- Wattpad users
As one of many users who have had their content removed from Wattpad, I recognize a trend happening on Wattpad that has happened to similarly failing companies like Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook. It is the censorship of opinions, facts, advocacy groups, influential individuals, based on extremely subjective and constantly changing Codes of Conduct, subject to the whims of the weakest and loudest users with no respect for individual freedoms. Most people affected by this trend have said very little, if not nothing at all, about how unfair and intolerant this situation is because they feel they have no voice once Wattpad administrators took it from them. However, their voice was not taken from them, and with the signing of this petition users will once again enjoy the freedom of expression that cannot be given or taken away by any corporate/public/private/political entity.
We Wattpad users advocate for the transparency and Objectivity of Wattpad in the enforcing of its Code of Conduct guidelines. Many people have had entire books/content deleted from the site without warning or communication between content moderators and the user. Many have also had entire accounts deleted with the same lack of transparency. As a private company, Wattpad has the right to have particular biases on their rules, but for the sake of supporting users' Freedom of Expression (or Freedom of Speech), especially to protect unpopular opinions, we require Wattpad to be clear ame specific about their rules.
If Wattpad chooses to retain their intolerance to the transparency and objectivity matters I will list below, we Wattpad users possess the right to no longer partake in the free sharing site's slippery slope to authoritarianism, just as millions have with failing Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook before them.
(1) It is not sufficient to simply allow users to report others the minute they "feel an opinion is offensive, defamatory, abusive, or inappropriate." These are extremely subjective guidelines and leave much ground for favoring one opinion over another, and is not inclusive to "different opinions and views," as deceptively mentioned in the Wattpad Code of Conduct.
(2) It is not sufficient for upset users to be able to vaguely report a story for being "offensive," and that Wattpad's response is not to review the material but have it "removed without notice." If a user does not know what they said to cause the content removal, and it is removed without notice or warning, it is intolerant to expect that their opinions won't get targeted for removal again.
Removal without notice also shuts down healthy debate and does not allow the targeted user to dispute the grounds upon which their content was deemed "offensive," whether with the users who reported the content or with Wattpad administrators.
(3) It is not sufficient or "friendly and welcoming" to prohibit users from ranting about issues from their personal lives, as that dangerously encroaches upon the individual rights to Free Expression, and tramples intolerantly on the feelings of those suffering from abuse, depression, neglect, and many other issues Wattpad contradicts itself in claiming it protects. It is clear administrative overreach to dictate what users can and cannot write about based on vague statements like "friendly and welcoming," and risks losing countless users due to Wattpad's ultimate punishment of "having [their] account deleted."
The Wattpad Transparency and Objectivity With Users petition to Wattpad users was written by Alexz and is in the category Business at GoPetition.