Ever since Pixiv’s November 15th announcement that they would be cracking down on uploads subjectively deemed “offensive to public order and morals”, users have feared what ramifications the vaguely defined terms of this new campaign would hold for the community.
Updated in order to comply with the “terms and conditions of international card brands” and taking effect on December 15th, the site’s new Terms of Service prohibit any “content or products” – fictional artwork or otherwise – depicting “child pornography or child abuse, incest, bestiality, rape (sexual acts without consent), illegal mutilation of the person or body, and other acts that are offensive to public order and morals.”
Taking note of the growing concern among artists that this new policy would be arbitrarily enforced regardless of their original intentions in order to bring artworks in line with of Western ideologies – as well as their growing threats to leave the platform en masse – Pixiv responded to their worried userbase on September 30th with a statement elaborating on the specifics of their new policies.
“Currently, Pixiv is aware of products that violate not only our terms and conditions and the terms and conditions of international card brands, but also laws and ordinances, such as products with live-action images that are offensive to public order and morals,” the site’s administration began, making reference to the growing use of AI art to disguise child pornography and necrophilia content in order to openly trade it on the platform.
“Pixiv will strictly enforce against such products,” they added. “However, it is not Pixiv’s intention to have creators become excessively inhibited by the crackdown, as it is our important policy to protect free creativity and respect its content.”
To this end, the site then revealed that in light of the backlash, they would be creating two separate classifications for works that their terms, each with their own specific criteria and enforcement procedures.
The first, “Prohibited Products”, entails “Products that are offensive to public order and morals due to live-action photography, and products that are offensive to public order and morals and that cannot completely dispel concerns that there are actual victims due to the use of highly realistic expressions, such as highly photorealistic images.”
“If a product is found to be in violation, [we may respond with] deletion or pemanent suspension of the product, account suspension, and restrictions on the offender’s use of certain payment methods,” they added.
The second, “Products Requiring Correction”, will meanwhile be used to address art that is not “live-action or highly realistic”, but has been “judged to require modification based on the content of the expression and accompanying data (title, tags, text of the post, and other explanatory text).”
“If a product is found to be in violation, we may temporarily pull the product and request a correction,” Pixiv detailed. “If the above-mentioned violation is resolved as a result of the correction, the product can be sold again. [But] if we deem a product to be malicious, such as registering a large number of products that clearly require modification or repeatedly neglecting requests for modification, we may take action such as removing or permanently deactivating the product, suspending the account, or prohibiting or restricting the use of a specific payment method.”
In conclusion to their statement, Pixiv attempted to assure its users that “it is an important policy of [the site’s] to protect free creation and respect its content.”
“We believe that creating a safe environment for our users to conduct business with us will help us in this regard, which is why we have decided to make this change,” Pixiv’s administration concluded. “We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.”