Sketchfab introduces Age-restricted Content Filtering

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Sketchfab introduces Age-restricted content filtering. This article explains how it may affect you, how the new features work and explains the changes to our Terms of Use.

Thanks to you, the Sketchfab community continues to grow every day. And the diversity of our community has grown, too! To make sure we continue to be a welcoming destination for all visitors, we’ve introduced an Age-restricted content filter to ensure visitors of all ages and interests will continue to have a positive experience with Sketchfab.

Moving forward, any scenes that contain nudity, eroticism, extreme violence, or similar content will be filtered. The content will still be allowed and available, but will require a simple opt in to view.

As a result, we’ve updated our Terms of Use effective immediately. You will find a detailed explanation of these changes at the bottom of this post. Please read the terms carefully. By continuing to use Sketchfab you agree to be bound by them.

Featured model: Cervine Centaur by Kampfisken.

What is Age-restricted content?

Age-restricted content includes but is not limited to models that contain full or partial nudity, that are erotic in nature (having sexual implications, even when there is no nudity), that depict drug usage, extreme violence, or are otherwise shocking or disturbing.

Nudity depicted in statuary, antiquities, or a similar form that has been deemed appropriate for historic value and is or has been on public display in a gallery or museum is exempt.

Labelling your work properly is mandatory: the responsibility for labelling both new and existing work as ‘Age-restricted ’ lies with you, the creator. The Sketchfab team will also actively moderate any such material and in cases where content categorisation is debatable, reserves the right to make the final decision.

Unacceptable Content

Certain types of material is never allowed and deemed Unacceptable: content that is pornographic, threatening, harassing, libelous, hate-oriented, harmful, defamatory, racist, xenophobic, or illegal. This includes explicit descriptions and/or links to explicit content, even if the related content has been marked as Age-restricted.

We have a zero toleration policy for Unacceptable content, and posting it can get your account irrevocably banned.

Sometimes these boundaries may not be so clear, and Sketchfab reserves the right to make the final decision in such cases.

What has changed on the website?

By default, Age-restricted content is now filtered from all our galleries, search results, recommended models and even emails.

You can enable Age-restricted content in the gallery filters – this will remove the filter from all mentioned galleries and emails. This setting will be remembered for your next visit. If you are logged in, we will store your choice as a preference in your account.

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What has changed for embeds?

Age-restricted models that are embedded on external websites follow the same rules: by default they will be hidden by a ‘cover’, which allows you to enable Age-restricted content:

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How to label your work as Age-restricted

Both the upload and the model properties dialog now contain an option that lets you label work as Age-restricted:

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Once again: it is your own responsibility to properly label your work as Age-restricted where needed – both existing scenes and new uploads.

Help us moderate and keep Sketchfab age-appropriate

When you come across any work that you feel is Age-restricted or even unacceptable, you can use the content reporting feature that you will find under the ‘gear’ icon on every model page:

Please add your motivation to the description.

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Questions?

We can imagine this new policy raises many questions, so feel free to post them here – we’ll be keeping a close eye on the comments on this page.

Changes to our Terms of Use

Now that you understand the changes to our site and policy, we’d like you to review the changes we’ve made to our Terms of Use. These changes are effective immediately – please read them carefully. By continuing to use Sketchfab you agree to be bound by them.

User Restrictions and Obligations

The following article replaces point iv:

iv. [You agree that you will not use the Services to] Transmit any material or content that is pornographic, threatening, harassing, libelous, hate-oriented, harmful, defamatory, racist, xenophobic, or illegal;

We don’t allow any pornographic, extreme or illegal content. This includes private models.

The following articles is added:

v. [You agree that you will not use the Services to] Transmit any material or content that is inappropriate for families or otherwise suitable only for adults, except where such content is appropriately labeled as “Age-restricted content” and conforms to the Sketchfab Age-restricted Content Policy;

You are allowed to post artistic nude, erotica or other content that could be perceived as shocking, but you are required to label such work as Age-restricted.

The following article is not related to our new content policy:

The User is not permitted to modify the design or alter the appearance of the Sketchfab viewer (e.g., in embeds or screen captures) other than by using the available embed customization options and the “Viewer API” methods provided by Sketchfab, and according to the User’s plan (free, pro or business). Removing, hiding, or altering the Sketchfab logo watermark is prohibited to all users, under all plans.

