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Administrivia / The Content Policy and the 5P Circuit

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So you are coming to TV Tropes to read about a very controversial work or you are vetting the page you created about that pornographic webcomic you once read. Suddenly, instead of the work page you were looking for you end up here.

What happened is that the page was cut due to the work being primarily porn or pandering to paedophiles.

You see, there isn't much to write about pornos (especially of the Porn Without Plot variety) except for going into too much detail on the porny bits to the point where it violates No Lewdness, No Prudishness. Also, works that sexualize children or paint paedophilia in a positive light are just plain creepy, to the point that they aren't wanted on TVTropes. Hence, starting from April 2012 we are removing articles for those works.


However, defining "porn" and "pandering to paedophiles" is the most controversial bit of this policy, not only because it decides on which works are allowed on TVTropes but also touches on very controversial topics. Hence, a committee called the Five P was convened that decides whether a work is porn or paedo-pandering and which sort of solution is required for the issue.

As to a bit more precise definition of these terms, the P5 have wide discretion at interpreting the rules, but as a general rule works intended mostly for sexual arousal with little else or works sexualizing prepubescent-looking children are verboten under policy. Likewise, we don't want sexualized teenagers either, but that might get a pass if A) they are marketed at audiences of similar age and B) it doesn't go overboard.


They are assisted by other willing tropers, colloquially referred to as the "5P Circuit".

    open/close all folders 

    The 5 P Circuit, or "How does this work?" 
The whole content review system is here referred to as "The 5P Circuit". Once the work under review has been flagged for 5P evaluation (via the "Report Page" button in the sidebar - remember to check off the checkbox in the input form that opens when you click "Report Page"!), it will display in the Content Violations Report, also known as queue or CVR. There, the 5P can give devilhead or angelhead/halo icons to vote "Violates policy" and "Does not violate policy" respectively. They can also zap off the flag, remove it from the queue, either because it isn't flagworthy, didn't give a proper reason in the flag box or in order to change their votes.

Once the tool has achieved 3 votes in one direction (no, it's not necessary for every 5P member to vote), they can add a disposition and close it, after which the flag shows up in the Resolved but not done section. Once it has been executed, a 5P can mark it as done via a box at the side of the tool so that it shows up under Resolved and Done.

Of course, the 5P aren't obliged in reading all the works by themselves, especially since it takes long and they are often disgusting or otherwise unpleasant. Hence, an entire subforum called Content Violations Discussions is there at their disposal to get feedback, where only they can open threads. The herald of that forum is Arha (contact).

Most of the discussion on flags occurs in The Place for Purging Porn and Pedo-Pandering (AKA P5 flag evaluations), except for appeals of cuts, which occur in Page Restoration Petitions.

In these two threads, non-5P members which have seen the work or have done other research (called "5P clerks"; it's not an official position and everyone providing feedback is considered one) can comment on the content and provide links and explanations. These posts are afterwards listed in Post-links Pertinent to the P5 Perusal Process so that they don't get lost. If the clerks and 5P are at a loss or a given work is taking over the threads, the 5P may make a thread to ask for feedback or to discuss the matter privately ("5P only" threads; no posts by non-5P, please).

Once a work has been resolved, a note will be attached to the discussion page of the work and in the P5 Decisions and Announcements and the decision (cutlisting, cleanup, locking) executed either by a moderator or by anyone acting upon the decision.

There are also the Content Policy Discussion thread for discussing the policy and P5 cleanup pile and lewdness issues for page cleanup per 5P or for cleaning No Lewdness, No Prudishness violations.

Finally, there are a few rules in the Content Violations Discussions subforum:

  • You don't PM 5P members about stuff pertaining to the policies, except for thread reasons;
  • We tolerate links to scanlation sites unlike in the rest of the site due to its purpose, although it's preferred to remove them when they have done their jobs;
  • The forum is not a soapbox for your own views on the policy or on morality. Please leave them at the door.

    What we want flagged and what we don't want flagged 
For starters, when flagging a work, please provide detailed reasons in the box that comes up upon flagging. You can also post these reasons in Page Restoration Petitions, The Place for Purging Porn and Pedo-Pandering (AKA P5 flag evaluations), and/or the article's discussion page. Any flag issued without such arguments will be removed and a notice posted on the discussion page in question. Abusing the system can result in flagging/forum privileges being restricted or removed altogether.

Also, you want to know that there are works that we don't want flagged without a really good reason as they are not likely in violation of policy:

  • Is a film rated below "R" for U.S. distribution.
  • Is a show that can be aired on prime time television.
  • Is a video game that is rated below "M" by the ESRB.
  • Is a written work that is sold in major bookstores without an "adult" or "mature" label.
  • Is an anime/manga/etc. that is approved for U.S. import as a non-adult work.
  • Is read/shown/taught in high school or below.
  • Is in another format and meets equivalent criteria.

