Let's talk about TWYS, Lore Tags, and descriptions.

In category: Tag/Wiki Projects and Questions

Prelude

Now, before I start, I'd like to clarify that this is in no way proposing a rule for mods to enforce, it's just a call to action for something we as the e621 community can do to make searches easier.

The proposal

So, TWYS is under fire again. For the most part the discussion is going in the same direction it always does, with people yelling at the mods and other people yelling back. But I personally think we're overlooking a good solution. I'd like to propose to the e621 community that we start tagging lore tags in the description.

What would that mean?

'Lore tags' are tags that would not be tagged under TWYS but would be tagged under TWYK(tag what you know). For example, let's take a recent post featuring two canonically male characters, but is tagged male/female.

ANIM5_fingers all_fours ambiguous_penetration animated anthro anthro_on_anthro arm_markings back_markings barefoot big_ears big_eyes blue_eyes blush breathing brown_fur butt cervine chest_tuft couch_sex crossgender darin_(whygena) digital_media_(artwork) doggystyle duo ear_markings eyebrows eyelashes facial_markings female flat_chested flat_colors from_behind_position fur green_eyes hair hand_on_butt head_tuft leucism lol_comments looking_back loop low-angle_view makeup male male/female male_penetrating mammal markings mascara mouse no_pupils nude on_couch on_sofa open_mouth penetration pink_tail reggie_(whygena) rodent sex shoulder_tuft simple_background smile sofa spots spotted_fur squint tail_markings thick_tail thrusting toes tongue tuft two_tone_tail white_belly white_fur white_markings white_spots white-tailed_deer whygena

Rating: Explicit
Score: 331
User: Whygena
Date: May 16, 2018

Whether or not you think this post should be tagged male/female is irrelevant. The point is that under e621 rules, it is tagged as male/female. But if one were to click on the post, you would notice the description has tags in it, specifically these ones:

Lore tags:
lore_male/male
lore_girly
lore_anal_penetration
lore_anal

So, what are these tags? These tags are tags that would be considered missing if we used a TWYK system, and my proposal is for users to start doing this every time they find a post where TWYS interferes with the lore of the characters.

Why would this be useful?

Currently, if you want to search for girly characters, characters that appear too feminine will be excluded from your search. However, e621's search engine is quite powerful, meaning if people tag descriptions properly, you can find these posts by searching ~girly ~desc:lore_girly, giving you any posts that either appear girly to TWYS or are canonically girly characters. Girly can be replaced with any tag you may wish.

How do I tag these?

Since standardization is the only way to make this type of thing would work, here are some baselines to follow:

  • Start your lore tags with 'lore_'
    • Currently, description searching has a bug that causes searching for multiple instances of words to act as if you were using ~, this is a good way to make sure people find posts that are tagged rather than descriptions that simply contain the word 'girly'.
  • Only use tags already in the default tagging system.
    • Inventing new tags would just make things even more complicated. If you want to suggest a new tag, make a forum post for it.
  • Always_use_underscores_instead_of_spaces_for_tags
    • The search engine will count multiple words as separate tags unless you use underscores, this goes for tags in descriptions too.

The issues

Now obviously, this is far from perfect. For starters, moderators don't actually monitor descriptions at the moment, so we would be on our own for this. Secondly, as mentioned above, searching for keywords in descriptions has an odd bug that only allows for one list of keywords at a time, so no searching for multiple tags. Thirdly, not everyone will know about this. However, tagging enough posts will get people curious about why those tags are there, and eventually more people will learn how to search for them.

The discussion

With the proposal out in the open, let's discuss it! Is there something I missed? Do you hate that I'm proposing an actual solution because it stops you from yelling at the mods? Do you think this won't help much? How much tagging should be done in the description? This is a place to have those conversations. All opinions are welcome. (just like, don't be a dick.)


Seems like an elegant enough solution

I've personally never had any stakes in this discussion, but it does get really annoying seeing threads about the issue popping up all the time (the amount of snark that both sides bring to them is also really bad) so this gets a +1 from me, I can't really think of a way to improve on the idea without making changes to the current systems


This again?


IMO a solution of this general nature is the only way we're likely to move forward WRT things that are too ambiguous to reliably handle with TWYS.

However, to my mind the most pressing problem is not the precise choice of protocol, but how to get people to adopt it. One idea on that front is for support to be incorporated into a userscript like E6Extend. Something like, when editing, 'Split the Description field on the string Lore_tags:\n, place the first result of this into the Description field. Place the second result of this into a new "Lore tags" field. When submitting, combine these two fields to reverse the process'


savageorange said:
IMO a solution of this general nature is the only way we're likely to move forward WRT things that are too ambiguous to reliably handle with TWYS.