The Sketchfab logo in our viewer is important to us; please don’t remove or hide it!

About the author

Bart Veldhuizen

Head of Community at Sketchfab. 3D Scanning enthusiast and Blenderhead. Running BlenderNation in my spare time.


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  • Ricardo says:

    I agree

  • A great addition! Will be especially nice for showing clients content via Sketchfab! 🙂

  • Hi!

    Congrats for this decision! It´s not my case but very important step to build a solid community…

    regards
    Cloud 3D

  • Wellness for me that makes emballagedesign, it really doesn’t matter. But it’s nice to know.

  • James O'Neill says:

    Best

  • Jkw13 says:

    Great idea , good job

  • Renafox says:

    Oh thank god, I’ve been hoping you’d implement this for ages

  • Karen says:

    Bravo??????????

  • TiZeta says:

    Good! I was just wondering how to filter out all those naked sexy ladies that flooded my search for characters, especially female ones… nothing against it, but they were not what I was looking for 😉

  • Heck yeah! I use Sketchfab a lot in the classroom (Texturing class) and whenever we seek a reference I’ve seen that a large quantity of salacious and suggestive content has made its way into collections and searches for the greater chuckles of my students and a palm in the face for me seeing it on the big projector!

  • enzocannavale says:

    ok

  • Dow Hurst says:

    It might be nice for the community to have an Age Restricted post that shows an example of what you deem Unacceptable versus able to be Age Restricted that is a borderline case. You can blur out any part of the Unacceptable submission in the example. The reason for this would be to demonstrate your team’s judgement and lack of bias. After the fiasco on Reddit, where an editor was modifying user posts based on his own agenda, online trust has become a precious commodity. This is just a thought that might help people see what your doing with cases where a user’s bias/perspective makes a difference.

    • Bart Veldhuizen says:

      Hi Dow,

      thanks for your reply. So far, we’ve only seen pornographic material on Sketchfab that would fall under the Unacceptable category (it always has), and I doubt we need to define what that is.

      If you’ve been around here at Sketchfab for some time though, you may know that it’s not our style to ruthlessly delete models or accounts. We will always have a conversation with the artists first to see what’s going on.

      Hope that helps ease your mind a bit?

  • zaxel says:

    I think this is a good decision.
    Though it would be nice if you post some examples or guidelines for scale. You probably want to keep this as vague as possible to prevent any precedents, however right now I am only able to compare to other platforms like youtube or facebook.
    Another thing, youtube e.g. allows sexually explicit content for educational purposes. “Nudity depicted in statuary, […] is exempt.”, doesn´t really cover that. Since you have an education category you might want to say a few words about that. I am thinking about those half ecorché half skin studies.

    And a personal question:
    What is the scale for base meshes? I currently have a male base mesh uploaded, which has a “close shape” to indicate the volume of the penis.
    https://skfb.ly/WvMW – In my opinion alright
    I also got a female base mesh, which has nipples.
    https://skfb.ly/QINH – Guess I would censor
    But what if I removed them? – In my opinion no censoring needed

    • Bart Veldhuizen says:

      The problem with educational purposes is that it is a rather fuzzy definition, and you could show some educational content that is very explicit. So to be on the safe side we decided that any nudity is automatically ‘Age-restricted’ (even though much of that material would be considered innocent enough by many). I hope that makes sense.

      Regarding your examples: you’re correct, although it might be better to smooth out her genitalia as well.

  • zaxel says:

    Thanks for the quick reply!

    Does that “you´re correct” include the removal of nipples as well?
    Not planning to change my models anyway just want to make sure I get the picture.

    Btw, the “fuzzy definition” applies pretty much to your definition for exceptions;) You can find a lot of nude things in museums as well… at least to the places I was forced to go to 😉 Just saying this, since I was somewhat surprised by your response and the impression I got from the article.

    • Bart Veldhuizen says:

      Yes, I meant removing the nipples too. And agreed! While we would say that most nudes from museums are acceptable, I’ve been to some museums that showed *very* explicit work – we’d probably decide such works would need to be Age+ rated here after all.

