DDLC Community Safe as Reddit Backtracks Policy on Art Censorship

DDLC Community Safe as Reddit Backtracks Policy on Art Censorship

The DDLC Subreddit is celebrating as Reddit admins walk back and clarify censorship rules that pertain to Doki Doki Literature Club fan art.

Earlier this week we reported how the Doki Doki Literature Club — or DDLC — community was under fire by Reddit administration. In a wave of good news, it seems like the dedicated fan-community has won the war and declared victory, with Reddit backtracking on old policies and clarifying the rules on what they would deem “bannable.” Thanks to a healthy amount of memes and jeering from the community, Natsuki fans can be at ease without worrying about their Reddit account being cancelled.

But lets back up and give a TL;dr version of the previous story. After the deplatforming of a prominent fan artist within the anime community following a PG drawing of an anime girl in a two-piece swimsuit, the DDLC community was worried about the state of their sub. According to Reddit admins, the ban was carried out in a recent rule change. The new rule would ban anyone who posted “suggestive content involving someone who appears to be a minor” according to judgments from Reddit.

While this ban happened outside the DDLC community, it did worry community members — the 2017 free visual novel has maintained its popularity largely through fan-drawings, cosplay, and rallying behind high-school aged girls. While all four in the group are canonically 18+, Natsuki (the pink-haired girl in the featured photo above) is smol and less-endowed, which many feared would fall under the barely-communicated guidelines of “appearing to be a minor.”

Over the course of the week, there were more than a few jeers thrown the way of Reddit admins.

the absolute truth from r/DDLC

Natsuki’s response to being banned by reddit admins from r/DDLC

Natsuki’s message to the Reddit admins from r/DDLC

The Natsuki situation in a nutshell from r/DDLC

And then, suddenly, a reprieve. Midway through the week, Reddit admins unbanned the original anime artist. In a publicly revealed reply to both user Holofan4life and the community at large, Reddit clarified their point:

Please be aware that whenever possible, when evaluating reports of minor sexualization pertaining to known anime characters, we will first make an effort to check the canonical age of the characters, as we did in this instance, which determined that the character is a minor (under 18), as you acknowledge in your appeal.

In other words, if a character is canonically of age, she is safe to draw — whether it is “lewds” or suggestive content.

This, by extension, means that Natsuki and the rest of the DDLC girls would be safe. And that community has since been doing its earned victory lap in celebration:

Natsuki, but now Reddit approved! from r/DDLC

Additionally, this is hopefully a policy change that we can hope to see other tech companies implent. Those following the scenes of censored games will likely know that platform Steam (owned by publisher Valve) has taken affirmative steps to similarly ban games they deem as “child exploitation,” regardless of in-game ages of characters. Meanwhile, developers have lobbied complaints that Sony is doing the same thing regarding titles on their platform.

Either way, if you haven’t dipped into the genre-bending Doki Doki Literature Club (which is a free game on PC), make sure to get to that — especially because you can officially enjoy all artwork of whomever your best girl is.