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Temaelrin
Temaelrin

Winter Updates

Hello fellow Dreamers,

This year is coming to a close, and there have been some pretty major updates on EcchiDreams that have been aimed at making things easier and giving roleplayers more control over their roleplays. This update has been focused on overhauling the guide section and bringing it up to date, and doing the same for the homepage. This announcement will cover all of that, but at the end of the announcement we have something that's pretty serious that we need to put out there; I don't think it's going to be well received, but it is what it is. 

This announcement will cover:

  1. New Guides Section
  2. Refreshed Homepage for both Guests and Logged in Dreamers
  3. Dropping Twitter Sign In and the effective closing of our Twitter Account
  4. Club Permissions Finalised
  5. Depictions of Minors in Nude or Sexual Situations (A rather serious topic)

New Guides Section

We are pleased to announce the opening of our new guides section, which replaces our old "Community Tutorials and Guides", and brings in our new "EcchiDreams Guides". This has a vastly updated interface, and splits guides down into sections that are more relevant for reading, cutting the larger guides down into smaller pieces which will be less daunting to read. The Community Tutorials and Guides was brought in early September 2016, and was announced in this update: 

We have updated and re-written most of the guides in the section, so that they're accurately representing the new format of EcchiDreams. For example: Roleplay Clubs rather than "Public Roleplays", and so on. We've also updated the Account and Profile settings guides, so that you can get a hands on manual for basic account settings management, setting up your profiles, and securing your account. This is a vast improvement over the old section, and over time we hope to be able to keep it up-to-date, and add more guides to it. 

Check it out, and let us know what you think: https://ecchidreams.com/help/guides/ 

Refreshed Homepage for both Guests and Logged in Dreamers

The EcchiDreams Homepage (https://ecchidreams.com) has been updated. The guest viewing of the page now has the correct information relating to the roleplays, and provides an accurate summary of what you can do in terms of the Club Roleplays, as well as linking to our current guides section. There have also been a number of fixes and optimisations site wide; all little things that kind of add up. The logged in page is objectively more useful too. We've included a handy little Dreamer Widget that displays personalised information such as your posts and reputation count, as well as a welcome message (plus something light hearted under it that changes every hour), and quick links to various places around EcchiDreams. We've added some touch ups here and there, and done away with the news taking up most of the screen; instead putting up "Our Picks" alongside the seven most recently active clubs on EcchiDreams. "Who Was Online" and "Who's Currently Dreaming" have been added to homepage too. 

On a side note:

  • The Roleplayer Preferences has been updated to include something that a Dreamer had suggested (Grammar and Spelling Competence Preference), and has had the out of date fields removed completely.
    • We might be looking at expanding the fetish list in the Roleplayer Preferences at some point in 2018.
    • We're also trying to acquire the funds to completely overhaul the section, so that it looks better and is easier to read and fill out - this doesn't have a date on it as of yet.
  • Terms of Service has been updated, to clarify that Clubs are included in areas of enforcement.
    • We'd like to state clearly, on the record, that even if you set your club to Private, Staff can still see it for Terms of Service Enforcement. 

Dropping Twitter Sign In and the effective closing of our Twitter Account

I don't want to make a long statement about this, or a big song and dance; but it does affect EcchiDreams. As of last week, we've locked our Twitter account (set it to private), effectively closing it down; we have also removed Twitter as a Sign in Option from EcchiDreams. This partly has something to do with their most recent policy change, for our own reasons, and the way Twitter is being managed in general. They can run their site the way they choose to. We can choose not to be associated with them anymore. We've also never really used the account either, and its only parroted postings to our Facebook page. That was its one and only job, and it couldn't even do that properly... So we ended it. It has nothing to do with anything else. We're not planning on becoming a voice of inciting violence or hatred against... well... Anyone. Even Twitter.

Club Permissions Finalised

We've finally finalised the club permissions for people you make staff of your club(s). I would like to stress again that Community Staff can see all Clubs on EcchiDreams - even Private Clubs. We've made a pretty simple table below, that displays clearly what the permissions are. 

Permissions Club Moderators Club Administrators Club Owners

Pin Content

This makes a topic within the club appear at the top of the topic listings, much like how pinning content works on the Forums.

