Wattpad Has Big Problems



The idea that things that are bad shouldn’t be on a website that condemns them is simple, to me, but I know the application of these rules isn’t simple. It would certainly be hard to write a story inside a character’s head in this kind of relationship without appearing to romanticize it. But even if Wattpad allows it to stay up, there’s still a danger in the writing itself that the author should be aware of, regardless of rules. Not saying the author is necessarily doing something wrong, but they should know that their work could be taken in a way they didn’t mean it to be.

As for the teenagers, we’re not going to be able to change their tastes or keep them from lying on websites :joy: I think it’s going to continue to be a problem regardless of whether or not Wattpad cracks down on these stories. I also agree that putting better alternatives out there, and just better content in general, can also be a way to combat the issue.


Ah! It was tagged as romance! Yeah, I probably would’ve reported it too, honestly, if the only chapters up were romanticizing abuse and it was tagged and promoted as a romance :woman_shrugging:

Was there any indication in the blurb or tags or such saying that it was NOT a romance? Was it rated Mature?


LOL that was not shade, it was a preventative measure :stuck_out_tongue:


I just read through several days of comments, and there’s something related to works about abuse, etc. that I don’t think was touched on, or if it was it was briefly or more recently and I missed it.

That is, in some cases, the author may be writing a work about a negative situation as a way of working through their own experiences of what happens/has happened in their life OR their fears/concerns that a similar experience may happen to them in the future. Sometimes the way a story is written can look like it’s romantic or promoting a fantasy, (And I’m not saying that for some works this may not be true) but it can sometimes just look like that due to the writer not being very skilled in the craft of writing OR the writer is in the process of working through their own feelings on some topic and doesn’t even know for theirself how they would react in a similar situation, yet.

I’m just trying to say, when we find a work that looks like it romanticizes some toxic behaviors, we should at least consider that there’s some possibility the author is writing this for their own mental health or catharsis to work out their feelings in the safe space of fiction in order to deal with experiences or fears in real life.

I’m not saying this is going to be the case all the time.

Just that if we don’t know for sure we should allow for this possibility.

A work could objectively look like it’s sending a message that something is romantic or positive, but it may be that the author is working through their own exploration or questioning whether this is truly the case as they may have seen portrayed in other media.

It’s especially hard to judge this if we don’t know the author, the work is incomplete, or its an early draft.


Right, but the problem is that at that age, those brains are a little naive and can easily be confused as to what’s romantic and what’s dangerous. Just because you like something doesn’t mean it’s good.

I’ve been “just dealing with” it ever since I got in this website, and it’s steadily getting worse. The topic is important and it needs to be brought to Wattpad’s attention. Lots of kids have gotten away with lying about their age, so I’m not sure how likely it is that they’ll get caught.

In fairness, though, you’re 13 and you’ve been on this website for six months, so you might not have seen how bad it gets.


Hmm, honestly I can’t remember the blurb very well. I think it was pretty vague, but there was an author’s note before the first chapter that contained a trigger warning. Yes, it was rated Mature.


I think that that’s completely possible, but the reality is that - no matter the situation the author is in - the message they are sending is the same. The guidelines are there and - no matter the reason for a person to write the story in itself - any story romanticizing abuse is supposed to be taken down.

If someone was using it as a sort of therapy than they’d probably be better off posting the story on a site that doesn’t have those guidelines in place :woman_shrugging: I do think that working through their feelings and such is very valid, but the book is still harmful and violates the guidelines.

I, personally, don’t think there should be exceptions to the guidelines because the books - no matter the author’s reasoning behind them - still promote the idea of abuse being romantic instead of harmful.


I think it depends on all of that. If the story looked like it was going to be a romance and the only chapters that were up depicted a romanticized abusive relationship, then I can see what happened.

Since nobody is going to get the full story right away, we authors need to be very careful we how we represent our stories!


Right, and that’s fair. But in that case, writing about a romantic abusive relationship could be dangerous for them, as someone using fiction as an outlet to view reality might get confused between the two.

I’m not saying all cases are black and white, but they can still be harmful. And also, a lot of these stories might just spring from the naivety of the authors. As we’ve discussed, there’s a general message promoting these things as romantic, and some people don’t know better.


I wasn’t intending to comment on the “does/does not violate content guidelines” aspect at all. I think it’s established in this thread that HQ has methods in place and will be the ones to decide if a work violates their guidelines.

I meant my above comment more as a point when we see the broad comments about how works/authors must be romanticizing abuse. Just, for us all as fellow Wattpaders to consider that it’s not necessarily intentional messaging.

Like, just as an example, I know when I was younger I wrote some works that had unhealthy relationships or female characters who showed little agency. And it was never that I was intentionally messaging “women shouldn’t have agency”, it was that I had felt in my life like someone that didn’t have agency or was gaslighted a bit and was still working out how to write female characters in a more positive way and to be a woman with more confidence and agency.

I think it was a good and necessary step as a person and a writer to go through that process on my own and to learn form my own comparison of my work to others how I could change my characters and change how I viewed real life situations.

Objectively, some of those works weren’t great in general, so positive/negative messages aside I wouldn’t have expected them to be published. but on a site like Wattpad where there exist young, hobbyist, or less experienced writers along with those more experienced, I think it’s wise if we have a certain amount of tolerance for works with somewhat disappointing messaging.