However, to my mind the most pressing problem is not the precise choice of protocol, but how to get people to adopt it. One idea on that front is for support to be incorporated into a userscript like E6Extend. Something like, when editing, 'Split the Description field on the string Lore_tags:\n, place the first result of this into the Description field. Place the second result of this into a new "Lore tags" field. When submitting, combine these two fields to reverse the process'

The best way to get people to adopt something is awareness, and the best way to grow awareness in this case is just to use the method whenever possible. People will notice, especially since certain artists are basically magnets for this sort of controversy. As for your second part, it's a good proposal. I would submit that to the feature suggestions forum if I were you. But yeah, just use lore tags as often as possible and people will get curious.


Until a solution is in place, drama with artists is gonna keep repeating over and over.

Solution?
create lore versions of the tags, such as
male_(lore), female_(lore), etc
so an image can have both female and male_(lore) tags on them at the same time.

So when an artist starts crying again, just tell him to use the lore tags to express whatever they want.


^

Drama is a red herring, and we shouldn't allow the system to be held hostage by it. Many of the drama mongers appear to not only fail to understand TWYS, but have no interest in understanding TWYS, or worse, have a commitment to not doing so.

While there is often some ambiguity about TWYS as it applies to a particular image involved, their misunderstanding of TWYS seems to be largely their responsibility.

(conversely, I think e621 may have some responsibility to make clearer the related fact that 'e621 is an archive, not your personal gallery')

While you may not have intended to place lore tags on a level with normal tags, I think injecting lore tags into the normal tagging system has that effect.

Lore information is never going to be as reliable as TWYS tagging, just out of pure logistics. So I'm really against presenting it in any way that suggests otherwise.

Genjar
Former Staff
6 months ago
2011 annoyed antennae arthropod biped black_markings blue_eyes clothed clothing crossed_arms duo feral front_view green_body human insect insect_wings lepidopteran lifting lol_comments male mammal markings moth nisimawari pellucid_hawk_moth portrait quadruped shirt shorts simple_background solo_focus spread_wings standing three-quarter_portrait three-quarter_view traditional_media_(artwork) watercolor_(artwork) white_background wings

Rating: Safe
Score: 304
User: Genjar
Date: May 29, 2013

Delian said:
create lore versions of the tags, such as
male_(lore), female_(lore), etc

No thanks. That'd completely mess up wildcard searches.


Delian said:
Solution?
create lore versions of the tags, such as
male_(lore), female_(lore), etc
so an image can have both female and male_(lore) tags on them at the same time.

This has been discussed so many times now and this particular solution has also been discussed in past as well and there are many reasons why this will not happen, starting from that because at that point they would be actual tags, meaning that staff would need to enforce them.

Meanwhile descriptions and sets are almost free game.

Also as mentioned, description nuking is far less severe action than actual tag nuking. If you want to make this system even more bulletproof, you could easily link the tags in description to dedicated set search, sets being for specific tags. This would also make it easy to cross-check if posts included in set contains tags in the description.


There are already several threads on this.


Furrin_Gok said:
There are already several threads on this.

Yes, but this one actually proposes a solution that I havn't seen before. :)

I like this idea, over all!


SnowWolf said:
Yes, but this one actually proposes a solution that I havn't seen before. :)

forum #210151, forum #205766. The idea of lore tagging as a separate thing has been suggested before, and denied due to the fact that it would bloat the tags list.


Furrin_Gok said:
forum #210151, forum #205766. The idea of lore tagging as a separate thing has been suggested before, and denied due to the fact that it would bloat the tags list.

...Except OP's suggestion was to put the tags into the description field, not as part of the tag list.


SnowWolf said:
...Except OP's suggestion was to put the tags into the description field, not as part of the tag list.

I got the idea from ratte originally, he mentioned it offhand in the discord group and I thought it sounded like a good solution.


SnowWolf said:
...Except OP's suggestion was to put the tags into the description field, not as part of the tag list.

Oh. That's actually something I've used before. The big problem with it is that it doesn't support searching for multiple tags. For example, you can't search desc:male desc:solo.


Furrin_Gok said:
Oh. That's actually something I've used before. The big problem with it is that it doesn't support searching for multiple tags. For example, you can't search desc:male desc:solo.

I edited the post to mention that and edited the tags to fit a model that works under the limitation. You wouldn't need to search for tags like solo anyways, though the one tag limit is a problem. I still think this solution is better than the moping around everyone is currently doing.


Furrin_Gok said:
Oh. That's actually something I've used before. The big problem with it is that it doesn't support searching for multiple tags. For example, you can't search desc:male desc:solo.

TIL you can actually search by descriptions, and I've been on this site for years. In other words, these "tags" if implemented wouldn't be very useful considering only a handful of people would even know how to utilize them.

