Not too long ago, fanart was shared through websites and forums, and places like deviantART as it gained popularity. Social media wasn't as big as a thing and many specialised sites existed for collections of fanworks, including adult-themed works. These places still exist, of course, and on sites like deviantART you can mark specific drawings or posts as being inappropriate for various reasons when you submit them. Social media like Tumblr has had a huge rise in popularity in recent years, but despite being such a vast hub of fandom activity there are very few options for filtering and a lot of apathy regarding it.
In addition to that, technology is far, far more accessible than it ever used to be. People of all ages can access the internet very easily, and it's become almost mandatory to have a smartphone to keep up to date with your social circles. As a result, there's many young people on Tumblr and practically no moderation for the kinds of content they'll see without unofficial extensions and considerate tagging. Even with Tumblr's mature filter enabled, not everyone chooses to flag their own blog, and blogs that seem safe are more than capable of posting things that are a bit too spicy without any warning.
Certainly, it's not the job of bloggers and artists to babysit people. After all, you can't control who follows or views your blog and when, and for personal blogs it's important to have that space to post what you want and express yourself (provided it's not actively harmful to people, of course). It becomes slightly more important when we get into specifics.
Pokémon, at its core, is marketed towards children. It has a lot of elements in it that appeal to all ages (such as the competitive battling and the monster designs), but a huge portion of its audience are indeed kids. A child on Tumblr who loves Pokémon art will likely follow blogs that focus solely on Pokémon art, along with other shows they may enjoy like Steven Universe or Adventure Time.
It's not even just kids - many people who love Pokémon will follow specifically Pokémon art blogs if they make cute content, since it's the kind of work they love to see and want to see more of. By posting safe, clean artwork you make, people who see it will think you solely make safe, clean artwork and they will choose to follow you based on that. People inherently assume a content creator who produces cute art of Pokémon and cartoons will stick to the age rating of that thing, provided the one piece they see is not something edgy or actually inappropriate.
A thing that really set my mind on this was messages I've got from people who are happy that my art blog is as safe as possible, and my own actual experiences of growing up and being repulsed by adult-oriented things. It's so important for spaces for kids media to be kept clean, and so easy and simple to put adult works on a separate sub-blog and mark it as being mature in the settings. There's so many reasons people could have for not wanting to see that sort of content, and honestly, collecting all the spicy fanart you make in one place will be a great help for the people who do want that content and actively seek it out. You'd actually be helping yourself! Think of the possibilities!
Whilst things like Google searches and tag searches are a bit of a lost cause, it really shouldn't have to be. I'm certainly not condemning adult works or mature artists at all, since it's important for people to have that creative outlet and it brings so much joy to people who have fun drawing spicy things. I just think it shouldn't quite be so readily accessible, and that a bit of mindfulness can go a really long way. Just think of all the times you've had to frantically scroll past inappropriate things when a family member walks near your screen...
Page last updated on 23rd December 2017 at 16:25 GMT.