What we're looking for:

  • Pure porn, or porn with an Excuse Plot only,
  • Anything that has explicit underage sex,
  • Implied sex of preteens or younger, and
  • Fanservice intended to cater to pedophiles (lolicon and shotacon fanservice can count).

A couple of guidelines so the procedure can move smoothly:

  • Do not list whole indexes or works just because they are on a certain index or have lolicon, H-Game or shotacon on their trope list.
  • Do not list works you know nothing about without at least reading the trope page. If the trope page looks really bad, see points 3 and 4 below.
  • Do not list works that you know are G-rated but you find are creepy.

    How to provide feedback 
First off, as mentioned above we request a reason either in the threads or in the work's discussion page preferably before flagging.
  1. If it's paedophile-pandering approximately how old are the characters involved? What happens? Is it graphic? Is it merely implied?
  2. List what objectionable content there is, and how much of the work consists of that.
  3. If it's entirely sex, say so. People have different ideas of what porn is. We all have the same idea of what a work being entirely sex scenes is.
  4. If you're not sure about a work, say so, or ask someone who does know that work. But don't make blanket accusations. Post here: "I don't know about this work, but the page says X".
  5. Google and Wikipedia are your friendsnote . Do a little digging on works you aren't sure about.

Also, in the case of H Games, there is this questioning to fill up:

  • When are the sex scenes located?
    • Are they spread out over the game?
    • How much gameplay is there between sex scenes?
    • Are they only at the endings?
      • How hard do you have to work to get an ending?
      • Are they in every ending? Every good ending?
  • Are the sex scenes optional via a choice in the menu?
  • Would the story make sense without them with minimal or no rewriting?
  • Are the scenes made up of stills, or are they animated?
  • How explicit are the sex scenes?

    Special rules for Fanfic Recommendations 
Unlike other wiki pages, items on Fanfic Recommendations reflect explicit approval of their content from at least one editor, so they have stricter rules than those for work pages:
  • No prurient recommendations. That is, don't write like you are getting off to the work.
  • No recommendations with sex involving under-16 year olds. Yes, it's technically not always paedopandering, but that's what the administration went with.

Enforcement of these rules is up to this thread.


Q: What do we do with examples from cut works?
A: We keep non-problematic examples from P5-cut works. If there are questions about the example, ask here.

Q: Why is this happening?
A: Concerning the porn, it tends to attract creepy edits that have brought us into issues with the adservers while not significantly contributing to our core purpose - tropology. Concerning paedophilia-pandering, such works are just plain creepy to have pages about.

Q: Is the content policy going to change?
A: Certain aspects of the policy might be relaxed in the future (e.g so that works that are porn get locked instead of cut) if the circumstances that lead to the implementation of the policy disappear (i.e if we get better page curation and more reliable sources of income), but for now, there won't be any changes to the policy.

Q: Does that mean you'll be removing Romeo and Juliet or Law & Order?
A: No. In fact, the exceptions mentioned in the "What we want flagged" section are specifically there to prevent that, since they are mainstream and thus considered a priori acceptable.

Q: What can I do to help clean the site?
A: You can flag content as unsuitable using the flag tool, which is located in the Tools menu to the right of each article, keeping the criteria in mind. Also, you can help enforce No Lewdness, No Prudishness across the wiki, possibly though cleaning pages listed in this Long Term Projects thread.

Q: Should I just start cutlisting stuff?
A: No. Please don't. We have had problems with tropers deciding to cutlist large numbers of works, some of which were not in violation of the content policy. Instead, wait for 5P's judgement.

Q: Is 5P accepting new members?
A: Not at this moment in time, sorry.

Q: This work is not actually/primarily pornographic. Why was it cut?
A: This could be for a number of different reasons. If the work was deemed to be paedopandering, for example, it will be cut whether or not it's actually sexually explicit. Being pro-paedophilia or pandering to paedophiles is bad enough, even if the work is nominally anti-paedophilia. Of course, it's possible that there was a mistake and then you should appeal it - please check the reasons first, however.

Q: This work is being/has been cut, but it is not a violation of the content policy. How do I make an appeal?
A: Make a post about it in this thread and 5P will take a look at it.

Q: This work is pretty much pure porn, but it's really good porn. Can an exception be made?
A: Nope, sorry. If it's mainly porn, it goes.

Q: I heard some works were cut before the council was established. What's up with that?
A: Where the administration was given strong reason to believe that works were not appropriate for this site, they have been cut on a "better safe than sorry" principle. Yes, this includes Lolita, which was cut when it was reported as being in violation of the new content policy; this happened prior to the establishment of 5P and should not be taken as representative of the new policy. We understand that a lot of people are unhappy about this, but before you get up in arms, relax - 5P will be reviewing contested works to decide whether they get to stay, and Lolita was eventually restored.

