Wattpad Has Big Problems

feedback

#1

Over the last year, I’ve been realizing just how many stories there are on Wattpad that are romanticizing abuse and rape, not to mention pedophilia. There are also an insane amount of arguments that get way past cyber bullying into actual threats. I have been reporting my butt off, but NOTHING is done. People cuss each other out and use offensive names and slurs and NOTHING is done. And rather than actually help fix problems, there are ambassadors who abuse their power and get involved in things that don’t concern them.

There are 12-year-olds on this site. I realize you’re making a crap ton of money off these garbage stories, but you’re also creating the idea that abuse is not only okay, but romantic. You’re telling them that when someone forces themselves onto you, it’s totally fine as long as they’re hot. You’re allowing people to bully each other and be flat-out offensive while censoring others for disagreeing. You’re allowing erotica stories about children and incest and absolutely disgusting stuff to remain on this website, and when I go and take the time to find it and report it, you allow it to stay up.

It would be one thing if this was a site for adults, who might actually know better, but it’s not. It’s a site that specifically allows children onto here, and honestly, you need to clean up your act.


#2

ok, let’s see if I can help out a little here and work through your points.

  • many stories focus on real life events and sometimes these include abuse, rape and even pedophilia. These are all things that happen in real life thing sadly, so people will write stories about it. If you think a story is contrary to our content guidelines though (which are here - https://support.wattpad.com/hc/en-us/articles/200774334-Content-Guidelines) then you can report it, and if the Trust and Safety team agree with your assessment then that story will be removed. Reporting a story does not guarantee removal.

  • as you’ve also noted, you can report users for abusive or threatening behaviour, that is also handled by the Trust and Safety section who will take action if they consider it necessary, and often a user will get a warning that you will not see as it’s not something that’s done in public.

  • if you have proof of any ambassadors abusing their power then you can come and talk to me. I run the team. But ‘things that don’t concern them’ is an interesting statement, as anything on Wattpad could technically concern them as they are Wattpad Ambassadors and cover all aspects of the Wattpad Community.

  • People are meant to be 13 to use Wattpad. If you come across someone who is under 13, then you can report them. More details on how to do that here - https://support.wattpad.com/hc/en-us/articles/203264664-How-to-Report-an-Underage-User-

  • Wattpad are always working towards ‘cleaning up our act’, and our Community and our Ambassadors are a part of that. And this site is for adults and teens alike, and we do not ‘specifically’ allow children onto Wattpad.

Hope that clarifies a few things.

Cheers, Gav


How To Make Wattpad Great Again
#3

I haven’t seen much for pedophilia, and those I do know about were actually taken down very quickly with author’s who got pissed off about it and took their rants to the threads. The rules clearly state that there can be no sexual content with any character under the age of sixteen. There are a lot of books with bigger age differences (mine included), but most that involve character that falls below the mark of sixteen get taken down when they are reported.

Yes, there are a lot of abuse stories, which I blame FSOG for. They make it seem like being controlled can be sexy. To each their own in the bedroom, but, like FSOG, there was also control in her every day life and a lot of manipulation. Once a story makes it seem like being controlled out of the bedroom is sexy, that is not okay.

Unfortunately, like the ambassador said, being in abusive relationships without realizing how much you’re being controlled is a common occurance in real life. You are basically brainwashed to believe you are nothing without that person and that you shouldn’t have said the wrong thing to earn that black eye.

Romantizing it can be a gray area. It’s like so many other things. We as the readers can _read _ into it things very differently than what the writer intended.

And yes, incest stories are on here as well.

When you create an account here, you give them your birthday. This controls what content is visible to you on this site. You can work your way around it, but if you are doing any sort of search, if you are underage, books that are labeled ‘mature’ do not show up in searches.

Kids can also access porn sites if they want to or find their parents secret stash. This site has rules and it is up to the individuls to follow them. Just like anything else, if kids want to find their way around it, they can.

If Wattpad agrees that a book is breaking the rules, they take it down.

But this site, just like any other writing site, is here to allow writer’s to create anything that doesn’t break the rules. It’s about getting a book out there that may not be accepted by mainstream. They can make less popular choices in what their story is about, and that is well within their right.

We may not like what they choose their topic to be, but if they aren’t breaking the rules, that’s perfectly fine. We just don’t have to read what we don’t like.


#4

I feel you. I’ve reported tons of racist and homophobic stories and nobody ever does anything about it :woman_shrugging: I’ve given up on Wattpad actually caring about its content, honestly…


#5

This. This is the biggest problem, and not only on Wattpad, but in published fiction, too. Lately, the difference between “being romantic” and “being creepy/abusive/manipulative” is how hot the male part of the couple is. And it’s sickening in my opinion.


#6

YUP. But, you see, as long as people buy it, right and wrong doesn’t matter!

It just bugs me that Wattpad has guidelines and promises to be a “safe place for everyone” and yet every time I report a story that breaks the guidelines they ignore it. And it’s not just me! A lot of people have the same experience with reporting stories.

I think the company should focus less on trying to make more money and more on regulating its content as its guidelines promises it will be regulated.


#7

Hi, thanks for your reply.

