Tags and ratings
The short, short version - read this if nothing else
In Derpibooru, tags are how search and filtering for all users work. Thus we have a basic set of required tags to denote major themes and content which some may find offensive or troublesome at work, and beyond that, the system is fairly freeform and determined by users.
At a minimum you must tag any upload with one of the system-wide rating tags: safe, suggestive, questionable, explicit, grimdark, grotesque, meta or text. If you don't tag at least one of these, your upload won't even be allowed. You can combine these where it makes sense.
In summary, here's what falls under each tag:
- Safe - Content that really couldn't offend anyone reasonable, in the theme of the show and its target audience. Safe for work, safe for children.
- Suggestive - Content which is a little bit suggestive, but not in a visually overt way. Bedroom eyes, sexy poses and revealing outfits on humanized characters.
- Questionable - Anything which contains sexual content such as exposed or strategically covered nipples or nudity on human characters, fetish material (if it's not explicit and still overtly sexual), sloppy kissing, groping, or ponies in sexy poses/outfits.
- Explicit - Content which contains exposed genitals, implied or overt sexual acts, even without visible genitals, or masturbation. Not gore etc - see grotesque.
- Grimdark - Stuff which is not gory or graphically nasty, but which is thematically dark. Combine with explicit/questionable/suggestive where appropriate.
- Grotesque - Visual horror and gore; blood, guts, war, this all comes under this category. Combine with explicit/questionable/suggestive where appropriate.
- Meta - Things which are more to do with the fandom or site than the show itself, such as screencaps (of sites etc), blocks of text about stuff, and so on.
- Text - If your image is 90%+ text, it should be tagged with this. Please do consider if it's worth posting walls of text to the booru.
Tag appropriately according to these guidelines and make use of community suggested tags for describing the actual content of your image and other information, such as artist: tags. The rest of this guide contains more specific details on how to use each tag.
If you feel someone has inappropriately tagged an image, check the rules and if needed, change it. If they change it back, contact a moderator via IRC or report the image with an appropriate reason. Do not engage in edit wars.
And now, the detailed version
Tags are important. Tags are how you search and filter images, how you find what you're interested in and how people can avoid the stuff they don't want to see. Tags are pretty much critical to the functioning of the site and the experience of everyone who uses it. Therefore, it is very, very important that when you upload an image, you tag it properly. The problem, of course, is how do you use tags, and how do you know which tags to use?
From a technical perspective tags on derpibooru may work slightly different to what you're used to in places like ponibooru or similar. Our tags are comma separated, NOT space separated, and tags can have spaces in them - so for instance to tag an image containing Twilight Sparkle you would not use " twilight_sparkle " but "twilight sparkle,". If you have the fancy tag editing on - which is enabled by default, but can be turned off in your account settings if you find it unwieldly - when you go to edit tags, you will get automatic suggestions based on what you're typing and can hit Enter to autocomplete the tag with the one you've selected from the suggestion list. Hopefully this will help cut down on misspelled tags and redundant tags - if the autosuggest pops up something which fits what you were going for, please use that instead of making a new tag!
You can alter your tag viewing preferences in your user account settings. By default "explicit" and "grotesque" images are hidden and "questionable" and "grimdark" images are spoilered. You can use the entries on your page to either hide a tag entirely - which will prevent it being displayed for you at ALL on booru unless you follow a direct link to the image page - or you can mark a tag to be spoilered, where the images will be hidden by a spoiler thumbnail (in many cases we have set up custom spoiler thumbnails for specific tags for easier visual identification) in gallery views. Spoilered and hidden images that you find yourselves on the image page for will still display a spoiler image until you click on it to load the actual image, just to make sure that you don't get blindsided by following an innocent-seeming link.
What Tags to Use
On the topic of what tags to use, there are a few tags that it is very important - mandatory, even - that you use if they apply to your image, because they're part of our preset filtering system or else part of the broad category tags we're encouraging people to use to make filtering easier. Tags are how we implement our rating system for questionable and explicit images, tags are how we keep the grimdark away from the people who just want their noblebright - so please, tag properly. If you are found to be repeatedly neglecting to tag images with important tags, you'll probably be banned for a while - so always remember to consider the tags!
Importantly, tags are NOT comments. They are supposed to be descriptive of the image. If you look at a picture and you go "Wait, what!?" then you should make a comment to that effect, NOT add "wait what" as a new tag for the image. Otherwise you just clutter up the tagging system with pointless dross. In fact, an overabundance of metatags like this is part of the problem that made ponibooru so slow in the first place! Derpibooru's code is more efficient, but you should still try and avoid making pointless tags.
The following is a list of the most important tags and our guidelines for how they ought to be applied.
As far as ratings go this is probably a stricter system than you may be used to. We have lower thresholds for what is considered explicit and questionable. Unfortunately, you will just have to deal with this. We're not trying to ban explicit content, and there's nothing that will be "too explicit" for us even if our boundaries are lower; we just want to make it easier for people to avoid stuff they aren't interested in. If you're ever in doubt about an image that seems to be on the border, err on the side of caution - a toss-up between questionable and explicit should be tagged explicit, at least at first.
