Today, we released code changes to PaperDemon.com in order to further enforce our dedication to child safety. Our adult section will now no longer allow access for guests. You must now have a registered account with us with a birthdate demonstrating age 18 or older to gain access to mature content. Links to the adult section have also been removed from our main nav for guests and underage members.
This change is consistent with the functionality of other websites that host adult art content such as Furaffinity.net, Newgrounds.com, and Twitter.com.
Background for this change
Back in September it came to our attention that the adult section of our site could potentially be too easy for minors to access.
To be clear, mature content has always been hosted in a separate adults only section of PaperDemon. Prior to this change, when a guest (non logged in user) attempted to access the adult section, they were presented with an "age gate" where the user was asked to confirm they were an adult before proceeding to the adult section, along with a warning of the type of content contained within our adult section. While there was a warning and age confirmation, we were concerned this was too easy for a minor to accidentally or intentionally bypass.
We discussed this as a community in our discord server, did some research, and made two different proposals on how to solve this problem. You can see details on these proposals and the resulting community discussion in our previous news post. But to summarize:
- Proposal A would require account registration and age 18+ on file to access adult content.
- Proposal B was a modified version of A that would allow members a bypass link to share limited access to their adult galleries with friends/social media.
We originally stated we were planning to go forward with Proposal B subject to feasibility research. However, the technical feasibility and potential liability concerns have convinced us to go with Proposal A, which is the change we have released today.
We know the more limited access to the mature content may be frustrating to members of our community who create and post mature content and want to share it with their friends. But if we're going to continue to host mature content, we need to do so responsibly.
Additionally, it has been pointed out that targeted harassment is sometimes aimed at people who share mature content on other platforms or websites. While this hasn't been an issue on PD that we know of, we hope the change to a required login will help prevent this kind of trolling behavior.
As a reminder we have very strict community guidelines to protect the mental health and wellbeing of our members. We have a zero tolerance policy for bullies within our community and if you're facing harassment from a member of our community, please report it to [email protected]
Over the years we've made tweaks to the rules when it comes to mature content. Sometimes members become concerned that because we are making changes, it means we'll eventually remove mature content.
I want to reassure you that it remains in PD's mission to continue to host mature content in a safe, responsible, respectful way, remaining a platform for artistic freedom.
As we've seen on other sites like DeviantArt.com, to disallow the content would just result in people attempting to post mature content anyway that then gets mixed in with regular content, resulting in minors and non-consenting adults getting exposed to it. By continuing to have a dedicated space for mature content, we avoid exposing people who don't want or shouldn't have access to the content.
We may continue to adjust our content rules in the future to protect the overall safety and longevity of our community but don't expect anything extreme. You can expect occasional tweaks similar to those we've previously announced.
If you are a concerned parent
If you're a parent concerned about your minor child accessing adult content on the internet, we strongly recommend installing parental control software as this will help prevent access to mature content like that on our adult section as well as other sites that host adult content. Our mature section is properly tagged with the necessary code to label it as mature to signal to the software that children should not be allowed access.
Your feedback is welcome and if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to reply to this post or contact us at [email protected]