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What are the fanfiction ratings

2024-04-09

Fanfiction, a type of storytelling that allows fans to reimagine their favorite book, movie, or TV show, has become a popular way for people to explore, create, and interact with the characters and worlds they love. Fanfiction is a fascinating blend of creativity, fandom, and sharing, with millions of people around the world contributing stories on a range of platforms. In this article, we'll look at fanfiction ratings, their meaning, implications, and importance in the fanfiction community.

Fanfiction Ratings System

The ratings system of fanfiction is akin to the movie ratings system that guides audiences about the type of content they can expect. They help readers choose fanfictions that align with their preferences and comfort zones. Each rating indicates a certain type of content and recommended reader age. Since the ratings change from site to site, the focus will be given to the most popular fanfiction platform - FanFiction.Net (FFN), Archive of Our Own (AO3), and Wattpad.

What are the fanfiction ratings

General or G-Rated Fanfiction

On FanFiction.Net, the most child-friendly rating is "K," derived from "Kids". These stories are suitable for children, usually having very little to no violence, no swear words, and no mature themes. On AO3 or Wattpad, this rating is equivalent to "General Audiences" or "G" rated.

Youth-targeted or T-Rated Fanfiction

Rated "K+" in FanFiction.Net, this category hints at slightly mature content than "K" but still within the safe bounds for children. On AO3 and Wattpad, this is equivalent to "Teen and Up Audiences" or "T" rated.

Mature or M-Rated Fanfiction

This category, indicated by "T" in FanFiction.Net, or "Mature" in AO3 and Wattpad, includes slightly more explicit material, from moderate violence to mild language or implied adult themes. It is generally safe for teens upwards.

Explicit or Adult Fan Fiction

Explicit, or adult fan fiction, is represented by "M" on FanFiction.Net and "Explicit" on AO3. Such stories contain adult themes, strong language, graphic violence or graphic sexual activity. Readers should be above 18 years to access these.

The Not Rated Category

There is a "Not Rated" tag on AO3 and other platforms. The authors use this tag either because their work contains potentially triggering content or they don’t want to restrict their audience based on age. As a result, venturing into this category requires discretion.

Mature Warning Tags

On platforms like AO3, authors can use further tags to indicate explicit, mature, or potentially triggering content in their stories. Examples include rape/non-consensual, graphic violence, or major character death. These are crucial for readers in deciding if they want to proceed with the story.

The Importance of Fanfiction Ratings

Fanfiction ratings provide a safe browsing experience for readers. They not only guide the reader about the type of content they'll encounter but also prevent exposure to age-inappropriate or triggering content.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fanfiction Ratings

1. Are fanfiction ratings legally binding?
No, fanfiction ratings are not legally enforced. They are there to guide readers. However, it is expected that all readers respect these ratings.

2. What happens if a fanfiction story doesn't adhere to its rating?
If a story is reported or flagged for having content that surpasses its rating, the site administrators review it and may potentially remove it from the site.

3. Can a story have multiple ratings?
While a story cannot have multiple ratings, it can have additional warning tags to indicate the kind of mature or potentially triggering content within.

References

1. "What are fanfiction ratings?" FanFiction.Net. https://www.fanfiction.net/about_us.php

2. "How to choose appropriate Archive warnings" Archive of Our Own. https://archiveofourown.org/tos_faq#content.

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