      It’s impossible to come up with an ironclad definition, so we’ll treat this with common sense and with respect for artists.

      • Sherlock Holmes says:

        I totally agree with zaxel’s point. What do you do with possibly offensive stuff that that has nothing to do with nudity? The filter seems to me morally very U.S. oriented leaving out a lot of areas where other people could have a problem with. Such as depictions of violence, weaponry, gender issues, you name it. You are putting yourself into a minefield but I guess you know that already… 🙂

      • Bart Veldhuizen says:

        Yes, it is absolutely US/Europe oriented as that is where we are based. One clear example of offensive/Unaccepable content would be the promotion of Nazism (and I don’t mean in the context of historic scenes or games).

  • zaxel says:

    Here are two examples that come to mind. The first one being what I expected to be still appropriate:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eug%C3%A8ne_Delacroix_-_La_libert%C3%A9_guidant_le_peuple.jpg

    And the second one that I still see defendable with the given definition:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabrielle_d'Estr%C3%A9es_et_une_de_ses_s%C5%93urs

    • Bart Veldhuizen says:

      Ah, interesting examples! Yes, I’d say these are both acceptable. If a piece is suitable for public display at the Louvre, it’s certainly acceptable for us!

      • zaxel says:

        Oops! There is a reply button^^ Didnt see that…

        Anyway good to know!
        I refrain from the tedious part then, where I find a similar historical artwork to break down and interpret it in a way, to make it fit a potential uploaded model so it can be exempted. When under normal circumstances the common sense would put an age restriction stamp on it.

        But it is exactly the “common sense” term I would love to see more defined by you guys.

        After all this comes down to your culture, age, society and so on…
        For example when I said I would censor my female base mesh, it was mainly a decision of decency in my thought process and not so much the feeling of violating the age restriction until you said that “any” nudity has to be restricted. Since in my opinion a static base mesh focusing on the accurate display of the human body is something you would expect to see in a museum. And I hope I am not the only one having this kind of thought process^^
        As it stands now I find the guidelines on this matter way to vague and I really like to hear justifiable decisions that are based on some loose guidelines (like no female nipples, no blood etc..), rather than getting to know these by life examples.
        I only have been active here for a short time, and seeing the staff pics and the not so decent models I believe you guys are very generous and there won´t be a problem but this makes it even harder to judge what you expect from us!

      • Bart Veldhuizen says:

        Great discussion! Our policy though is not based on ‘something that you *might* see in a museum’, but ‘something that has *actually* been on display:

        > Nudity depicted in statuary, antiquities, or a similar form that has been deemed appropriate for historic value and is or has been on public display in a gallery or museum is exempt.

        So while I agree that there’s nothing wrong with, for example, an anatomical study (it would definitely pass my ‘would I should this to my small kids?’ filter), there are still plenty of occasions where people don’t want to be confronted with nudity. As such, we’ve decided that the better rule is to have all nudity/erotica behind the Age-restricted content filter.

        Does that help?

      • zaxel says:

        Haha ok , it does! I read this definition as “that kind of”. Anyway I am not really that interested in the nudity part since this isn´t much of a concern for me.

        But I have one last question. You said you take an us/european point of view and you judge by a *small kids* filter.
        What is your point of view for realistic guns and blood?
        In my country e.g. a realistic gun is automatically 12+ in games (no blood, no shooting) and (red) blood is 18+ (or 16+ if used very mildly). Stricter rules apply for schools. In the US I would think there isn´t much of a problem with guns. Don´t know about the blood though.

      • Bart Veldhuizen says:

        The ‘kids filter’ is my personal guideline and first check; it’s not part of the Sketchfab Content Policy.

        Realistic guns and blood are allowed; it’s only extreme violence that needs to be labeled as Age+.

  • Rick says:

    I have a question. I am new to working with blender. I find it very interesting. but i am a complete beginner. i like animation and modeling. can anyone give me some help as to where to start. i mean like cg cookie i have heard of and a few more. which is best for beginner .

