VocaTales Content Guidelines

Last modified: June 13, 2023

VocaTales is a community built around creative expression. So, while we welcome the kinds of experimentation, transgression, and boundary-pushing that are vital to the creative instinct, we also need to ensure that the content we share is aligned with our Community Mission. That’s why we hold ourselves and our community members to content standards that promote inclusive, respectful, and constructive engagement across the platform.

Before you begin exploring and creating on VocaTales, please review these guidelines for good conduct and appropriate content so you’ll know what to expect and how to uphold our community values:

Principles of Good Conduct on VocaTales

  1. Do no harm – While it's impossible to guarantee a story won't upset or offend someone, reasonable measures should be taken to avoid this outcome. Content liable to directly provoke harm in the real world is prohibited.
  2. Post with good intentions – "Good intentions" covers any earnest attempt at creative contribution for the purposes of self-expression, collaboration, or thoughtful critique and discussion. However, simply having good intentions does not excuse posting prohibited content or violating guidelines. Content created with the intent of upsetting others is unacceptable.
  3. Use Respect and Common Sense – Familiarize yourself with the Content Guidelines, Community Mission, Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service. Always use good judgement when posting online, treat others with kindness, and keep an open mind and a critical eye. Never post personal information that doesn't belong on public forums, whether it belongs to you or others.

If you discover content that seems to violate our guidelines, we encourage you to report it.

Mature Rating

The easiest way for creators to mitigate harm without compromising their expression is to accurately label their content. This way readers can make informed decisions about engaging with specific boards and stories which may contain distressing or controversial topics. Creators whose stories encompass such mature topics are expected to label their work with a “Mature” rating and are encouraged to provide additional content warnings for readers who may wish to avoid sensitive subject matters.

Mature Content

A “Mature” rating does not bypass our content guidelines or allow for the posting of prohibited content. Any story that violates our guidelines will be removed and its author(s) subject to a ban.

“Mature” means 18 and older on VocaTales. Users under 18 years old cannot post or access content with a Mature rating. Content should be classified as Mature if it includes:

  • Explicit sex scenes or graphic sexual language or themes.
  • Potentially traumatic content including themes or depictions of mental illness, abuse (whether physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual), self-harm, and/or suicidal ideation/behavior.
  • Any other potentially distressing or disturbing content, including but not limited to depictions of graphic violence, intense horror, and ideological extremism.

Additionally, content may be given a mature rating if, for any reason, its creator feels it may not be suitable for younger audiences.

Prohibited Content

  • Violent Content: As opposed to depictions of violence, we consider content itself to be violent when it intends to or is liable to provoke a violent or harmful effect/reaction in the real world. Violent Content includes content which:
    • Advocates, glorifies, or trivializes violent, abusive, or harmful behaviors (this applies to all types of violence; physical, sexual, emotional, etc.)
    • Promotes hateful or dehumanizing ideologies (including racism, sexism, and other discriminatory beliefs)
    • Constitutes bullying, harassment, doxing, or any other violation of the personal rights of others.
  • Pornographic Material: Content intended to stimulate sexual arousal is considered pornographic and is prohibited from VocaTales. This includes sexually explicit messaging between users and any other content or action which is primarily sexual in nature.
  • Sexual Violence and Non-consent: Graphic and gratuitous depictions of sexual violence are prohibited. The age of consent on VocaTales is 18+ and sexual contact between characters below this age is prohibited.
  • Stolen Content: Do not post content that does not belong to you. See our Policy on Copyright Infringement and Reporting Copyright Infringement.
  • Spam: Advertisements for products and services not approved by VocaTales is prohibited. While sharing personal boards and stories is fine, gratuitous self-promotion will also be removed.

Additional Moderation

Some posts which do not contain prohibited content may still be removed at VocaTales’ discretion. Our moderation policy is designed to accommodate as much creative freedom as possible without sacrificing the well-being of our community.

When determining whether to remove a post, we consider both its apparent intent and apparent effect, including an evaluation of the likelihood and magnitude of its potential real-world impact. Posts with apparent harmful intent or disproportionate potential for harmful impact will be removed.

While no moderation system is perfect, this one affords more flexibility in accommodating controversial subject matter and formal experimentation. For example, it would allow a distinction between an effective satire which includes a sexist character, and a story which is simply sexist.

Community Reporting

If you discover content that seems to violate our guidelines, we encourage you to report it. Even if it does not contain prohibited material, we consider community reports in determining the apparent impact/effect of posted content.