high impact/widespread media should absolutely be held to a different standard of conduct than low impact/low spread media - specifically, a higher, more strenuous level of social responsibility - because they have a greater chance of uncritically bolstering harmful cultural messages and injuring marginalized people suffering under those messages.
by comparison, fanworks will always have an extremely limited impact and spread. ‘censoring dangerous content’ is, in aggregate, a weak pretext/excuse for launching campaigns of harassment and cyberbullying against fanwork creators for expressing less than happy feelings or thoughts.
however, censorship - even with the best of intentions - tends to have two major negative effects:
opposition effect tends to kick in. if something is censored, a certain kind of person will seek it out simply because it’s censored. And then because it’s censored, they will approach it without any more education about it than ‘this is so awful we can’t talk about it’ - which means they will be defenseless when they encounter the content itself.
I am therefore extremely wary of completely censoring content because people find it distasteful or harmful. I would rather the content be clearly warned for and kept away from audiences too young to handle it, but allowed to exist so that people can talk about why it’s distasteful or harmful.
it actually so happens that - at least in the US - TV networks have decency standards they adhere to in what they allow to be broadcast, and movies that want a mainstream release have to first have their film rated by the MPAA*. So in the US, we actually already censor TV and limit movie releases for being too obscene or gross or sexual in some degree. so on that note:
if a censorship or limited-spread board is put in place for evaluating high-spread/high-impact media, the process should be fully transparent. The reasons for censorship should be publicly available and the board members should be public figures that must fully explain and defend their decisions for or against censoring a work.
and as ever: education and appropriate warnings on content are more effective than censorship in protecting people from dark shit.
*it’s not technically a requirement to get an MPAA rating, but a lot of movie theaters won’t show movies that don’t have an MPAA rating. And the MPAA can’t technically completely censor a movie, but they can slap it with the heavily-limiting ‘NC-17′ rating, which prevents anyone under the age of 17 from legally seeing the movie in theaters. by limiting its audience and the number of theaters that will carry it, the MPAA can single-handedly kill a film’s spread. Unfortunately, they don’t use this to stop racist or anti-LGBT/queer content from escaping into the mainstream but to protect us from witnessing female orgasms. (what would we do without them!?)
I have lived through many ages, through the eyes of salmon, deer, and wolf. I have seen the Northmen invading Ireland, destroying all in search of gold. I’ve seen suffering in the darkness. Yet I have seen beauty thrive in the most fragile of places. I have seen the book. The book that turned darkness into light.