1. Story Covers - In addition to all of the below guidelines, the following guidelines apply to story covers:
- a. No implication that characters are having, have had, or are about to have sex. This includes (but is not limited to) any actual or implied nudity, a bed scene with more than one person, depiction of one or more characters who are sexually touching themselves or one another, images that depict sex work or a sexual act in exchange for compensation
- b. No sexual props or items being used in a sexual context
- c. No nudity, even with censors
- d. No guns
- e. No drug or alcohol use of any kind
- f. No profanity of any kind
- g. No depiction of bullying
- h. No language that relates to racism or racial profiling or stereotypes
- i. Children under the age of 16 cannot be the focus, including any context of overlays and backgrounds (e.g. a closeup of a child on a swing)
- j. No use of the Episode logo
- k. Copyright Policy & Take Down Requests
- a. No derogatory-based words or discriminatory language
- b. No use of profane language without bleeps or using an * (you can look to ratings from organizations such as the MPAA or TV Parental Guidelines to help understand what may be considered excessive for similar audiences)
- c. No use of sexually explicit profanity
- d. No profanity of any kind in story titles
3. Nudity / Sexual Content:
- a. No depiction of sex (or anything suggesting that sex is occurring at that moment) in any form, including but not limited to, nudity in a sexual context, gyrating bodies, oral sex, or moaning/groaning.
- b. No explicit sexual details of what is happening, has happened or will happen off-screen
- c. No nudity without censor bars or scenery to censor
- d. No reference to orgies, sexual fetishes, and specific sexual positions
- e. No descriptions or depictions of non-consensual sex. Through content or through choice selection, the reader must be able to give consent to having sex or performing sexual acts (i.e. reader must always have the option to turn it down without punishment or judgment)
- f. No graphic/explicit/detailed description or depiction of active, ongoing sexual abuse involving a character who is under 18 years of age.
- g. No graphic/explicit/detailed description or depiction of illegal relationships such as incest
4. Drugs & Alcohol:
- a. No description or depiction of active, ongoing drug, alcohol or tobacco use by characters who are under the age of 16
- b. No graphic/explicit/detailed descriptions or glorification of the use or effects of drugs, alcohol or tobacco
- c. No glorification of an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
- d. No characters may use hard drugs or associated paraphernalia, including but not limited to: cocaine, heroin or other injectables, non-prescription pills e.g. LSD, prescription brand or non-brand medication outside of prescribed use e.g. Xanax, unidentified powders or pills
5. Assault, Violence & Torture:
- a. No graphic / explicit / detailed descriptions of rape / assault / murder / torture / violence / gore / etc. This includes (but is not limited to): heavy or excessive use of blood or weapons or scars, use of dead bodies or body parts
- b. No depiction of torture or parental abuse on screen
6. Gambling & Betting
- a. No illegal gambling or betting. This includes but is not limited to cock fighting, underground fighting or illegal sports betting
7. Suicide & Self-Harm:
- a. No graphic / explicit / detailed descriptions of suicide / self-harm / etc.
- b. No depiction of suicide / self harm that is depicted as feeling good, being a relief, or a means of escape
- c. No depiction of blood, wounds, gore or bodies resulting from suicide
8. Hate Speech:
- No hate speech in any form on the basis of (but not limited to) race, ethnic or national origin, religion, marital status, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, or gender expression
- No glorification of any persons, real or fictional, who promote hate
- No promotion or honoring of hate symbols
- Authors may not advertise or promote non-Episode services or platforms on the app
- No excessive promotion of a political agenda
10. Copyrights, Trademarks, Intellectual Property and Likenesses:
By submitting your story, you agree that it does not include any content that infringes on the intellectual property rights or rights of publicity or privacy of any third party.
This may include using any of the following without permission:
- Any copyrights or works of authorship of other parties, including excerpts or passages taken from literary works, video games, television or film;
- References to corporate / business names, brands or logos.
- Brands cannot be a plot point or drive the story
- Story cards, backgrounds or overlays cannot contain brand references, logos, trademarks, etc.
- Any references to real persons or places.
- No images or illustrated likenesses of celebrities or historical or contemporary public figures are allowed as characters or on backgrounds, overlays or story cards
- Celebrities and historical or contemporary public figures cannot appear as characters
- Celebrities, historical or contemporary public figures, and real places cannot be a plot point or drive the story.
If we find that a story does not conform to the Content Guidelines listed above or our Terms of Service, we will contact the author via their portal account email and may suspend and/or remove that story from the platform. Authors who repeatedly violate Content Guidelines may be temporarily or permanently suspended from all or part of our platform. Please note these guidelines are subject to change.
Hopefully, this clarifies some of the questions and concerns we receive around what is appropriate in our app. As always, please reach out to our Support Desk with any questions you have about content within your story. We’re here to help!