How does fanfiction maturatry ranking work


Fanfiction is a unique online genre that takes existing copyrighted material and allows the fans to craft their own spin on the stories, the characters, and the universe. The maturity ranking in fanfiction is a system that offers writers and readers a reference on the level of explicitity, violence, or sensitivity in the content. It's essential in maintaining the genre's accessibility and appropriateness for all age groups. This essay will delve into 8 key aspects of how the maturity ranking in fanfiction works.

1. Age Restrictions

The age restriction feature plays a key role in the maturity rating system. In most fanfiction platforms such as, Archive of Our Own (AO3), and Wattpad, the age guideline is categorized into suitable for everyone, teenagers, and adult-only, each comes with its corresponding maturity rank.

How does fanfiction maturatry ranking work

This factor is crucial as it ensures that the material's content stays age-appropriate for every reader. The writers are required to mark their stories according to the age restriction bracket corresponding to the content's maturity rating.

2. Rating System

A typical fanfiction platform uses a degree-based system that grades the stories according to their maturity. The General rating implies that the fanfic is suitable for all age groups and has mild themes. Teen rated fiction may contain more substantial themes, minor violence, or mild language. Mature rating often encompasses strong language, graphic violence, or mild sexual content. Finally, Explicit or adult-only rating usually means the fanfic has mature themes like explicit sexual content or extreme violence.

It's worth noting that although the writers usually tag their stories with these ratings, the platform administrators or other volunteers also monitor the content submitted to ensure it matches the corresponding category.

3. Content Warnings

Another mechanism in place to moderate the content's maturity is the use of content warnings. These are tags set by the authors that identify potential disturbing or triggering themes present in their fanfiction. They may warn about explicit language, violence, self-harm, or graphic descriptions of more adult topics.

The content warnings are also subject to monitoring by the administrators or moderators of the fanfiction platform. This ensures that the tags meet the site's standard and aren't misleading or wrongly categorized.

4. Institutions

Websites hosting fanfictions typically have guidelines outlines to instruct users about the rating system. For example, FanFiction.Net has four ratings, ranging from K (suitable for children) to MA (mature adults, i.e., 18 and over).

Different sites might have different maturity ranking systems. The differences, however, are usually minor, and the principle is to ensure the system serves its purpose - protecting young readers from inappropriate content, and provide an enjoyable reading experience to all.

Role of the community

The fanfiction community also plays a crucial role in managing the fanfiction maturity ranking. As a close-knit community of readers and writers, there is a collective effort to ensure that everyone is empowered to engage with fanfiction responsibly and safely. Community members flag inappropriate content or incorrect ratings, contributing to a safer platform for all users and helping administrators and moderators keep the platforms clean.

6. Strategies for Dealing with problematic content

Every fanfiction platform employs strategies for dealing with problematic content. These can include volunteer-based moderation, algorithms that scan for inappropriate content, and user reports. This triad of strategies helps ensure that content is appropriately rated and does not violate the platform’s guidelines.

7. Role of authors

Fanfiction authors play a crucial role in ensuring their work is appropriately rated. They are responsible for assigning the initial ratings to their work and warning for any potentially sensitive content that may be included in their stories.

8. Conclusion

Understanding the fanfiction maturity ranking system is fundamental for both new and seasoned fanfiction readers and writers. The system contributes significantly to creating an inclusive environment that respects the diversity of readers and writers.


Q: How does define its maturity ratings?

A: uses a four-rank maturity system: Kids, Everyone, Teen, and Mature, each catered to a specific age group with corresponding content etiquette.

Q: What is the role of content warnings in fanfiction?

A: Content warnings help potential readers understand what type of mature themes may be involved in the story, allowing them to make informed decisions before reading.

Q: Can community members contribute to the maturity ranking system?

A: Yes, community members can report stories that are inaccurately rated or fail to provide accurate warnings for mature themes.


[1] "How Fan Fiction Polices Its Community." Retrieved from:

[2] "Understanding Fanfiction and AO3." Retrieved from:

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