Q: How will you ensure that the operation to remove the offending material is transparent?
A: 5P will hold their discussions in a publicly viewable forum, here. Although 5P will have the final say on what stays or goes, tropers will be able to politely contest and question decisions, and civil, reasonable concerns will be listened to and addressed.

Q: Does this affect There Is No Such Thing as Notability at all?
A: No. Notability remains irrelevant to our aims; it is not a criterion we assess works by. However, that does not mean that we have no standards, only that notability is not one of them. It's worth noting that, if a work is mainstream and can be discussed in polite company, it's very unlikely to be pornographic or a violation of our content policy. This has nothing to do with the notability of the work and everything to do with the standards of the society that produced it. However, the argument "this work is purely porn, but it's really notable porn" is not going to hold water.

Q: Why would you cut this? In [culture x], it is totally acceptable.
A: The vast majority of our readers come from the Americas or Western Europe, so we will be adhering to what could broadly be termed "Western" standards. This means we will not be permitting works which sexualize 12 year olds, and nor will we be demanding that every picture of a woman on the site must wear a burqa.

Q: How can you possibly claim to know authorial intent? (Roland Barthes is my co-pilot.)
A: It is not important what the authorial intent was, only the outcome.

Q: Wikipedia have articles on all kinds of awful stuff. Why can't we do the same?
A: Wikipedia is a strictly academic site. They have to cite sources and a "no censorship rule". They also do not aim to be Family Friendly, and are not reliant upon third party ads for funding. Conversely, one of our stated aims is to celebrate fiction, and our generally light, non-negative tone is a reflection of this, which has led to much more gushing about inappropiate content.

Q: So should I take every article here as an endorsement of whatever it describes?
A: No, of course not. We have pages on Greedy Jew, Adolf Hitler and Mein Kampf after all. However, if we choose to focus our attention on schoolgirls' thighs or porn, it does reflect very poorly on us. Fan Fic Recommendations are a slightly different issue. If a work is recommended there, this should be taken as an endorsement by the troper who wrote it.

Q: Are we allowed to make forum threads about works processed by 5P?
A: If it was voted "clean and keep", a forum thread is relatively safe as long as it is restricted to talking about the clean parts. Anything with a stronger judgement is discouraged on the forums.

Q: I still have some questions/concerns.
A: We will be happy to answer them. There is a thread for this.

    History of the policy 
Previously, this issue had been raised after criticism of suspicious-sounding content of the article Innocent Panties was made by the This Troper video series on YouTube, which deeply bothered forum administrator Fast Eddie; this resulted in a prior campaign to purge the Wiki of perversity, which was deemed insufficient after Google voiced its complaints. The original thread by Fast Eddie can be found here, and the original effort that it provoked can be found here. After Google voiced its complaints, Fast Eddie made a full policy change with the intention of removing pornography as a subject material, announced here.

As part of the new effort, Arha made a thread for the renaming of the Sexual Harassment and Rape Tropes, on which Fast Eddie made another announcement, seeming to declare that rape as a subject is no longer considered acceptable, later giving the reasoning that this was a practical measure to address to the issues that it causes. The thread can be found here, Fast Eddie's announcement here, and the later explanation is here. The rape tropes were later restored as announced here, now running without Google ads.

A user by the handle name Fringe Benefits made a thread early-on regarding the events, which ended up becoming one of the more significant discussions and sources for clarification, and can be found here.

The staff explains the policy: We have decided to take a hard line as to what sort of content we allow on the wiki. TV Tropes was never intended to be a directory of porn, guronote , or paedo appeal media, and many tropers have worked hard to create a site that is clean, entertaining, and fun. Unfortunately, parts of the site have moved in a direction which is at times creepy, at times prurient, and is most certainly not in line with our stated aims of being Family Friendly. The administration never intended this site to be a free host for tropers to gush about their favorite pornography or to recommend it to other people. This is an abuse, and it needs to stop. To this end, we will be purging all pornography and related materials from the wiki. This means that we will not be recommending pornfics, will not be describing pornographic tropes, and will not host articles on pornographic media. We are going to remove all such articles from this site. Previously, the policy was that we could describe porn for the purposes of troping; this new content policy overrides all prior statements to that effect.

Warning: This documents the usage of the terms during the policy discussions, and might not accurately reflect the outside meanings of these terms:
  • Guro: Violence played for titillation. (contrast Gorn)
  • P5: The Panel that administers the policy. See Five P.
  • P(a)edoshit: Older term for "P(a)edopandering", deprecated for being inflammatory.
  • Porn: A work mostly concerned with sexual arousal. Having NSFW or explicit scenes doesn't automatically make a work porn — it's when showcasing explicit scenes is the entire point of the work.

    Further reading 
For issues not covered on this page, further explanation exist on these pages:

Also, questions about the policy can be asked here. They will be added to this page's FAQ section once answered.

Alternative Title(s): Content Policy