Hello fellow Dreamers,
In a previous announcement, we addressed some of the most common misconceptions about our gallery. If you haven't already, I highly recommend giving it a read. Subsequently, we introduced a new definition under Section 18 of our Terms of Service:
- Depicts (or appears to depict): Media content that gives a visual impression that it is depicting the described situation or subject matter, even if it does not technically meet all of the specific criteria outlined in the rule. This includes, but is not limited to, media content that:
- Contains visual elements that suggest the described situation or subject matter, even if the elements themselves are not explicit or complete.
- Features characters, objects, or settings that are commonly associated with the described situation or subject matter, even if the media content itself does not explicitly show the situation or subject matter.
- Uses suggestive poses, camera angles, lighting, or other techniques that create a sexualised or pornographic impression, even if the media content itself does not depict nudity or sexual activity.
- Uses AI or realistic-looking art styles to give the illusion of a commonly associated impression with the described situation or subject matter.
As you may have noticed, we have been diligently working on enhancing our gallery policies, striving to make them more robust and less prone to misinterpretation (I will delve into the reasons behind avoiding vague rules later on). With that in mind, we are ready to unveil our most significant gallery policy change since the introduction of the "Character Only" gallery in 2021, which was changed, initially implemented as a measure to conserve disk space. One of the pieces of feedback I received was that this last major change was not properly communicated; which is fair and is why I am going to the length and effort that I am going to now.
I believe in treating our community with honesty and respect, so I want to lay out the situation and the problem on the table and share our proposed solution. We understand that not everyone will be in favour of these changes, but we genuinely value your feedback, criticism, and suggestions. We are committed to listening to you, even if we may not always agree - your voices will be heard.
Currently, in addition to Section 18 of the Terms of Service, the gallery has several rules in place:
- Do not upload GIFs - They are massive and take a lot of bandwidth to serve, something that our mobile users will not appreciate.
- Standard Gallery Rules Apply - See Section 18 of the Terms of Service.
- Do not upload images directly to the category - When uploading images please put them into an album to keep the EcchiDreams Gallery tidy.
- Character Pictures Only - Do not upload image dumps here, as they will be deleted without warning.
Under these rules, you were allowed to upload any character-related content for roleplays. However, this also led to users posting numerous images for potential roleplay partners to choose from. For instance, Dreamer A could upload 120 random character images and "face claims" for Dreamers B, C, D, E, and F to select as their roleplay characters or for Dreamer A to portray as other characters. Some of you expressed frustration when we removed an album without warning, considering it as an "Image Dump," even if it might not have been the case. I'm not saying you're right or wrong to feel upset, as we understand we're all caught in a difficult situation.
Whilst we’ve gotten good at identifying what is and isn’t an image dump: Our success rate is around 85%, meaning around 15% of what we catch are false positives. I think I speak for all the staff here when I say that the false positives rate is unacceptable and that we have to do something about this. In addition to this issue there has also been a lot of reluctance and hesitation with removing many such albums that have been in violation of the rules, as the last thing we want to do is cause unnecessary drama and animosity with the false positives.
So you might be wondering, what exactly constitutes an "Image Dump"?
That's an excellent question. The Terms of Service and the site itself don't provide a clear explanation of what an "Image Dump" is. Technically speaking, a collection of characters dumped into an album could be considered an "Image Dump," even if it doesn't violate any rules. To be frank, there is no definitive answer to this question, or at least I can't provide one based on anything other than our subjective perception. When @Aura highlighted this issue with the other staff and myself, we (The Community Administrators) very quickly saw the inconsistency. This kind of vagueness is not acceptable under my administration, and today, with the support of my colleagues, we are taking steps to address this issue.
My administration strives to minimise ambiguity in the rules for the following reasons:
- Vague rules make it difficult for Dreamers to understand what is expected of them, which can lead to confusion and frustration. This can result in Dreamers unknowingly violating rules and being potentially unfairly punished or reprimanded.
- Vague rules have a greater chance of being applied inconsistently, which can create a sense of unfairness or favouritism. Users may feel like they are being targeted for enforcement while others are seemingly getting away with the same behaviour.
- Vague rules can be used as a justification for staff to abuse their power. Without clear guidelines, staff members may interpret rules in their own way, and use their interpretations to punish Dreamers for things that are not explicitly prohibited. While this hasn't happened under my administration and I don't believe any of our current staff would do such a thing. This being possible to the point where it could create reasonable doubt in the community, under any circumstance, is an issue.