    • Bart Veldhuizen says:

      Hey Rick! Would you mind posting that question on https://forum.sketchfab.com/ ? You’ll find some very good Blender users there who can help you along. That way we can also focus the conversation here Age-restricted content. Thanks 🙂

  • Geoffrey Marchal says:

    Dear Bart,

    This is a great step for moderating SketchFab and thus growing even further. However I have a question: nude sculptures from 5th century BC to 4th century AD is considered as offensive nudity? I have seen in one of your reply that nude from museum are “ok”. But Do you plan to put that in Term of Use explicitly? This will avoid confusion in the future ;). Thanks

    • Bart Veldhuizen says:

      Ah, you *know* we won’t find that offensive 😉

      To be clear, our Terms of Use point to our Content Policy:

      https://help.sketchfab.com/hc/en-us/articles/214867883-Adult-Content

      This states:

      “Nudity depicted in statuary, antiquities, or a similar form that has been deemed appropriate for historic value and is or has been on public display in a gallery or museum is exempt.”

      Is that explicit/clear enough?

      • Geoffrey Marchal says:

        Thanks you to take the time to answer and for the clarification. I know it sound silly but on 2 other websites my work has been filtered as “age-restricted content”. Not that I mind, it just seems weird.

        I am support and agree on this “age restricted content filtering”. Any way, this is just a filter to warn people and not censorship. And that will definitively help SketchFab to become even more meanstream!!

        Wish you the best! 🙂

  • Rodolfo says:

    Amazing, thanks a lot guys!

  • Alejo says:

    Really thank you all. I think this will improve and dignify our community and web site. Thanks again.

  • Stefan says:

    I would say that “Age-restricted content filter” is very bad decision. It’s pointed out mainly against nudity, which is very bad and discriminatory toward artists, viewers and even teenagers. I can understand “Unacceptable” category, but “Age-restricted content filter” is bad, especialy if admins starts to label the content against authors will. Nudity is introduced in schools long time ago for visualisation and education purposes, and it will be allow in the streets very time soon; even more, it’s crucially important for character artists and students who need to learn how to draw, model or sculpt breast, vagina, penis or butt. Games like GTA is played mainly by kids and teenagers and that game should be full of “Age-restricted content filter”. If kids and teenagers massively play GTA, I don’t see some particular reason why this site should constrain artists liberty.

    • Bart Veldhuizen says:

      Hi Stefan,

      to be clear, we’re not *blocking* any Age-restricted content, only placing it behind a filter. Everyone is free to disable this filter and publish or view such work. We learned from many audiences (like teachers, parents or people at workplaces) did not want to be confronted with ‘unwanted’ nudity or hard violence, so we believe this will make Sketchfab a more enjoyable place for everyone.

      As far as your example goes, GTA is actually rated ‘M’ (17 and up). So while there’s no filter in the game itself, there’s a filter in the store 🙂

      Does that clear things up for you?

      • Stefan says:

        I understand that. I saw that policy on ArtStation. But putting the content behind the label will make it harder for an artist to promote his work.

      • Bart Veldhuizen says:

        Why do you think so? They can still publish it anywhere they want, no? And even better: we can now finally staff pick such work too!

  • Grey Area says:

    So often the wrong thing is censored. This seems to be another case of that. Draw two rough stick figures in a sexual position – no one cares. Make it a cartoon…some people care. Make it a phorealistic 3D model, more people care, make it a real-life photo or video and everyone screams “Think of the children!”.

    What are we censoring…the sex, or the quality of the artwork?

  • liphttam1 says:

    Been waiting for this!

  • Lolilith says:

    Great to see this website growing so much (:

    (Btw if you are going to ban nipples, please ban all nipples. Not just those of females. Otherwise it would be pretty sexist.)

  • Federico says:

    Since many people have a huge problem accepting sexuality and violence (AKA nature);yes, well done.
    Since – as a company – you don’t want to take risk of legal action; yes, well done.

    On a personal account I find censorship and filtering of any kind to be offensive towards my being-human and humanity as a whole.

    Again, I understand that in order to comply with the herd’s way of thinking and legislation you basically HAD to do it, willingly or not.

    • Bart Veldhuizen says:

      Thanks for your support! We aim to have as little ‘censorship’ as possible (this would be exclusively in the ‘Unacceptable content’ category).

