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Ratings Policy: How to apply Mature Content Warnings

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:25 pm    Post subject: Ratings Policy: How to apply Mature Content Warnings Reply with quote

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Here is a guide to our current rating system. When submitting content to FAC, you will see the following fields, called Content Advisories. If you are submitting a piece that contains "mature" (potentially offensive) content, you must assign an advisory to identify the type of content it contains. Failure to assign required content warnings to an FAC submission may result in the rejection or removal of your submission by site staff.

The content advisories are as follows:


    Nudity identifies artwork displaying a nude subject, human characters in particular. In general, this is evaluated on whether the subject is depicted in a "revealing" manner, and not upon whether the subject wears any 'actual' clothes. It is normal for fantasy, anthropomorphic and animal subjects to be drawn with nothing more than natural pelage (fur, feathers, or scales); this is generally not considered "revealing" and does not automatically need a Nudity advisory to be issued.

    The advisory levels for Nudity are:

    - Mild: General nudity advisory, for depicted or implied nudity that is not "revealing" enough to mandate a stronger advisory. For human subjects, this generally includes depictions of "skimpy", "fetish", or partially revealing upper-body attire (such as partially covered or self-censored breasts on female subjects). For other subjects, this may include artwork that focuses on areas of nude anatomy without actually depicting it.

    - Moderate - a Moderate advisory is essentially anything above the Mild level that does not require the Explicit level advisory defined below. Moderate Nudity is allowed to depict bare breasts on any female subject, or bare buttocks in a comic or nonrealist manner (i.e. "mooning"). For example, a bare-breasted fantasy mermaid will generally require a Moderate nudity advisory. Explicit nudity that has been appropriately self-censored by the artist before submission can usually be assigned a Moderate level warning.

    - High - a High (or Explicit) Nudity warning is required for direct depiction of nude genetalia on any subject, regardless of the specific context. A drawing of Michaelangelo's famous David sculpture, without the clip-on accessory, for example would mandate this level advisory even though it is widely considered an example of 'artistic' nudity.

Inappropriate Nudity:

    While most nudity is acceptable when properly labelled, some is not. In particular, the following forms of Nudity are considered inappropriate for submission and will be subject to removal:

  • Depiction of a male erection, even if self-censored by the artist before submission;
  • Gratuitous depiction of explicit nudity, i.e. a depiction that focuses entirely on the subject's genetalia and nothing else;
  • Explicit nudity in combination with urination, defecation, or lactation;
  • Nudity combined with inappropriate Sexual Content, which is similarly disallowed.

Sexual Content

    Warns of the depiction of innuendo, "fetish" or suggestive content, depictions of sexual conduct or behavior between subjects in particular.

    If combined with the Nudity warning, this can also indicate if the nudity is used in a suggestive (erotic), or non-suggestive (artistic) context.

    Because the level of sexual content may be interpreted differently depending on whether or not it also contains nudity, the levels for sexual content are defined approximately as:

    - Mild - For general suggestive, provocative, or "fetish" content which does not mandate a stronger advisory. For example, a suggestive pose, revealing attire, suggestive language, or romantic activity that mildly exceeds casual hugs, kissing, or glomps but does not involve clearly intimite or sexual behavior.

    - Moderate - For suggestive content that exceeds the Mild advisory, but does not mandate the Explicit level advisory defined below. May include depictions of intimite behavior, such as subjects engaged in a suggestive embrace or depicted in bed.

Inappropriate Sexual Content:

    - The "High" or "Explicit" level sexual content advisory is no longer permitted on FAC, and any artwork which is deemed to require this level advisory (essentially, if it would need an "R" or "NC17" equivalent label) will be subject to immediate removal. This includes:
  • Depiction of sexual contact or sexual penetration between multiple subjects (e.g. "foreplay", "intercourse", or "yiff");
  • Sexual penetration or gratification of any single subject (erotic toys or masturbation, "orgasm" or "spooge");
  • Or any clear indication of the above, even if self-censored by the artist.