An image should only ever have one tag from this group! Higher ratings take priority, of course.
As a minimum, any image being uploaded must be tagged with at least one of these tags.
The safe tag is for images that don't fall into any of the other categories and denote images that are completely safe-for-work, safe-for-children and generally entirely wholesome and fine.
The explicit tag is for sexually explicit images. Explicit images are hidden by default. This includes:
- Exposed genitals and anuses
- Any sort of sex (be it vaginal, anal, oral, manual, whatever), EVEN if the genitals themselves are not directly visible; if your image has characters having sex in it is explicit
The questionable tag is for sexual images that don't go the whole to being explicit but you wouldn't want people catching you looking at nonetheless. Questionable images are spoilered by default. Questionable things include:
- Nudity (on humans/humanised characters), even if the naughty bits are strategically covered
- Exposed breasts/nipples (on humans/humanised characters)
- Ponies in sexy poses and skimpy outfits
- Fetish material (like bondage) if it is overtly/obviously sexual
- Sloppy kissing, groping, implied or overt sexual contact (though explicit sexual content belongs in explicit)
The suggestive tag is for stuff which is kind of racy but comparatively tame. Suggestive things include:
- Revealing outfits on humans/humanized characters
- Sexy poses
- "Bedroom eyes"
Theme and Subject Tags
Theme/subject tags are NOT mutually exclusive and something can be grimdark as well as grotesque and meta, for example. Grimdark and grotesque especially are rather broad categories that can cover a lot; don't avoid including more specific tags as well! A gory picture should probably be tagged both grotesque AND gore, for instance.
The grimdark tag is for material which has dark themes, especially if they're very much in contrast with the style of the show. Grimdark images are spoilered by default. Stuff which would be considered grimdark include:
- War and the consequences thereof
- Celesta tyranting it up
- Characters being dangerously insane
- Torture and abuse (graphical abuse/torture should also be tagged grotesque if appropriate)
- Apocalyptic futures and alternative universes which are thematically dark
Fluffy Pony Grimdark
Because fluffy pony material is typically quite lighthearted and adorable, material which is of a grimdark nature related to fluffy ponies can be considerably more objectionable to people than normal grimdark material. Anything that would fall under grimdark or grotesque which also relates to fluffy ponies should be tagged 'fluffy pony grimdark'. This tag is hidden by default rather than spoilered.
Fluffy pony grimdark is NOT a system-wide rating tag. You should still tag your images with grimdark/grotesque as appropriate.
The grotesque tag is for stuff which is gory or just plain disturbing to look at. Grotesque stuff includes:
- Gore (blood and guts and veins in mah teeth)
- Visual horror (stuff designed to creep you out with weirdness even if it's not stereotypically gory)
The meta tag is for things which are more to do with the site or fandom than the show itself. Meta images include:
- Screencaps of internet sites, like news articles, deviant art discussions, or *chan threads
- Images which are actually a big block of text where you soapbox about something and should probably be on a forum, not an imageboard
- Images about the OCs of people on the site or anything like that
The text tag is for images which are actually primarily text. We really shouldn't have very many of these at all - but a few are probably inevitable and it would at least be best for people to tag them as such so that the grumpy amongst us who just want pictures can filter them out easily.
Also to note: just because a picture is actually a textual story does not exempt it from other tags. If it's a story about people having sex, it's also explicit. If it's a story about abusing a fluffy pony, it's grimdark and possibly also grotesque and gore if there's a lot of detail in that direction. Note that grimdark material about fluffy ponies should also be tagged 'fluffy pony grimdark'.
The crossover tag is for when two settings collide somehow, and characters from one setting meet (or become) characters from another. If the only pony element is that the characters have been drawn as ponies, that's not a crossover! It's just ponified art. Rainbow Dash meeting Kamina (of Gurren Lagann) is a crossover; Rainbow Dash BEING Kamina is a crossover; Kamina as a pony is just ponification. If a picture is a crossover then also tag the things it is a crossover with! OC ponies are not crossovers.
The ponified tag is for when characters who are normally human (or alien, or whatever) are rendered as ponies. If they're interacting with (or being) characters from the actual show as well, then it's also a crossover. Even if it's not a crossover, try and tag whatever show/universe the character is from as well.
The humanized tag is for when ponies (or other creatures from the show) have been rendered as humans. Some people add extra tags for horned humanization and winged humanization if those are in play, which will help people filter and search if they have specific tastes, so feel free to tag with those more specific tags if necessary.
The OC tag is for pictures containing original character ponies - if it's not an existing character from the show or a ponified version of established characters from other settings, the character is probably an OC.
Basically, if a character shows up in the image, even hidden in the background, tag them! This is fairly simple.
When a character has a 'canon' (official, merchandise/show-given) name that differs from the 'fanon' (fan-given) name, the fanon name is typically preferred, but tagging both names is encouraged to allow people to find images relating to a character no matter which name they use.