Lack of Clarity for Digital Avatars in new Nudity & Sexual Content Guidelines regarding Anthro Characters
With the new Nudity & NSFW content guidelines, it has made it very unclear to a lot of people in my community, the VRChat Roleplay community, whether or not furry models and/or avatars are under the same level of scrutiny as human avatars are.
On April 4, 2020, these rules were put into effect:
How do the new rules about AR Avatars impact my content if I stream a virtual reality sandbox game like VRChat?
- Our policy on Augmented Reality avatars applies to content where cameras and software are used to capture a person’s physical likeness and translate it into a digital overlay. VRChat is categorized as a game on Twitch, and in-game virtual reality models are not subject to our policy on Nudity and Attire. This content must still comply with our policy on Nudity and Sexual Content in Embedded Media and Games however, so you may not modify your game to include nudity, or make sexual elements a primary focus of your broadcast.
Currently, the new ruling is this;
- Augmented reality avatars that translate real-life movement into digital characters are subject to this standard
Our community is now having to actively flag down furry models and tell them to cover up, but most of these furry models do not have any sort of issues with them as a lot of the models are from games like Warhammer, Guild Wars 2; or other games that are SFW regarding Nudity & NSFW content. Human models should cover up, yes, but are furry, anthropomorphic models held to the same standard of cover-up even if they do not have any NSFW parts about them?
@KiznaPMA The problem is that that old ruling specifically states that VRChat avatars are NOT considered to be that. They're considered to be in-game media as long as they are streamed to the VRChat category.
This is an archive of the Attire section as it appeared in May 2020, reflecting the April 2020 Attire Update for which that "VRChat avatars are in-game media" exemption was originally written for.
And, for reference, here's the April 2020 Attire Update Announcement post that contains the line stating that VRChat Avatars are exempt from the Attire rules due to being considered in-game media.
That line stating that the attire rules apply to digital overlay and augmented reality avatars has always been there. That has not changed since April 2020.
To make matters even more confusing, the line in the April 2020 Attire Update FAQ that explained that VRChat is exempt was never actually added into the TOS. It has always remained as an update to the update announcement, and the TOS never reflected it.
So, on the public facing side of the TOS for Attire, the rules haven't changed since April 2020.
The exemption wasn't added, but it was accepted as the norm. Now, something appears to have changed internally where the old exemption appears to have been rescinded because VRChat streamers are starting to catch bans for Inappropriate Attire specifically, but an announcement wasn't made about it. And we can't rely on the exemptions lack of presence in the TOS to judge what is or isn't allowed, because the exemption was never added into the TOS to begin with.
The end result is that VRChat streamers have gotten blindsided by an unannounced rule change. Again.
It should be self explanatory to not have your character model show any sort of nudity or sexual themes, the Vtuber/VRchat character model is an extension of the streamer, aka you are that anime character, you become the equivalent of people that use webcam and stream themselves showing nudity and would be considered the same thing.