    Identifies depiction of blood, gore, or other violent acts. Levels are defined approximately as:

    - Mild - General violence advisory, such as comic violence with no loss of blood or limbs. Roughly equivalent to a "PG" rating.
    - Moderate - Moderate violence generally indicates depiction of some blood or gore, or significant fighting or violence that does not involve blood or gore. Roughly equivalent to a "PG-13" rating (e.g. Lord of the Rings).
    - High - Any other violence or content involving graphic depiction of bloodshed, gore, dismemberment, serious injury or destruction. Roughly equivalent to an "R" rating.


    Warns of profanity (swear words) in the submission, regardless of whether they appear in the submitted image or the Description the artist provides. This means that if you curse like a sailor when talking about an otherwise all-ages submission, you must still supply a Language advisory.

    - Mild - General language advisory, such as occasional use of common curse words (i.e. "hell", "damn", "crap"), or full self-censoring (or Bowdlerizing) of more 'serious' profanity.
    - Moderate - For occasional use of most four-letter expletives, partial self-censoring or Bowdlerizing of the most offensive profanity, or proliferous or extensive use of profanity which could otherwise have been given a Mild advisory.
    - High - Generally reserved for the "F-bomb" and any other sexual profanity, or proliferous or extensive use of profanity that could otherwise have been given a Moderate rating.


    Warns of themes expressing bigorty, prejudice, violence or hatred from one human race towards another, particularly (but not limited to) Anti-Semitism.

    The individual levels for this advisory are not well-defined, and should be approached with caution:

    - Mild - General warning for content that can be attributed to racism, such as the Nazi swastika, the so-called "Rebel Flag", censored or Bowdlerized racial slurs, or so on.
    - Moderate - May depict or contain more serious racial themes or slurs.
    - High - May contain or portray blatant racist themes (commonly referred to as "hate art").

Shonen-ai / Yaoi

    - Advisory label for male homosexual themes. "Yaoi" is actually a more-explicit subtype of the more general shonen-ai ("boy love") genre, and because of this, a Yaoi warning is usually assigned in combination with some level of Sexual Content advisory.

Shojo-ai / Yuri

    - Advisory label for female homosexual themes. "Yuri" is technically a more-explicit subtype of the more general shojo-ai ("girl love") genre, therefore a Yuri warning is generally assigned in combination with some level of Sexual Content advisory.

The Spoiler Warning

    - Be warned: FAC submissions may contain spoilers!

    Spoilers are not offensive in the usual sense of the term. A "Spoiler" simply means to reveal key information (generally climax information, such as plot twists) about a work of fiction which is not already common knowledge, thus "spoiling" that person's experience when reading the work of fiction themselves. Darth Vader's infamous line "I am your father" used to be a spoiler (but has since become common knowledge), while "Snape kills Dumbledore" is still a bit of Harry Potter spoiler, because not everyone has read the books.

    The exact 'level' of a Spoiler warning is left up to the user's individual discretion, and generally varies depending on what the spoiler is, where it occurs in the work of fiction, and which characters it involves.

Related Guidelines

  • Mild or Moderate?
    There's a little room for interpretation between each level of advisory and the next, we can't draw an exact line in the sand to precisely divide one level from the other. It occasionally happens that a piece does not clearly fall under the heading of a lower- or higher- level advisory; in these cases, we leave the decision up to you; you can, for example, be conservative and assign the higher level rating for "borderline" content.

  • Don't issue Yaoi and Yuri warnings at the same time.
    While it is technically possible for a certain submission to require both warnings, this rarely happens in practice, and 99.9% of submissions flagged as containing both types of homosexual content are merely from newbies who don't know what the labels actually mean, and their pieces are quickly rejected by our approval staff members.

  • Don't assign Spoiler warnings to original art submissions.
    The Spoiler warning is designed for submissions based on an existing series, i.e. fanart and fanfiction. Original art does not require this warning.

  • Don't issue an advisory that you obviously don't need.
    We sometimes see pieces tagged with every Mild-level advisory in the list (for example, ). This is treated the same as issuing both yaoi and yuri warnings: 99.9% of the time these are submitted by newbies who don't understand how the advisory system works, and their pieces are quickly rejected by our approval staff members.

Strata here: Nanowrimo - FAC - dA - FA
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