How should I handle marking adult content in the SWG LiveJournal?

In 2007, in an effort to prevent underage users from accessing content intended for adults, LiveJournal (LJ) introduced a means for individuals and communities to mark posts as containing adult content. These posts would not be accessible to underage users, and logged-out users and visitors would see a warning before gaining access to the content. Adult content is labeled in two ways: Adult Concepts (appropriate for age 14 and older) and Explicit Adult Content (appropriate for age 18 and older). When posting to a journal or community, users choose the adult content label from a drop-down box at the bottom of the form.

Communities and journals were also given the option to have their entire account declared as suitable for adult audiences only. At the time, LJ provided a "50% guideline": If more than half of the content in a community or journal was intended for adult audiences, then they suggested labeling the entire community or journal as containing adult content. Because silwritersguild contains very little adult content, then our community is labeled as No Adult Content.

In addition to granting users the options to label their own posts, other LJ users have the option to "flag" unlabeled posts as containing adult content. If LJ receives enough flags on any single post, then it will investigate and possibly apply an adult content label to that post. However, it is important to note that there is no penalty for failing to label adult content using LJ's system. Even if a post is flagged and later changed by LJ staff, then neither the user nor the community in which s/he is posting suffers any retributions.

Given this, the SWG's moderators at the time decided to leave it to each individual member's discretion whether or not they will use LJ's adult content label when posting to silwritersguild. The SWG has always valued providing accurate information on the content we host on our sites in order to assist parents in choosing what is appropriate for their children to view. We have had a rating system in place since the group's inception that provides more information about a posting than the LJ adult content labels do. It was the moderators' feelings, therefore, that requiring additional labels would not be beneficial to our members and that concerned parents were better served by the current rating system.

There is one glitch in the LJ system that may prevent our rating system from working as intended. If a post is marked or flagged as containing adult content, then the content warnings required by our rating system will be collapsed beneath an LJ cut for some members and logged-out users. Per SWG guidelines, a rating of Adult must be justified with warnings, especially when the post contains content that may be "triggering" to victims or members with high sensitivities to certain content. These warnings are marked with three asterisks (***) in the warning list in the archive and include Rape/Non-consensual Sex, Incest, Torture, and Suicide. If your post to silwritersguild contains any of these, then you must indicate this in the title of the piece, i.e.,

"A New Story" (Warning: contains incest situations)

In summary, members should understand the following about LJ's adult content labeling system and the SWG's use of it:

Further information about LJ's adult content labeling system can be found in the LJ FAQs and in our original moderator post on the subject.

Last updated 28 May 2008.

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