Episode Interactive: Changing Mature Content Guidelines

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Hello everyone! This is a petition surrounding Episode Interactive and their content guidelines for authors. Please give it a read!

SHORT VERSION: Sign this petition if you think Episode should have an ‘Adult Section’ that is restricted to people that are not logged into an account with a birthday older than 16/18 y/o. In this section, mature themes are permitted and not as strictly forbidden as they are in the general feed.

LONG VERSION: Episode guidelines have long condemned adult/ mature content in user stories in order to protect the many young persons that use the app. Understandably, of course, as we are all aware that there are many young people using this app. However! There are also many, many adults using this app.

For reference, adult materials include:
- Sexual themes (which are EVERYWHERE on episode, even in Original stories)
- Illicit substances (drugs/ alcohol (u18/21); which are all over episode)
- Crime (organised crime, for example, as is ever-present on Episode)
- Issues relative to triggers/ trauma (abuse/ violence, very frequently mentioned in community stories)

While the guidelines are completely justified, Episode has come under fire for as long as I can remember for themselves producing & promoting content that seemingly violates their own guidelines (i.e. In My Bed, covers for THE KISS LIST & Love Life, Bad Girl Boss, etc.)

Many other apps and sources of entertainment adopt similar guidelines in order to protect their youth; take YouTube for an example. HOWEVER, YouTube incorporates a wide selection of videos that are unavailable to users that are under a certain age (16/18).

This petition serves as a recommendation for Episode to consider adopting a similar approach. We understand that these things take time, but we believe that it’s important we start looking towards the future and how the app may be modified in order to benefit a wider audience.

It is recommended that episode create a restricted “adult” section whereby authors may include explicit discussions and references to mature content without fearing non-compliance with guidelines. This section should be restricted to the average user; only accessible to those that have a registered episode account and have provided a birthday that indicates they are above age 16. This model is extremely similar to that utilised by YouTube.

Adult themes are generally present in many of the best-selling books across the globe. Many young adults out there turn their noses up at Episode because it is preconceived as being “childish”, however there is so much untapped potential within this app. A whole, greater audience has yet to be catered to and it is our firm belief that episode would stand to gain tremendously by adopting this change!

Our goal is for this to be seen and considered by Episode as a genuine policy recommendation. We would love to engage in any further discussion with people from the Episode community and any staff!

Please take a second to sign this petition and share it with your like-minded friends if you support this change!