Furthermore...what is the use case? Why do we care what something was in lore if what we're actually SEEING is completely different. Wouldn't a "male_to_female" tag or something of that nature be better? That way you know what they were and what they ended up as.


Might wanna fix lore tags to lore_tags in the example post so that it's actually searchable.


Might wanna fix lore tags to lore_tags in the example post so that it's actually searchable.

Furrin_Gok said:
Oh. That's actually something I've used before. The big problem with it is that it doesn't support searching for multiple tags. For example, you can't search desc:male desc:solo.

desc:lore_male desc:lore_girly
What's the problem?


Dyrone said:
Furthermore...what is the use case? Why do we care what something was in lore if what we're actually SEEING is completely different. Wouldn't a "male_to_female" tag or something of that nature be better? That way you know what they were and what they ended up as.

Oh you sweet summer child.
The use cases are for tags like girly males or flat chested females that get tagged as something else under TWYS.


Dyrone said:

Furthermore...what is the use case? Why do we care what something was in lore if what we're actually SEEING is completely different.

Completely different?

Look at OP image. It's a good example of where TWYS gets tricky. There is no decisive information (vagina/penis? breasts?) about the sex of the mouse character within the picture. It has been tagged female because there is more evidence on the female side (facial features), but nobody would look at this and go 'that character is unquestionably female!'

(Just in case it gets brought up again, ambiguous_gender is not applicable; that is only used when there are no gender indicators at all.)

I do agree that people might come unstuck WRT effective use, because lore tags must, in effect, be defined individually by each artist, and can only be functional for searching if those definitions agree sufficiently. Still, these ambiguous cases exist, we might be able to deal more completely with them, and perhaps we should try to.


savageorange said:
Still, these ambiguous cases exist, we might be able to deal more completely with them, and perhaps we should try to.

I don't think I could ever have phrased it so elegantly.


MyNameIsOver20charac said:
desc:lore_male desc:lore_girly
What's the problem?

Metatags don't (currently) work like that. The search you give above is identical to a search for desc:lore_girly -- the last value given for a metatag is the one used.

This would be more obvious if there were other posts which had only lore_girly.

(this is also confusing, because it means that desc:foo desc:bar and desc:bar desc:foo are completely different searches.)


savageorange said:
Look at OP image. It's a good example of where TWYS gets tricky. There is no decisive information (vagina/penis? breasts?) about the sex of the mouse character within the picture.

I just don't see how it helps anyone in the end to know the exact canonical gender of a very gender-ambiguous character. To me that mouse character looks female, but if someone wanted it to be male then they could simply IMAGINE it as a male because there is no definitive visual evidence to the contrary.

Does getting told "hey, btw...that's OFFICIALLY a male" make it easier to fap to or something? Like "Oh thank god...now that I've been told by the artist that this is indeed 100% for sure a male character, the fapping can begin!" Just seems unnecessary. In the end it's a bunch of pixels with no gender, it's all how the viewer sees and interprets the image anyways.


savageorange said:
Metatags don't (currently) work like that. The search you give above is identical to a search for desc:lore_girly -- the last value given for a metatag is the one used.

This would be more obvious if there were other posts which had only lore_girly.

(this is also confusing, because it means that desc:foo desc:bar and desc:bar desc:foo are completely different searches.)

What about wildcards, do they work with desc? If they do we could solve it by alphabetically sorting the lore tags (went ahead and did this in the famous post)
Example search:
desc:lore_girly*lore_male/male
Alphabetic sorting is necessary to know the correct order.

What do ya think?


AFAIK wildcards don't currently work for metatags either.

If they did, and OP proposal was updated to specify that lore tags must be alphabetically ordered, then this might work.


savageorange said:
AFAIK wildcards don't currently work for metatags either.

If they did, and OP proposal was updated to specify that lore tags must be alphabetically ordered, then this might work.

desc:male, desc:sex, desc:male*sex, desc:sex*male


My mistake.


savageorange said:
My mistake.

Yay,I solve problem :D


Dyrone said:
I just don't see how it helps anyone in the end to know the exact canonical gender of a very gender-ambiguous character. To me that mouse character looks female, but if someone wanted it to be male then they could simply IMAGINE it as a male because there is no definitive visual evidence to the contrary.

Does getting told "hey, btw...that's OFFICIALLY a male" make it easier to fap to or something? Like "Oh thank god...now that I've been told by the artist that this is indeed 100% for sure a male character, the fapping can begin!" Just seems unnecessary. In the end it's a bunch of pixels with no gender, it's all how the viewer sees and interprets the image anyways.

Yes, it seems silly but people are like that. Look in the comments section of the linked post in the proposal, you'll see what I mean.