UPDATE: We’ve added added information on restored Patreon pages.
Following a change in the Patreon Community Guidelines, the site has been suspending accounts of adult creators, especially for incest and non-con.
On October 17th, Patreon changed their guidelines related to adult content, in order to add a far more restrictive language. The previous language of the adult content guidelines was as follows:
The new guidelines are more detailed and contain the following text. Of note is the more expansive and specific language being used:
This was followed later in the day by a blog post by Collin Sullivan, Patreon’s head of legal, who posted an explanation regarding the change in policy. The whole post can be found here; however, the key passages read as follows:
As part of updating the Community Guidelines, we’re taking a clearer stance on some fringe areas of Adult Content. Over the past few months, there’s been a lot of discussion among our Trust and Safety team about how we can better articulate how we evaluate certain areas of content. It became evident that we needed to outline a clearer stance on some fringe adult content. With today’s update, we’re also being more clear about specific categories of fictional erotic content that Patreon cannot be used to support (including incest, bestiality, sexual depiction of minors, and suggestive sexual violence).
We want to be clear that this stronger stance on fringe content has surfaced a small number of creators that need to update their pages. And that’s where the next update on our Trust and Safety commitments comes in.
We have implemented a better process for warning and guiding affected creators and content. We think it’s important for all creators to have a second chance, so a lot of these updates have been focused on appeal and reinstatement. In addition, all communications with creators include a chance for appeal. Some key parts of this update include:
Whenever possible, we’ll give creators a chance to change their Patreon page to bring the content back within the Community Guidelines. Aside from blatant violations of Community Guidelines (such as hosting terrorist content, doxing, or very clear hate speech), removing a Patreon page completely is a last resort after we’ve offered a chance to update the content.
Creators will receive one-on-one guidance from a Trust and Safety Representative regarding the changes they need to make to reinstate their page.
While creators are making changes, their Patreon page will be suspended but not deleted.
Pledges will be paused and patrons will not be charged again until the page is reinstated.
This change in the written policy has been followed by a string of suspensions, including those of popular Patreon accounts. At the time of writing, the following Patreon accounts have been confirmed as being currently suspended, pending review and changes:
- KsT Games, the developer of The Twist.
- Lewdlab, the developer of Dreams of Desire.
- PestilenceSFM, creator of animated erotica.
- Eromancer, creator of Malice and the Machine.
- Gumdrop Games, creator of Dual Family.
- T4bb0, creator of Babysitter.
- noname55, a creator of animated erotica.
- irredeemable, creator of Teacher’s Pets.
- Mantis-X, creator of animated erotica.
- RRostek, created of animated erotica.
Mantis-X released the following image on his Twitter after his account was suspended, which appears to be an example of the type of notice creators who have been suspended have been receiving:
UPDATE [10:20 PM EDT]: Mantis-X’s Patreon page has been restored, cleaned up, and now mentions he’s creating “Fun animations!”
Mr. Dots, the creator of Dating My Daughter (the fifth largest Patreon by patron count), was suspended on the 18th, however, his Patreon was back up and running a few hours later, with all references to incest removed from the page. Also removed were all public images and the game’s public version. A statement released by Mr. Dots to his patrons after being brought back online read as follows:
We’re back! Patreon asked me to remove any word related to incest, such as “daughter” or “dating my daughter”. I had to delete all my old posts and images from previous months and wipe out most of my page description… It’s a real shame , but the most important thing is that the project is still alive 😀 I’ll be sending you the update via PM this month and I’ll probably delay v.15 a week until I figure it out a way to not get banned again…
Have a nice day and thanks for your messages! October 19, 2017
LewdGamer reached out to Dr. Sin, head of Lewdlab, for comment regarding his patreon page’s suspension, and received the following statement:
I’ve received instructions from Patreon to change a few things on my page, which I did, and now I’m waiting for their reply if the changes were sufficent or further editing is needed. I’m hoping to get my page back up as soon as possible for my supporters’ sake.
UPDATE [1:57 PM EDT]: Lewdlab’s Patreon page has been restored since the article’s publication, minus public releases and references to incest.
Content that is being targeted appears to be centered around incest, necrophilia, non-con, and bestiality. This lines up with the refined guidelines posted by Patreon. At this time, it is unclear as to what extent material such as step-family, monster sex, furry, anthro, mind control, slavery, and dub-con will be adjudicated by this new policy. At this moment in time, it is also unclear if the page takedowns are specifically related to the content on the Patreon page or related to the content from the game itself. Most of the accounts that have received suspensions had open incest or sexual content on their page itself, but the wording of the guidelines as well as the changes required to bring suspended accounts back implies concern regarding content in the game itself.
At present, many are advising developers with games on Patreon to remove references to banned material from their Patreon overview, posts, and tags. Many are also advising that developers remove sexually explicit images from their Patreon or put them behind a paywall. The following statement has been posted by the chatbot on the f95 Discord every few hours:
LewdGamer cannot confirm at this time that such steps will be sufficient to protect developers from action; however, an unconfirmed number of developers have stated both on and off the record that they have gone out of their way to clean up their Patreon pages of risky content. For example, Luxee, the developer of Parental Love, appears to have gone so far as to remove his game’s name from his page. Dark Cookie, the developer of Summertime Saga, stated the following on the record, urging caution and taking steps to protect creators:
We’re leaving the dating sim genre but removing all sex content tags to be safe. There’s no guarantee how far Patreon is willing to go with adult content removal.
No Moshing, the developer of Harem Collector, posted the following on the game’s discord. Other devs spoken with off the record have expressed a similar sentiment:
Others are urging patience and to avoid panic. So far the suspensions have been limited, and it is not at all clear to what extent Patreon plans to take it. The fact that Patreon has left open a path for suspended accounts to come back online is also worth noting. Judge Heath, the project manager of Cloud Meadow, offered the following statement:
While it’s a sad fact that Patreon is tightening up it’s rules on what kind of adult content is being allowed on their website, Cloud Meadow and Team Nimbus are more or less here to stay. Our game does not involve any of the banned fetishes, and further, we’ve gone out of our way to make sure it didn’t right from the start due to us foreseeing something like this happening as well as our own personal morals. Patreon is the place you have to be to make money in this business, and we have to earn if we want to continue making games that people enjoy.”
This is an evolving story, and we will continue to update the public as it develops. We’ve reached out to Patreon for comment about the changes to their policy, as well as for clarification regarding some of their statements.