Your post is why I don’t believe in censorship. But I do believe in conversation.

Why is glorifying an abusive ahole a good romance to you? Especially when the female MC is a sweet virgin who doesn’t deserve it?


I agree. Just a few days ago, I was super angry about the whole romanticized abuse trend I’m seeing, but I realized (thanks to some people talking me through it), a) I personally have no real control over what anyone else writes, only what I read, b) people who write stories with themes I disagree with may themselves disagree with them, c) people cope with trauma in different ways, d) as a new author, I also wrote stories with problematic themes, because that was what I read about. I have more understanding as to why people might want to write books about horrible things like rape, abuse, etc. now. I still really dislike it, but I’ve accepted that I don’t have direct control over what other people write or what they think is sexy.

But I do want to talk about that last point, “I also wrote stories with problematic themes, because that was what I read about.” This is true; I totally did. My first “real” story featured a supposedly-strong heroine getting injured and then kissed against her will by the main male lead, who was described as “cocky,” “smirky,” and “handsome.” I personally really don’t like those types of boys. Even then, I never liked those types of boys. But all the books I had been reading at that point in my life featured a condescending bad boy, so that was what I wrote about, because at that point, I’d never seen anyone in the books I read refer to this type of person as anything negative, and I’d never seen another type of person (kind, respectful, etc.) be treated as a serious love interest to a main female character. I knew this wasn’t what I liked (shout out to budding baby Xeno who even at that point half knew she was hella asexual and anti-hot bad boy), but I thought that this was what everyone else liked, because I had never seen something marketed towards me telling me otherwise.

Of course, I had seen healthy adult relationships. My parents were a great role model for respectful love, as were many other adult couples in my life, as were many adult relationships on TV. But those weren’t about people my age, or people that I could really put myself into. Instead, I read about young teenage girls in YA fantasy and vampire books, and I can’t think of a single one where they didn’t end up with the (sometimes seriously abusive) hot, mysterious, controlling boy. Literally every single one. And when I wanted to make my own “grown-up” story, I based it off the closest thing I had, and so my character forced a girl with a broken ankle to kiss him. I knew this wasn’t a relationship that I wanted, and I knew it wasn’t right, but I did think it was just what people did anyway.

So, that’s my weird story. Now it’s time for a possible solution. And here it is: write stories that you like. Write stories romanticizing respect and consent. Write about characters escaping abusive situations. Write stories where the girl falls for a good person. Write stories where if someone hits a character, that character gets the heck out of there. Write stories where the girl gains power not from hooking up with a dangerous man, but by working her way up. Write stories about trust rather than possessiveness. Write them for the young girls on this site, and flood the market with them.

We as users don’t have the power to dictate what people are allowed to write on Wattpad, nor do I think we should, but as authors we do have the power to change how people see things, or at the very least give people an alternative view. People have changed writing trends before. I think we can change this one.


I hope you’re right about authors working through their own abusive situations. I really do.


I’ve actually been on this website for a while. my old account was cringe af so with a swish of my finger I fucking deleted it. Also by the time you’re 12-13, you’re normally in 6th-8th grade so by then most classmates, friends, and random students I know at my school all know what is wrong and right. Unless they have been in an abusive relationship or have experiences in their family (hopefully not!) with abuse they will most definitely know what is love and what is pure manipulative abuse.

also how do they lie about their age to their own parents…? who most likely have/will look through their Childs phone or computer at one point and find it…?


You can give ambassador (or content) of the books and we can check. Most of the reporting though we recommend is report yourself but if ticket record shows glitch/or not solved or if you have any content questions you can PM us.

The idea of anti pedo or whatever banned is cool but that is what content mods are for. Yes, it’s a lot of time and work but that is also why the users can report too. Though don’t let many users report the same user/stories, it’ll cause a ticket jam and exposing isn’t allowed either. Trust me, there’s like exposure and bad fic reviews that shows authors and stories which is unacceptable.

It’s ok not to like the stories and state your opinion but targeting the writers is same like haters targeting victim. (I’m just saying this as a added note :stuck_out_tongue: )


I’m ok with tagging but you better have some sweets added :eyes: I’m joking :joy:


Ooh, since you’re here, I have a question!! I found a book on here that’s a collection of erotic stories with no larger plot; it’s literally just really graphic sex scenes. I reported it because I’m pretty sure pure erotica isn’t allowed on here, but every time I do, I get an email telling me to send another report. What’s up with that?


So it was auto email? Sometimes the reports are a little on and off so reason why ticket record is very important 'cause they tell and show status if it went through or ‘solved’ automatically. (You can also add screenshot and another note without waiting email).

But ticket record is easy when you use web. I think mobile is a bit harder


(Maybe everyone can bookmark or not)

How to check ticket record

You need web to access it since it’s easier.

  1. Go to ‘Help’ center

  2. Upper right you click ‘sign in’

  3. Then you click ‘my activity’

  4. When you report and it says ‘Open’ it means that ticket has been sent. If it says ‘Solved’ but it didn’t got solved then that’s a sign it’s a bug or maybe other users reported a lot…

  5. If there’s no answer still you could reply again in the ticket but if another waiting and no answer then contact ambassadors and/or maybe sending bug ticket might do.


This is what I got the first time:


I reported it again, and got the same email again