Questionable topics involve nearly all the things you might find listed in a site’s Community Guidelines—all the things you are told not to talk about. All those many things that might offend, for reasons other than controversy. Most of these things, if used wrong, could be extraordinarily bad. But, surprisingly, if done right, you could obtain great value from them.
For example, the Bible would go against nearly every rule in almost any set of community guidelines in existence. With its mentions of hell, entrails, demons, and sex, you’d be in for a whole lot of trouble. But… it also happens to be the most valuable book in existence.
You may also write a story of change and growth in a character’s life. By necessity, you’d have to mention the evil way a character used to live. That may include content that is disturbing to some.
Offer Value Through Questionable Topics
It all boils down to one question: Why are you including questionable content? If it’s just for a thrill, or to intentionally disgust or offend someone, it’s probably not useful or necessary, and will not be allowed. The idea is to offer value through your questionable content. Sometimes questionable content is necessary to understand what is going on, to offer a valuable perspective, or to help people. Nevertheless, questionable or not, you should be writing content that provides value.
Before writing content on or including questionable topics, consider your audience. Who are you writing this for? Will they appreciate what you have to say about it? For example, children will not enjoy reading, and their parents will never approve of them reading a theological treatise on demon possession. They just won’t.
Be careful not to write content that will offend your audience. Be even more careful not to write content that encourages your audience to judge others. And be careful that your content has sufficient warning so you do not offend people outside of your audience. And remember, some things just shouldn’t be said. There is no measurable rule we can set on this.
If you have written questionable content, we will probably add tags (e.g. Contains swear words, sexual content, violence, etc.) to the post before publishing. This way, readers can avoid content that is disturbing to them.
However, some of our editors may have an issue with some questionable content themselves. We encourage you to add a warning at the beginning of your submission so we can assign your submission to editors who are prepared for this.
We Have the Right to Remove or Refuse to Post Questionable Content
This approach may seem arbitrary, but it gives you the flexibility to say what you need to say. At the same time, we have the right to remove content that is offensive or inappropriate for the target audience. It is your content, but we still have to control what we post on our sites.
As we said in our post on Controversial Topics, this is not an attempt to limit free speech. You are free to write whatever you like on your personal site and even link to it from a Kontent site, as long as you make it clear that the link is provided for reference and is not an endorsement.
Does this approach to questionable content interest you? Maybe you’d like to work with us? Join us!