Worried about Mature content in my story

Hi, everyone. I’m worried about my story, I want to include themes of drugs and prostitution in the most non-explicit way possible. However, I’m not sure what borders or disobeys the guidelines.

For example, in my story the MCs end up meeting the Mafia, who are conducting drug deals, but I do not name or promote the drugs that they are selling.

Another instance that I’m worried about is the mention of Prostitution, a very important side character works in a club and they so happen to be a “dancer.” I don’t go into detail but there are hints towards such behavior. I also reference the abusive nature of jobs like that and vehemently discourage it but I’m scared to write a script and have to scrap it because of subtle hinting.

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks in advance.

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Hi, I can definitely relate as I always have concerns before writing a scene where I might think it may go against the guidelines. I’m not the right person to answer this question but my advice would be to look at Episode’s content guidelines. Do keys such as control F to easily find what goes against drugs and abusive behavior. I am aware and have read popular stories that do hint and imply at abusive behavior, but I’m unaware of how far you can go.

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I think you’re fine as long as you’re not promoting, glorifying, or describing in explicit detail. Subtly hint at what’s going on,
without outright saying it.
Taking a look through the guidelines again might also help clarify things for you. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Here is a link to the guidelines if you haven’t given it a look yet:

Here is what it prohibits in regards to sex work:

portrays adult themes, including pornographic content, nudity, or prostitution;

In my interpretation, just hinting towards your “dancer’s” true job should be fine. From the sounds of it, you aren’t portraying her exchanging money for sexual activity, it’s all happening off-screen. The readers won’t be getting details, and it doesn’t sound like it will be promoting it as a great career or anything like that (although sex work is work and I stand with all sex worker, but the job does inherently come with a heightened level of danger).

Here is what it prohibits in regards to drug use:

promotes excessive alcohol, tobacco or drug use;

In reading this, it specifically says drug use, not drug manufacturing/dealing. If you aren’t naming the drugs, showing the drugs, or in any way encouraging or promoting drug use, you should be fine.

That being said, I uploaded an overlay that was a pharmacy pill bottle without a label (but it was a prescription pain killer for a character who had been in an accident). They rejected it multiple times until I put a label on it. Despite the fact they say they don’t allow excessive drug use (which indicates that they would allow limited drug use), I don’t exactly get the feeling they want any drug use on the app. I would be careful with how you portray it.

Here is what it prohibits in regards to abuse:

promotes or depicts excessive violence or assault

This isn’t exactly specific to abuse in organized crime, sex work, etc., but it’s as close as the guidelines get. I think honest discussions about the abuse should be fine, as this rule implies you could even show some level of abuse.

In my personal opinion, if you’re writing a mafia story these things should almost be a requirement to include. I am so sick of seeing 13 year olds write these romanticized stories about organized crime without knowing the bleak realities of mafia, mob, and gang life. I commend you for wanting to make a more realistic story that actually confronts these issues.

You should try and keep in mind that even if you follow the written guidelines, each Episode reviewer is different. Some are quite lenient and will let the little things go, while others will come down hard for things that aren’t even technically infractions. If they do contact you about changing aspects of your story, it’s very important that you either make those changes or get in touch with your reviewer directly to discuss the issue, otherwise you risk your story being removed from trending and/or the app entirely.

I hope this helps and you are able to write your story with the authenticity and truth it deserves. Good luck! :slight_smile:

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The last part is so true about some of them being nice and some of them being super strict :sob: Before I got a proper cover I made a bad looking one myself where it was just two Episode characters and a guy in dipping in for a kiss

And it got rejected for inappropriate content :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Like it was your own animations Episode…? I didn’t add any overlays or extras, just two characters doing basic Episode animations

Till this day I’ll never know why it was rejected

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was the cover scene is a bedroom?
episode doesn’t allow those because it implies… you know

it was on the beach :))

okay now that’s weird :thinking: oh well

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