Yes Yes Yes

Unpin Content

This demotes a topic within the club from appearing at the top of the topic listings. The topic will be listed normally when unpinned.

Yes Yes Yes

Hide Content

Hiding content hides a post, image, or topic (for example) from appearing to other club members. 

Yes Yes Yes

View Hidden Content

Allows your club staff to see hidden content. To help stand out to club staff, the hidden content will appear highlighted in red.

Yes Yes Yes

Lock Content

Locked content cannot be replied to by your club members, which is great for setting rules and such. It also allows topics that are finished to be locked, as an archiving tool.

Yes Yes Yes

Unlock Content

The ability to unlock content that was previously locked. Not usually needed, unless (for example) there is an event that opens on specific days.

Yes Yes Yes

Reply to Locked Content

Allows your club staff to reply to content that is already locked. Useful because it means you don't have to unlock it, reply to it, and then lock it again. 

Yes Yes Yes

Add Features to Club

Adding features to the club such as a calendar, topics page, gallery, and so on.

No Yes Yes

Edit Categories/Features

Editing already existing features on the club like a Gallery Page, Topics Page, and so on. 

No Yes Yes

Can Promote Members to Administrators/Moderators

Self explanatory; this is the permission that sets who can make people staff.

No Yes Yes

Invite Dreamers to Club (Closed/Private)

Usually for Closed and Private Clubs; allows your staff to invite Dreamers from the community to your club and/or roleplay. 

No Yes Yes

Remove Members From Club

The ability to remove members from the club; this could be for a whole host of reasons. But, if your club is open (not Private or Closed), nothing stops the Dreamer from rejoining.

No Yes Yes

Edit Content

*Potentially Destructive* Editing other people's posts, images, and so on, that have been posted. If you edit a post, it will come up at the end of the post that it was edited by you.

No No Yes

Move Content

*Potentially Destructive* The ability to move content within clubs they are a moderator, administrator, or owner of. This is disabled across the board.

No No No

Unhide Content

This is disabled due to technical limitations. Please consult a member of the Community staff to have content unhidden for you, and please be clear as to what you want unhiding (by posting a link to it).

No No No

Delete Content

*Destructive* The ability to permanently delete people's content. This is disabled across the board. If you want something deleted, please speak to a member of the Community staff.

No No No

Split and Merge Content

*Potentially Destructive* If you have posts, for example, that are posted one after the other by the same person in the same topic, you can merge them; this requires the ability to edit content. For the meantime, this is disabled.

No No No

These permissions are for in the clubs which the Dreamer is staff of, and do not extend out of the clubs to the rest of the community. To date, if you have a club that you want to delete, you still have to contact a member of the community administration to do it for you.

Depictions of Minors in Nude or Sexual Situations

Lastly... Lolicon, Shotacon and the like, has not been allowed on EcchiDreams for a very long time. in fact, around this time in 2013 I made a topic about it, explaining why it wasn't allowed on EcchiDreams. I don't want to be too negative or harsh, and I want to keep my personal biases out of it, so I will just stick as closely to the facts of the matter as possible. 

The Facts

Computer Images, Drawn, Generated or otherwise (Depictions) of those that are under 18 (Minors), Nude or in Sexual Situations, are in fact illegal in the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Italy, Japan (somewhat, I'm not sure), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

  • [UK Law]:- Coroners and Justice Act 2009 - Sections 62 to 68 - It's classed as a "Pseudo Photograph" which is "an image, whether made by computer-graphics or otherwise howsoever, which appears to be a photograph".
  • [US Law]:- 18 USC 1466A - (Source 2) - Where it is stated as clear as day: "In General - Any person who, in a circumstance described in subsection (d), knowingly produces, distributes, receives, or possesses with intent to distribute, a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting, that—(1)(A) depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; and (B) is obscene; or (2)(A) depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; and (B) lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value; or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be subject to the penalties provided in section 2252A(b)(1), including the penalties provided for cases involving a prior conviction."
  • Just for Information and Reference, as it might tell you which laws they are in the other listed countries, I am not holding this as reliable source, but the above mentioned are linked to reliable sources (The horse's mouth as it were).