- Vague rules can make it difficult for Dreamers to appeal their punishments. If the rules are not clear, users may have a hard time arguing against their punishment, as it is unclear where the boundary is for breaking the rules. The only advice that can be offered at that point is "don't push the boundaries" which is counterproductive to say the very least.
- Clear rules help establish trust between the community and the staff. When the rules are clearly stated and consistently enforced, Dreamers can have confidence that they are being treated fairly and that the staff is acting in the best interest of the community. I can't stress this point enough.
- Clear rules also make it easier for users to self-regulate their behaviour. When the rules are well defined, users are more likely to follow them, as they know exactly what is expected of them.
- Without clear rules, the community may become more toxic or hostile. If Dreamers feel like there are no clear boundaries, they may push the limits of acceptable behaviour, which can create a negative and unwelcoming environment.
I firmly believe that having clear and specific rules that are consistently enforced is of utmost importance in maintaining a fair and thriving community. The term "Image Dump" itself presents a problem because it lacks a defined definition, guideline, or any specific information beyond our subjective perception of what constitutes an image dump. We needed to ask ourselves: "Is this level of ambiguity acceptable?" And the answer was a resounding no.
Furthermore, we have witnessed repeated instances of this term being abused, either by malicious individuals or those who are unaware of its implications. Therefore, we are implementing a new policy change. Starting from June 24th 2023, we will start to enforce a new rule in Section 18 Sub-Section 1 of the Terms of Service which reads as follows:
Image Upload Policy to Main Gallery
EcchiDreams is not an image hosting website, and the fact that we allow images to be directly uploaded to our site doesn't imply otherwise. We allow images to be uploaded as a primary use to be roleplay characters, for use on this site. In addition to the rules above, all images uploaded to our main gallery must adhere to the following rules:
- Each album must contain only one character, and must contain no more than 20 images of the same character within the same album.
- This includes images depicting the character with other characters, and across all albums you've uploaded.
- Individual images within the album must prominently focus on distinct characters, not items, weapons, locations, etc. related to said character.
- Feel free to use an external image hosting site that allows hotlinking for this type of content.
- The album's name and/or description must explicitly state that the album contains characters for roleplay.
- Individual images of characters must have the character(s) name and at least a brief description of the character in the caption and/or description of the image. Alternatively you can make use of the album's description as well to put in basic information about the character, what kind of roleplays/scenarios you'd like to use them for as well as a link to your roleplayer preferences, if you so wish.
- For images depicting multiple people, only one of the depicted characters must have a name and description. Which character is which must be clear from the caption and/or description.
- Multiple images of the same character are permitted, but should depict something different that isn't captured in any of the other images. Images of the same character should be named similarly (such as Alice 1, Alice 2, Alice 3, etc.) To reduce ambiguity, we recommend using the description to call attention to what is unique in each image. Otherwise you're granting us permission to decide for ourselves whether or not the image is redundant. Examples of meaningful differences between images of characters include but are not limited to:
- Different Outfits
- Different Emotions
- Alternative 'Camera' angles to show off additional elements of the character's appearance
- Alternate forms/personas
- Changes in the appearance of a character while using a certain power/ability.
- Albums may be subject to deletion if Dreamers haven't been logged in for over a year, and likewise if the account has been deactivated for more than six months.
- The amount of albums you can create on this site (Across all sections) is limited in the following way:
- Dreamers: 32 Albums
- Gold Dreamers: 66 Albums
- Platinum Dreamers: 120 Albums
- No GIFs or animated images at all.
The above example has not currently been passed by staff and is being tweaked and voted on. It's subject to change and modification based on feedback, on the date. The final version will be in the first comment below this article.
What does this mean?
This change in our gallery policy entails a significant shift in how the system operates. We have made the rules explicitly clear, and we are now transitioning to a model where each character has its own dedicated album. This means that each album should be created exclusively for one character. If you have multiple characters, you will be required to create separate albums for each of them. It is crucial that each album explicitly states the name of the character it represents.
In addition, we will be implementing limitations on the number of albums that can be created site-wide. The allocation of albums between clubs and private roleplay characters will be largely up to you. If you primarily engage in private roleplaying, you can potentially use all your albums for your private roleplay characters. On the other hand, if you are focused on club activities, you have the flexibility to allocate your albums accordingly. We understand that preferences and character dynamics may change over time, and to provide you with greater control, we will be introducing tools that allow you to delete albums for characters you no longer wish to keep. However, please note that the number of albums you can create will be determined by your premium level.