  • Mark says:

    I love the fact you added this, will make it much safer for me to just surf this website for inspirational art,

    A recommendation would to also add an “learning” or (educational) tic next to the “age +” one as well as being able to sort education and just explicit content in the filters as to distinguish between strait up pornography and what is found in museum, now this might never happen heavily because you guys have a lot of work to do as it, but is would help people such as myself for a quick and flexible search for models rounded towards the study of anatomy, instead of having to risk looking for it for myself…

    NOW on a side note and I’m not sure you can do much about this since you guys are using a blog site here but, for the first moments I’ve used this comment section it’s left me desiring more from it…

    For intense,

    * There’s no date filter to be found,
    I guess I’m just use to being able to choose to sort between “new/old” or “old/new” comments, but it seems to be a inconvenience that I have to scroll to the bottom to see what new comments have been posted…

    * The (Leave a comment) box is located on the bottom of the page,
    the link on the top does make it less of a problem, but at the same time its far more convent to just have it up there (now note that I know about making websites and blog posts so I can understand why you would put the link there in the first pace so its not so much of a concern as it is a way to give the page a more cozy feel.)

    oh and finally

    * Theres no way to log in to your Sketchfab account option
    I think this would be very suitable for people who would rather receive notifications to people who respond to their comment through there account encase they plan on browsing the website to view models (much like now YouTube has set up their notification system to do the same mins the hole random google plus adds that pop up from time to time…)

    I think you know were I’m coming from when I said YouTube, I don’t know if google and other multi-million dollar websites just spoiling me with their comment systems or that this just might stress you guys out with such a horrendous request, but its just something I think would improve this website or at lest the blog side of things…

    whelp that’s all from me, back to dark souls for me I guess…

    • Bart Veldhuizen says:

      While I can see how a separate ‘Education’ option would be useful, we’er always very careful with adding more options. More options = more choice = more confusion. So let’s see how this is going first.

      And regarding your blog comments: noted, thanks! We’re getting close to releasing a new layout which will solve some (but not yet all) of these issues.

      • Mark says:

        I appreciate that you guys responding so quick as well as take requests in such considerations, I can tell I’ll be using this site for many years down the road.

        You’re team is doing great things so far, I’ll let you guys know if I see any other issues at hand…

        Then again a ‘Concerns & Requests’ tap might keep me from making unrelated complaints in blog posts and other forums just as an idea for the future 😉

      • Bart Veldhuizen says:

        You can always email support@sketchfab.com or community@sketchfab.com for those 🙂

  • "> says:

    I agree with the content !

  • Keyhole says:

    Its Ok

  • Avik says:

    Hey, i was wondering does something funny which directly does not pose nudity be also restricted, i mean does indirect jokes/parody 3D projects fall under this age restricted category?

    For example i got this model: https://sketchfab.com/models/75a319674abf48b5939f2c9090591212

    wat type of category does this fall under?

    • Bart Veldhuizen says:

      Hmm, strictly speaking that would be ‘acceptable’ content, but given the subject matter I think it would be good taste to rate it as ‘Age-restricted’.

  • Jayson says:

    The filter is a good idea but it would be a lot nicer if the filter option was available on the front page, instead of having to go through specific searches. That makes it less likely for people to feel that their work is being hidden away.

  • johan says:

    where is the line between erotica and pornographic content ?

    • johan says:

      also models featuring gore, drug use, or profanity
      do these also get tagged with +18?

      • Bart Veldhuizen says:

        It’s not easy to draw a hard line, but we consider any work that contains explicit sexual activity to be pornographic.

        And yes, models featuring gore, drug use, or profanity etc will also require an Age+ label.

  • Erquint says:

    I can’t believe nobody dared to ask this yet, but how do you see ONLY the age-restricted entries?
    There must be a case for that. Let me present you a hypothetical one:
    What if I’m working on an explicit game and looking to buy some models of the corresponding nature?
    There aren’t a big lot of age-restricted models compared to the rest as well as it is with explicit games versus the rest, and thus a search would mostly return results unfit for this hypothetical case unless the nature of the works is reflected in their titles and the search contains the specific keywords, which would be a non-systemic archaic way of discovery requiring some kind of an unspoken agreement “under the radar” on code words, etc.

    • Bart Veldhuizen says:

      We currently don’t have an option for that, but I’ll pass the suggestion on to the team.

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