Our Stance on it Historically

EcchiDreams was originally set up by KC (@Casey's Administration); she was the original owner of the site back then, and was certainly more well funded than I am. Originally, she let everything except Gore (and I think also Vore) to be posted up, because she absolutely allowed all things artistic. This was in 2006/2007, back when I was just someone who helped out and helped with development/coding, those kind of things. After just a few months, she ran her original Terms of Service past a legal expert in the United States (as she was an American Citizen) and, after talking about it, there was some changes made; very quickly that kind of content was also banned, before the site even launched. I had vocally protested the stupidity of it at the time, but I wasn't an actual member (I couldn't register until 2008 - when I was 18), so it didn't really matter.

The rule was kept in during the Second Administration (near the end of 2008) under Illogically Logical, despite her incompetency and lack of enforcing any rules (she was barely online), she kept this in the Terms of Service. (Those that have been around that long know that I don't have many nice things to say about the Second Administration). 

Things very quickly changed in 2010 on a relaunch of the site under a third administrator: The NekoLust Administration. It became a Zero Tolerance Offence and anyone posting it was banned immediately, no ifs, ands, or buts. The Terms of Service were draconian, to say the very least.

Under my Administration (sometime after 2011 to the present day), I've relaxed the ToS a lot, and scrapped all but three Zero Tolerance Rules. Despite this, it is still a Major Infraction (like a Felony), and carries 50-75 Points that expire after a year; also coming with some restrictions, such as all posts made by the offending account will be placed on a Mod Queue. This is something that adds work for us, so as you can imagine we don't want to do that on a whim. Despite this, I also have an unwritten clause; that is that First Time Offenders do have some leniency given to them for certain offences, and this is one of them. But repeat offenders could face heavy warnings, and eventual ban. I think this is firm, but fair.

Today, it is a violation of sections: 8.2 (the last part), 15.1 (because it is Illegal), and 18 (general Gallery rules) of our Terms of Service

So with this in mind...

In the past few months we've had a fair few Dreamers that have posted such content, and we've upheld our Terms of Service, dealing with it appropriately under the credo "Firm but Fair". In all recent cases we've shown leniency (0-10 infraction points for ones that aren't so obvious, 25 for obvious depictions of minors in nude or sexual situations, all of which expire in six months from the warning, but have no restrictive actions) because all of them are first time offenders.

However... All of them this year, with exceptions to just one or two of them, have responded to these infraction points by going completely nuts! I mean completely off the deep end, like a child throwing a temper tantrum. A number of them start acting with either passive-aggression (which is what it is) or, even less acceptable, extreme hostility towards our staff, just for enforcing the very same Terms of Service that we all agreed to when we registered, and it's something that seems to be getting objectively worse. On the past five occasions since September, some have even gotten down right abusive towards our staff (Violation of Section 20.2). It's a disproportionate response to that kind of infraction. It's like like going nuclear just for getting a parking ticket, and it's become a bit of a concerning pattern.  

Let me make this absolutely crystal clear; 

  • If it looks like a child or someone under 18, or is tagged on popular imageboards as being Lolicon/Shotacon or similar, or if canonically the person is under 18 and they are nude or in a sexual situation, then err on the side of caution and do not post it here. It's really not that hard. We understand that "looks like" is subjective, which is partly why there is leniency for First Time Offenders.
  • If you can't talk to us about it like a rational adult upon getting infraction points on your account (IE: melting down like a child not getting their way), then consider going somewhere else. I have enough to deal with; and as I said in 2013, I don't want the drama. I am certainly not willing to risk my freedom by allowing that content here, either.
  • We don't "Hate anyone" who posts it, we don't "Hate it" and we're not trying to be "A Bitch" or (my personal favourite) "Anti-Loli Nazis" about it, but the Law is the Law, and I can't just decide to allow it. It's regarded in our country as being practically the same as Child Pornography. That's a heavy prison sentence right there, and far reaching consequences for the rest of my adult life. Why is it fair that I should be demanded to take that kind of risk, exactly? 
    • If you don't like the fact that's illegal in your country, you're going to have to take that up with your legislators. Until it's no longer illegal in the US and the UK, it's not allowed on this site. I am not risking EcchiDreams or my freedom over this.
    • If the legality of it doesn't bother you, or you're somewhat unconvinced of the actual laws I've literally cited, then consider this: We pay the server fees and licence fees, so we get to decide what is and isn't allowed on our site... And depictions of minors nude or in sexual situations isn't allowed. We totally have that right, just like you have the right to go somewhere else if it bothers you that much.
  • Lolicons and Shotacons that aren't sexualised, in a sexual situation, or naked (no genitals on display) are allowed here. That's not banned at all.
  • Roleplaying it, as far as I am aware, is legal, as it comes under free speech/expression.