Normal Dreamers will have the capacity for up to 32 albums, Gold Dreamers can have up to 66 albums, and Platinum Dreamers can have up to 120 albums. Based on our observations, it is unlikely that many, if any, of you will reach these limits in the near future. However, we remain open to revisiting these limits in the future if necessary, taking into consideration user feedback and usage patterns, to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone. It's important to highlight that the premium levels and associated album limits are not intended as a means for financial gain. Premium levels are obtained through the use of EcchiCredits, a contribution-based currency exclusive to our site. We want to assure you that no real-money transactions are involved, making it a fair and inclusive system for all our users.
We strive to provide you with the necessary tools and resources to fully express your creativity and immerse yourself in the world of roleplaying. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding album limits or premium levels, please do not hesitate to reach out to our support team. We value your feedback and will consider adjustments to these limits if needed, always with the goal of enhancing your roleplaying experience.
But I have multiple images to let people pick from!
I understand that you may have multiple images for others to choose from, and we acknowledge that. We suggest using an external image hosting site for this purpose. While we do not have a specific recommendation, some users have utilised platforms like Imgur (which may no longer allow NSFW images) or Imgbox (which does). According to our Terms of Service, you are allowed to link these image collections or folders in your roleplayer preferences sheet's description, status, about me section, etc.
However, it is essential to ensure that the hosting site you choose and the content you link comply with both our Terms of Service and the hosting site's rules (as stated in Section 14, Sub-Section 1 of our Terms of Service: You cannot link to sites that violate any sections of our Terms of Service). Some individuals have created private Discord servers to host their images, which they then embed the images directly into their posts. I cannot provide an official stance on whether this is condoned or condemned, as I am unsure of Discord's rules regarding linking to other sites.
The key point is that it is still possible to share multiple images, but you must utilise an external image hosting site designed for this purpose. We will now categorise such posts in our gallery as violations of Section 18, Sub-Section 1.
You don't want to limit creativity, yet you're going to limit albums. Why?
You may be wondering why we have chosen to implement limitations on albums if our goal is to foster creativity and provide a free-to-use service. We want to assure you that we are committed to maintaining a vibrant and unrestricted creative environment. However, there are a few reasons behind this decision:
Firstly, the album limitations are in place to prevent potential abuse by malicious individuals who might exploit the creation of infinite albums as a means to circumvent the new policy. By setting reasonable limits, we can ensure a fair and secure platform for all users.
Secondly, as a largely independent platform without the support of external funding or monetisation options, we rely on our available resources to sustain and expand our services. While we strive to grow and improve, we also need to manage our disk space effectively to accommodate the growing community. At present, we operate on a modest budget, and the revenue generated from advertisements is primarily utilized to cover the costs associated with hosting the website. We want to be transparent in letting you know that we do not profit from these advertisements, as any earnings are promptly reinvested to sustain the platform.
We value your contributions and want to continue providing you with the best possible experience while maintaining the integrity of the community. Our commitment to keeping the platform completely free from data sales, intrusive advertisements, and monetary transactions sets us apart from many other websites. We take pride in upholding these principles and offering a platform where creativity can thrive without compromise.
When does this take effect?
The policy will take effect one month after this announcement to allow time for community feedback and addressing any concerns. During this period, a top comment below the article will serve as an FAQ to address common questions.
Once the policy is implemented and the Terms of Service change takes effect, a transitionary period will begin. The old category, "Private Roleplay Characters (Depreciated)," will be locked in read-only mode, and a new category will be created to replace it. The old category will remain visible for six months to facilitate the transition. During this time, you can move your images to new albums that comply with the new rules. Any albums in the new category that do not meet the rules will be deleted, and the uploader will receive an alert to review the rules and this announcement.
I have insisted to the staff that: No punishments, warning points, or infractions relating to this policy change will be issued during the transitionary period.
Albums that comply with the new rules on the effective date of the policy will be transferred to the new category, ensuring a seamless service.
After six months of implementation, the old category will be removed, and enforcement of Section 18, Subsection 1 will begin. Infraction guidelines for Section 18 violations will likely apply, starting with a minor infraction for the first offence, which results in the removal of the content and an alert to the violator. Further offences will receive a zero-point infraction, and repeated violations may lead to minor warning points (usually 10 or fewer) with a cooldown period of six months or less.
If, for any reason, you missed these changes and are within one year of implementation, you can contact us, and we will consider your situation. After one year of implementation, the old category with its images and albums will be deleted, potentially triggering a recount of content, reputation, and site experience points.
