Alright, alright, settle down. While this isn't crazy
serious, it's still an update worth note!
Throughout history, art and artists have challenged preconceived notions, pushed boundaries and taken on subjects often considered taboo. Art is alive and constantly changing, much like the community at deviantART is. The CEA Team believes that deviantART policy must grow, adapt and change, to allow artists to push boundaries and express themselves whenever legally and morally possible. Policy must remain flexible in order for something, which was initially ruled as an absolute, to bend and change in order to allow for artists and quality to shine through.
One example of this kind of challenge to policy is with ~FindChaos
's Lesbians 101 series-- a quirky and often humorous guide on lesbianism. Unfortunately, one installment of this guide depicted sex toys, which was removed in accordance with our FAQs prohibiting pornographic imagery. This issue prompted a discussion among staff and our legal adviser regarding our policies and FAQs. Are items like sex toys to be considered inherently and inescapably pornographic, or, as in the case of Lesbians 101, could members express themselves artistically and responsibly despite the content?
The CEA team held a series of meetings about the FAQ that details the prohibitions made in regards to the depiction of sex toys, and after some careful discussion (and using lesbians 101 as an example) we came to the decision that deviations such as these should have a place within the deviantART community. Naturally, we needed to update our FAQ to reflect this. We have spent the week working on the language of the FAQ, and the changes are live! Here's a link for you to see:FAQ #565: You prohibit the submission of 'pornographic imagery'; what do you consider this to be?So what has changed? And what does this realistic depiction mean?
What has changed is that sex toys can now be depicted in deviations (given certain conditions). As for "Realistic", this refers primarily to shape, so a realistic shape and unrealistic candy coloring would still lead to removal. By contrast, a review of the sex toys in Lesbians 101 would not fall under realistic depiction as they have spines, beads, and rabbits protruding from them. We still maintain that sex toys cannot be depicted in use as per the FAQ.
Please also note that context comes into play here. Realistic depictions of sex toys are normally removed, but the educational context of the work such as those used in Lesbians 101 and the clinical treatment of the subject means that this submission is fine with a mature tag- that will not necessarily be the case for other deviations. Because each submission is judged based upon the content, context, and merit of that specific deviation. If there are any doubts on the part of the artist for any reason, they are always free to submit their questions to the +help
Desk, through Policy Inquiries, and we'll be more than happy to help!
We understand that a change to such a specific part of this FAQ may be surprising--there may even be be a lot of attention drawn to this deviation, and it will definitely be a mix of negative and positive--but we really believe that this approach will garner the greatest understanding from the community.
Thank you to ~FindChaos
for her patience and for allowing us to feature her deviation for the sake of this discussion. Be sure to check it out!
It's incredibly exciting when a piece of artwork sparks a discussion amongst our team, and we hope to continually grow and change while still maintaining a safe, artistic environment!