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  1. benfromcanada
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    benfromcanada Member

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    On obscenity rules...

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by benfromcanada, Jul 2, 2011.

    I didn't see this covered in the first 5 pages, and the rules, frankly, are not specific enough to answer me here. I know that pornography, excessive swearing and graphic violence are prohibited (and it seems some "bad words" are censored, which is a huge red flag for me). But I do want clarification.

    1: What words are counted as "bad"? I am aware of some words that are commonly used that some people find highly offensive, like the "r" word, or commonly used words denoting sexual preference.

    2: Is there a context wherein otherwise forbidden words are allowable? For example, to illustrate that a character is a bigot.

    3: Are there subjects that are off limits?

    4: Are there opinions that are off limits, as in, opinions that get us reprimanded for expressing them in creative works?

    5: If the answer to the former is "yes", what if the opinion is expressed by the work but not supported by the author? For example: the Slayer song "Angel of Death" is told from the perspective of a nazi who earned that nickname, but the band doesn't support racism or genocide in any way (in fact the singer, Tom Arraya, is part Colombian Indian, and thus would have been in the death camps had he been alive in Nazi Germany). The song was meant as an exploration of the mind of someone who would do that kind of stuff. Is that sort of thing disallowed?

    6: Just how strict is the censorship program here? I ask because there are plenty of places that censor obscene words even if they are part of a non-obscene word. For example, the English town of S****horpe has a filthy word for female genitalia in it, the first 3 letters of "Japan" are a racial slur, and the word "circumstance" has a 3 letter combination that is a dirty slang word for a bodily fluid commonly associated with sex, and the word "associated" has it's own naughty 3 word combo. Do the bad words need to be their own words to be asterix'd out?

    7: How explicit must a description of sex be to counted as porn? That is a serious question.
     
  2. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    1. Swear words are counted as bad. The "f" word and "s" word, primarily, I guess, and then the "c-bomb". Things like crap are alright, being that it's really not insulting. Also, what the hell is the "r" word? I mean, I'm honestly disappointed in myself that there's a swear I don't know about.

    2. If it's in fiction, cool. Otherwise, no. I can't think of any situation other than in prose where a forbidden word is okay (other than real life, but... you know. That's not really what we're talking about here).

    3. Advertising (esp. for commercial gain) is pretty much it, I think. Censorship isn't something that this forum is intent on, other than on curse words due to the possibility of young forum-goers (even though they swear at school anyway. You know it's true)

    4. Again, censorship is a no-go area here, but being a bigot isn't going to make you many friends and will probably get your posts reported, even though it shouldn't be against forum rules. If you're just discussing your particular opinion, though, it should be fine. Again, though, there's the line between friends and no friends, you know?

    5. Have you ever read those disclaimers at the start of movies and stuff that are like, "The opinions expressed within the following commentaries are those of the individuals and not of Sony Entertainment" and so on? Yeah. Basically the same thing, but that's a disclaimer to protect Sony. If you're worried, get a disclaimer.

    6. I think you're getting too far into semantics there. Some things are censored for good reason, like ****, ****, and ****. There's no need for martial law though, just because some words contain bad things.

    7. How explicit does a description of sex even need to be? I mean, the main problem here is with pornographic images, as is bound to be prevalent on the internet. I mean, there's erotica, and then there's anatomy. If you want to go on and on about a phallus, feel free. That's your right as a writer, I guess.
     
  3. benfromcanada
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    benfromcanada Member

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    You have assuaged several of my fears. Thank you. The "r word" is "retard" and derivatives of it. There's also another "s word" - spastic, or "spaz" or any derivative thereof.


    I have to be specific when asking about the rules because I've seen sites with guidelines identical to yours that did censor things like "retarded" or "piss" or some such. I need to know just how strict you are before I decide to hang my hat here.
     
  4. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    It says somewhere in the rules that graphic rape scenes aren't allowed. For sexual content, violence, etc include a specific warning in the title of the thread, so more sensitive readers won't click on it.
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not even going to get into that debate... I've heard it way too many times from retards who don't mind being called retards and non-retards who think it's the worst thing since the holocaust.

    Quite frankly, it's the tone and inflection in a person's voice that defines an insult, not the word itself.

    The end.
     
  6. benfromcanada
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    benfromcanada Member

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    Mal: what's the "etc"? Anyway, a ban on rape scenes won't affect me much. I've only ever written about rape in past tense or metaphorically. The closest to doing a "rape scene" I've ever done was in a bloated novel that I wrote and abandoned. I didn't show it happening but I described the lead up and aftermath in detail. Even though it served a real purpose in the story (to show how evil one character had gone, to set up one character rebelling against the villains, and to challenge one character's belief that people are generally good) I still felt bad and weird about writing it.

    Cruci: worry not, I don't want in on that argument either. I feel that my side (the one that is in favour of saying such words) is the only reasonable one. But, I felt a need to censor it in there until I knew the word was halal.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What you will NOT get is a point by point set of rules that define exactly what is and what is not over the top. Such rules only encourage a certain type of persion from seeign how far they can push the limits and get awat with it.

    The general guideline is that an acceptable piece of writing for this site would nit get a film rating in excess of USA's PG-13.

    But if we see someone trying to push the limits on a regular basis, be assured: We push back. Hard.

    The recommended age range for this site is 13 and up, and we expect and demand that all members be senstitive to the fact that we DO have quite a few members at the low end of that range.

    You don't have to post the raciest material to participate in critique that will improve ALL of your writing.
     
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