Why is this a good thing?
There are several reasons why we believe this policy change is beneficial for all parties involved:
- Clarity and Avoidance of Vague Rules: This administration aims to provide clear and specific rules that are easier to enforce. Vague rules can lead to confusion and inconsistent enforcement. By implementing explicit guidelines for the gallery, we ensure everyone understands the expectations and can adhere to them.
- More Efficient Moderation: The current gallery setup poses significant challenges for moderation. The new policy allows our staff to more effectively moderate the gallery, saving valuable time and resources. This enables them to focus on other important tasks and provide a better overall experience for the community.
- Enhanced Profile and Character Visibility: The new system brings benefits to the community as a whole. With the one album per character model, people can visit your profile and easily access your characters under the "Albums" tab. This improves visibility and makes it convenient for others to search for specific characters or explore characters in general. It fosters greater connections and engagement within the roleplaying community.
- Preparation for Future Development: This policy change aligns with our long-term vision. We plan to transition from the current platform to a new system, built for purpose, from the ground up. In the future system, each character will have its own profile page linked to your account, making searching and cataloguing characters even more seamless. By implementing the one album per character model now, we pave the way for smoother integration and improved functionality in the future.
These reasons demonstrate the overall benefits of the new policy, including increased clarity, efficient moderation, improved character visibility, and preparation for future advancements. We believe this change will lead to a fairer, healthier, and more connected community.
What motivates us to make these kinds of policy changes?
In our commitment to transparency, we believe it's important to address this question that we have been asked before. As staff members, we have a core guideline that encapsulates our thought processes behind these decisions. We understand that the ramifications of policy changes can impact hundreds, if not thousands of people and have a significant influence on the overall dynamics of the site. Therefore, undertaking substantial policy changes is not a decision taken lightly.
It's crucial to highlight that all policy changes and terms of service amendments go through a rigorous process. They are subject to voting and require a large majority agreement from all staff members. If a consensus cannot be reached, the proposal is either abandoned or revisited to ensure it is workable and aligns with our principles.
We want to assure you that we do not make policy changes frequently. However, there are circumstances where change becomes necessary. This can be due to advancements in technology and evolving landscapes that we need to adapt to, or it could arise from a previous policy that, while well-intentioned on paper, proves to be impractical or detrimental in practice. Occasionally, we may relax certain policies if the existing tools are sufficient to handle potential issues, or we may strengthen measures to combat malicious actors. Often, it's a combination of various factors.
When deliberating policy changes, we consider several key aspects, including but not limited to:
- Community's best interest: We assess the impact of changes on the overall health and well-being of the community. This encompasses considerations such as disk space, site speed, user interface, and functionality. While these aspects may affect individuals, our aim is to create an environment that benefits the community as a whole.
Individuals within the community: We strive to avoid creating policies that create a labyrinth of rules where a single misstep could result in a complete ban from the site. That's why we make our Terms of Service as clear and specific as possible, outlining our zero-tolerance rules. Additionally, we prioritise education over punishment for minor infractions. When implementing changes like the one being introduced, we strive to make them as simple and understandable as possible for everyone.
- Community feedback and evolving needs: We actively listen to the feedback and suggestions from our community members. As the needs and preferences of our users evolve, we make adjustments to our policies to better serve the community and address emerging concerns. Your input plays a vital role in shaping the direction of our platform.
- Enforceability: We endeavour to establish policies that are enforceable and easy to moderate. Our goal is to provide our staff members with clear guidelines that enable them to determine whether an action violates the Terms of Service or not. While we greatly appreciate the reports submitted by vigilant Dreamers, our staff members also actively patrol the site, identifying potential issues and ensuring a safe environment for all.
- Logical sense and community protection: We carefully evaluate whether a rule or policy makes logical sense and genuinely protects the community and its Dreamers from harm. For instance, implementing a ban on users with @gmail addresses simply out of personal dislike would serve no purpose, harm the community, and lack any logical reasoning.
- Evolving legal and regulatory landscape: Policy changes may be necessary to ensure compliance with new laws, regulations, or legal requirements. We continuously monitor and assess the legal landscape to ensure our policies align with the evolving standards and provide a safe and secure platform for our users.
- Learnings from past experiences: A very important one. We value the lessons learned from past experiences and aim to continuously improve our policies based on those insights. If we identify areas where previous policies fell short or if certain policies have unintentional consequences, we make changes to rectify those shortcomings and provide a better user experience. As the saying goes, 'those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat their mistakes.' Rest assured, we are dedicated to learning, adapting, and evolving to create a better platform for all.
