the guidelines never said you have to include a choice every time. It says you can’t include sex that is non-consensual. I wanted to share a great post about this, but I can’t find it. Anyways, it was an example of a story in which the MC was drugged, so that was a great example.
I have a comedy story with a male MC who sleeps around, so it would be pretty funny to ask the readers if they agree. My MC agrees lol, and if the reader doesn’t, they will probably stop reading the story anyway.
One more thing I’d like to point out: I’ve seen it many times that people think you can’t says sex anymore in stories. I think this is a misunderstanding too, I haven’t seen this mentioned in the guidelines. You can say sex, you can make references to it, you just can’t include any graphic or explicit details in your story.
Also, great summary @alliesepisode!
Even if they do clarify things and say that you need a choice every time, you could ‘get around it’ by asking the reader if they wanted to read or skip the scene. So any sex that is a part of your story and doesn’t make sense for the reader to decide whether or not it happens, they can instead decide whether or not they read/see it.
I think I’m safe though, I would never put sex scenes in my stories I just refer to it briefly in some dialogues.
Thank you, @alliesepisode for clarifying the new guidelines!
when the MC is talking to the bartender, then the other character have a beer is his hand while facing/talking to another character then bump into the MC then start n argument n then start fighting. Only 3 punches n the guy got knock out. Fair enough?
“I hate her!”
“I disklike her!” - could use, maybe?
“I hate you”
“I don’t hate them”
hm…explain more on this one because I think there is more dialogue about hate.
yeah my mind was unsure if it does promote hate or not, I wasn’t really unsure, give me some example
That isn’t quite hate speech. Hate speech is more like (Religous group) are sick disgusting people! They should all die!"
Thanks! It can be really confusing.
That’s perfectly fine! It’s more if you had animations showing like flying blood splatters or graphic detail that it’s not ok.
Honestly, I think that should be fine because the baby isn’t the ‘focus’ of the cover. The people holding it are. And the child isn’t shown, technically it’s just a blanket lump XD If you aren’t sure, submit your cover for review!
I saw that at most 1000 of the people who viewed episode’s newest post on the forum didn’t see the new guidelines, so here I am trying to help stop the spread of misinformation
Not allowed periodt:
- 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.
- 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
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 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
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
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 and 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
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
No illegal gambling or betting. This includes but is not limited to cock fighting, underground fighting or illegal sports betting
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
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
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.
That’s all! I have noticed some changes but there’s not as many as people make it out to be. I think some people are reading what other people are saying and making an opinion without reading the guidelines. I’m glad episode is banning rape, because it hasn’t been about spreading awareness for a lot of authors, but for a sad backstory or plot twist.
As the title already said, I am giving my opinion on all of this drama and then will attempt to answer some common questions.
Please note that I am not an Episode employee, but I will try to have proof for every claim I make in this.
So, I am sick of all the misinformation spread on the Forums and especially on Instagram. If you want to hate, read the guidelines and do a quick search on the Forums to see whether or not your question was already answered. I get that some of the things Episode now announced seem a little too much, but Episode is a PG-13 app, which means that they have to have certain rules in order to follow the law. Other rules are there so people don’t take advantages of loopholes. Please also remember, that most of these rules were just clarification of the old ones, since people asked for this in the survey Episode made. The only thing that Episode does wrong right now, is to reject certain covers, that fit the guidelines and to not answer all the questions people are having.
And now to some questions!
So we can’t use violence and guns anymore?
Yes, you can! Just not on your cover and it shouldn’t be too much. So you shouldn’t describe a corpse in full detail, but you can say, that someone got shot.
Can I still use drugs?
Yes, you can, but you can’t promote them, which is a good thing. You could, for example, have one character smoke and their partners tells them, that it is going to kill them someday. That would portray smoking, but it wouldn’t promote it, since it is stated that smoking is harmful.
Can I have shirtless guys on my Cover?
Yes and No. Someone in the Community became an Email, that states, that it depends on the case. I think having two characters on the beach in swimming clothes is okay, but if one straddles the other, that would break the guidelines. When in doubt, send the Cover or a similar Cover to the review team.
Can I use some song lyrics?
Based on the newest featured story, yes, you can, since they are using lins out of the song ‘thank u, next’ by Ariana Grande.
What kind of profanity is allowed?
Of course I can’t tell you every single thing that is allowed, but I have tortured myself and went through all the episodes of the new featured story ‘Love on Fire’, to see what they use there. Here is a short list of mild ‘swearing’ that is used:
Hot AF (You can use abbreviations like AF and ffs but not the fully written phrase)
I know that this is a pretty short list, but this is the latest work of Episode and thus the most reliable. I can’t know if the other books are already edited, so this is my best shot. Words like fck, sht etc. seem like they have to be censored. But you can’t use any profanity in a sexual context, even if it is censored, since that is what the MPAA decided,
If you have anything to add you can just comment it.
Sorry for the grammar mistake, but it is about 5am here and I haven’t slept a minute, because I played through Love on Fire, arguably one of Episode’s worst work. I honestly can’t tell whether or not it is satirical.
Thank you for clearing some things up. I was totally misinformed the first time I read through Episode’s IG comments.
You shouldn’t ever trust Instagram on these things, they like to take passages out of context. But it is great to see, that you are trying to learn more about this!
Gurl why, get some sleep!
When It Starts With a Bra, My First Everything, and now Love on Fire are all satirical, there comes a certain point where there’s nothing serious left to satire. But that’s none of my business.
But seriously, thanks for this! Misinformation spreads like wildfire, we’ve gotta fight it when we can.