We as Staff aren't trying to get everyone restricted, suspended, or banned, but we do have to enforce our Terms of Service; no one is exempt from them. We don't give out special favours, not even to friends or ourselves. Accept it and move on, or go to another site. We'd be happy to Section 21 your account for you (Terminate/Deactivate it upon request), just shoot us a message in the contact form, or by EcchiTexts to any of the Community Administrators, tell us you want your account to be closed, and we'll close it. No fuss, no hassle, no begging for you to stay, no questions asked!

And just to correct a commonly touted fallacy: Just because we're a Hentai friendly site doesn't mean we have to accept depictions of minors nude or in sexual situations at all. For example: Konachan is an Anime/Hentai Image Board that doesn't allow Yaoi (last time I checked). It sucks but that's their prerogative, just like this is our prerogative. They pay their server fees and they get to decide what is and isn't allowed there, just like we pay ours and we get to decide what is and isn't allowed here.

I'm seriously not trying to be an "Anti-Loli Nazi" about it, but I am fed up of seeing my staff, who work here voluntarily (completely free) on a website that is completely free of charge, getting abused by those that can't take the smallest of infractions, who can't accept responsibility or accept when they're in the wrong; it's always someone else's fault. I don't want to make it a Zero Tolerance Offence again; I hope that people can start being more adult about it. By all means come and talk to me about it calmly. I will explain myself calmly in return. But as the law stands: It is what it is.

I hope this issue can be put to rest once and for all. I don't want any more repeat incidents of categorical abuse being leveled against any of my staff from now on. That's out of line, and I will not accept it; they don't deserve that.

-------

d87012c02f7ab0b5e6f68f4f83eb9b33.jpg

Source: Dao Dao

I had picked this image because the UK (where I live) is going through a cold snap at the moment, and it kind of just felt right. It's got no one in it, and it's a very neutral picture. It's quite dark and yet it feels cold too. I think it is a very well drawn piece of artwork, and I might just check out Dao Dao's page to see what their other art pieces are like.

Also welcome back to @Casey who was the very original EcchiDreams Administrator, it's good to see you again.

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Aurafox1

Posted

I completely understand the enforcements of the underage rule. It really sucks, especially considering the stupidity of a law written years ago by a bunch of old people who don't know a thing about the world of fiction. I mean, the way the laws are written now, a 17-year-old having her first time in high school, a perfectly normal occurance in many people's lives, is labeled as child porn, but the depiction of Nowi, a character from Fire Emblem who is very clearly designed in every way to be a child, getting her ass torn apart is perfectly legal just because she's cannotically thousands of years old. Sigh. I suppose there's only so much you can do, though.

I can't believe people have reacted so hostilely over this! It just seems like common sense to me. You're not above the law. It's a dumb law, but it's a law nonetheless. 

Anyway, from my experience, this site has an incredible staff! I haven't been around much but you guys are really helpful and easy to approach. And I'm honestly amazed that you keep the site up and running out of your own pockets. I really appreciate all the hard work you put into it! <3

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Temaelrin

Posted

That's pretty much exactly how I feel on the subject; Drawn Fictional Pictures of Minors =/= Actual Pictures of Minors. But yes, that is pretty much the situation we find ourselves in.

Update: For some reason there was a bug that prevented people from looking at the new guide section, as reported by @Old Coyote.  I am not going to lie and say this affected a very small number of people - it actually affected everyone who wasn't staff. This has now been fixed and it should be accessible to everyone. My apologies.  Thank you for reporting the problem to me, EcchiCredits have been issued to account for bug bounties.

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