- Is it true to this community's core values: This is of utmost importance to us. In a diverse community where a wide range of roleplays and interactions take place, we firmly believe in upholding our core values. We strive to ensure that any policy changes align with the fundamental principles that define our community. While we embrace creative freedom and accommodate various roleplaying genres, we remain steadfast in promoting a safe and respectful environment for all Dreamers and yet allowing for free speech and expression. By staying true to our core values, we uphold the integrity of our community and foster a space where everyone can thrive.
We will support you!
We are committed to supporting you during this transition period. If you need assistance in moving your images to the appropriate albums, we are here to help. You can simply provide us with the links to the images you want to move and specify the destination album(s), and we will take care of the task for you. Don't hesitate to reach out for assistance!
We want to make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone, and helping you with the process is the least we can do. Your requests will not be seen as bothersome; we are here to support you throughout this change.
Here are some additional recommendations to enhance your experience and engagement with the community:
- Utilise tags: Tagging your images with relevant keywords, such as character attributes or traits, can greatly improve the searchability of your content. For example, if your character has blonde hair, tag it with "blonde hair."
- Leverage album descriptions: Make use of the album description feature to provide additional information about your character, their backstory, preferences, or any other relevant details. This helps others understand your character better.
- Use external image hosting sites: If there are supporting materials related to your character that cannot be directly posted on the site, consider using an image hosting site to showcase them. You can include links to these materials in the album description.
- Link to your roleplay preferences: Provide a link to your roleplay preferences in your profile or album description. This helps interested roleplayers understand your preferred playstyle and potential plot ideas.
- Connect with private roleplay bulletins: If your character is available for specific private roleplay scenarios, include links to relevant bulletins or advertisements in your album description.
- Provide detailed information: Share additional information about your character, such as their likes, dislikes, age, and other relevant details. This helps potential roleplay partners get a better sense of your character's personality and compatibility.
- Showcase character collections: If you have a collection of characters available for others to choose from, consider adding a link to your roleplay preferences' description box or incorporating it into your signature. This makes it easier for others to explore your character options.
- Engage in the community: Actively participate in the community by posting and interacting with others, especially during quieter periods. Engaging in friendly conversations and being approachable increases the likelihood of attracting potential roleplay partners.
- Make your preferences appealing: Ensure that your roleplay preferences are easy to read, friendly, and inviting. Your preferences serve as a gateway for others to gauge compatibility and determine if they would like to roleplay with you.
- Set boundaries: Don't hesitate to clearly communicate your boundaries and preferences. Being firm on what you are not comfortable with helps avoid misunderstandings and ensures a more enjoyable roleplay experience.
By following these recommendations, you can enhance your visibility, attract like-minded roleplayers, and facilitate meaningful connections within the community.
Thank you once again for being a part of our vibrant roleplaying community. We truly appreciate your understanding and support as we implement these changes to enhance our gallery system. Together, we can make this transition a success!
We encourage all users to actively participate in the transition process. Take a moment to familiarise yourself with the updated guidelines and ensure your albums adhere to the new policy. By updating your albums and utilising the available resources, you'll not only comply with the rules but also contribute to a more organised and immersive roleplaying experience for everyone.
Engagement is at the heart of our community. We invite you to engage with fellow roleplayers, spark new connections, and explore exciting collaborations. Share your experiences, seek inspiration, and provide valuable feedback as the new policy takes effect. Your input is invaluable in shaping the future of our community. At our core, we believe in the power of collaboration, creativity, and respectful engagement. Together, we can maintain a vibrant and thriving roleplaying community that inspires and captivates.
Remember, our support is here for you every step of the way. If you have any questions, need assistance with transitioning your albums, or simply want to share your thoughts, our dedicated team is ready to help. Reach out to us, and let's embark on this exciting journey together. Once again, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your ongoing commitment and enthusiasm. With your active participation, we are confident that our roleplaying community will flourish and reach new heights.
Keep being awesome!
Image Source: 迪迪卡卡
I will admit, it wasn't my first choice, because I hadn't seen this image. My first choice was a glorious city scape that was very colourful, but it was used in a video game and plastered with copyrights all over the image. So that couldn't be used. But when I found this image, I thought 'Oh this is looking amazing'! The artist has made a good use of colours, and reflections in the water, and it's a really nice image that feels appropriate in the spring time, especially this unusually warm spring. The artist themselves seem to do impressive landscape/city scape images that if you're into, you should check out!
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