  • I’m not talking about stories that condemn those issues, that’s another matter entirely. I’m talking about stories that romanticize them. Stories about hot bad boys who throw their girlfriends around and force themselves onto women, stories about relationships between teenage girls and grown men, or worse, children and grown men. If these aren’t wrong according to the Wattpad Guidelines, then the Wattpad Guidelines need to change. It’s okay for a child and a grown man to be in a relationship as long as they don’t have sex? It’s okay for a character to say he wants to rape a five year old as long as he doesn’t actually do it? The rules are quite frankly way too lenient with these topics.

  • Maybe they get a warning, but the comment still stays up. I get that you don’t want to censor people, but I got told I wasn’t allowed to civilly debate the topic of a group account using false advertising to promote a contest, so it’s not that censoring doesn’t happen, it just doesn’t happen where it should in some cases.

  • I appreciate the offer. I’d like to state that I don’t have any quarrels with ambassadors in general, many of them are friendly and helpful.

  • Everybody knows this site is full of underage users. Last year, I went on a spree of reporting profiles where users specifically stated in their bios that they were 12 or 11. Nothing happened. I hope you can understand that it’s frustrating to waste your time trying to improve the community and feeling like there’s no effort being made in return.

  • I suppose it depends on your definition of a child, as I still consider 13 to be too young for a lot of the content that’s allowed on here. Someone literally stated in the comments of a book about a grown man/werewolf with a child mate that it isn’t rape if she likes it. I don’t mean to be graphic, and I don’t like reading or talking about these things, but 13-year-olds don’t need to be seeing that. They don’t know better.


#8

I get that abuse happens, I have no quarrel with stories that write about it and condemn it. I’m tired of getting erotica books recommended to me where literally the opening line of the blurb is him throwing her around? And it’s a romance? That’s not cool.

I’m not blaming Wattpad for the fact that kids find their way around the age rules, I’m blaming them for the fact that when I specifically took action to try and let them know “hey, these kids are too young to be here”, I was ignored an the profiles were left up. That is their responsibility.

“Less popular choices” and “a man in a romantic relationship with a child” are not the same thing. It is not okay to romanticize pedophilia. Just because they’re not actually having sex, and therefore not breaking the rules, it’s allowed. It’s not a matter of just ignoring it, it’s a matter of young, impressionable teenagers reading it and feeling like there’s not a problem with it because it doesn’t break the rules.

Wattpad isn’t responsible for all the porn websites an other junk kids are exposed to, but they are responsible for their content, and if this content is allowed then something needs to change.


#9

:clap: PREACH

or literally just making better guidelines. I can’t handle getting one more “Alpha’s Child Mate” story showing up in my suggested reads (and for that matter WHY IS IT THERE?).


#10

My friends and I talk a lot about the problems here and we’re always just like “but nothing’s going to change, so…” and that kinda sucks. I figured I’d at least give it a shot. But I totally feel where you’re coming from.


#11

I made a thread like this a while ago and it just got heated, so yeah, I have sadly accepted that it won’t change anytime soon :woman_shrugging:


#12

I dunno. I’ve been on Wattpad since 2010. There were old problems, things changed, and now there are new problems, and new changes being implemented. The site’s always going to be growing and changing, and I think that’s good.

I agree with you about the concerning content that’s romanticized on here. But I’m not sure that cracking down on it is particularly effective in actually changing the problematic mindsets it reveals, which I think is the root of these stories and the only way to really make a significant dent in stopping them. I think that it would be great if the romance genre (and other genres with stories that have romantic arcs as significant factors) made a conscious effort to celebrate and highlight examples of healthy relationships and explicit consent.


#13

Ah, well I’ve only been here since 2016, but even when I joined a lot of the current problems weren’t as bad. For example, with the old ranking system and categories, I could go into the fantasy section and find actual fantasy books, rather than a whole bunch of kinky stuff. But I mean, while that is annoying, I understand they change things up and they’re trying to run a business and whatever. It’s the unhealthy stuff that bothers me.

That’s so funny because I was literally considering just that this morning. I kind of want to start a movement to promote real, healthy romances on Wattpad. I definitely agree with you that the mindset is definitely the problem and that’s not Wattpad’s fault (just allowing the content is). If I could, I’d make a post to the worldwide romance writers’ community about this same thing, but this seemed like a good place to start. Wattpad can’t do anything about these mentalities being promoted elsewhere, but they can be a little more decent in what they allow here. That’s all I’m saying.


#14

Why were the member’s too young to have an account?


#15

They specifically stated in their bios that they were 12 or 11


#16

And I don’t think any sexual content is allowed with a character under the age of sixteen.


#17

No it isn’t, but discussion of it and a romantic relationship without sex are both allowed. There’s a trend in werewolf stories about the alpha having a “child mate”, some of which are as young as 4 years old


#18

I totally agree.


#19

I thought you had to be 13 years old to join and 16 plus to read mature stories. Correct me if I am wrong.


#20

I hadn’t heard the rule about being 16+ to read mature content, but you’re probably right. Yes the age limit is 13. Unfortunately there are tons of users below that age limit, which kind of is and isn’t Wattpad’s fault. They can’t do anything about people lying about their birthdays, but these users literally put in their bio “I’m 12!!!” and no one does anything about it.