The bulk update request #15848 has been rejected.
These tags were made mostly without consensus back in topic #21339. It was mainly three builders taking it upon themselves to do it with not much input from others or from higher-ups. A BUR was created to get them implicated to child afterwards, but it failed despite mostly positive responses because turns out these tags were just being used for loli/shota posts people didn't want to tag loli/shota, which made the admins not want to deal with it. It ended with loli/shota becoming qualified for use with rating:s (forum #216609) because people kept tagging sussy images as child. In the same post, evazion expressed his disapproval of the gendered child tags overall, stating:
Frankly I wish people had never made the female child tag to begin with. It's just a really bad look to use the word "child" on anything remotely lewd. And it gets even worse when you start categorizing pictures of children by age and gender and what they're wearing. That makes even the most innocent posts look suspect.
These tags have ended up in a sort of purgatory where we don't really want them, but there has been reluctance to actually nuke them. The problem is they're still regularly being misused on loli/shota images. Another topic was made three months ago requesting the implications again (though unformally), in which the admins stated how much trouble they are:
It was already bad enough with child, now we have three different tags acting as landmines that need to be routinely cleaned.
Danbooru is a porn site in the eyes of most outside observers, and a porn site with a tag for little girls immediately sets off red flags. It's hard to say this tag is for innocent images when so much of it is soft loli content. And it's hard to keep the tag clean when the whole idea of "I want to search specifically for pictures of little girls" inherently attracts people who don't have the purest of intentions.
Danbooru is actually banned in multiple countries over content that is considered to be loli by their standards, but not by ours. A female child tag that is less than 100% safe is basically asking to be banned in more places. Just the word "child" on a porn site sets off red flags.
The way we (and other sites like Gelbooru and E-Hentai) deal with this is by trying to keep this stuff off the radar. But that's hard to do when we have tags like female child and male child explicitly labeling characters as underage, and being used as backdoor soft-loli and soft-shota tags.
Let me put it this way: A few years ago, E-Hentai nearly shut down entirely over fears over the legality of loli/shota content (). That was after they were already forced to hide everything behind Sad Panda a decade ago because of pressure from advertisers. A couple years ago, Gelbooru had their server seized over a single image their hosting provider found questionable (). As a result they were forced to hide this type of content by default, despite resisting having any kind of content restrictions before.
These are the kinds of risks we face. None of us want to censor content. But none of us want to get shut down either. Which is why every site is eventually forced to either ban risky content entirely, or implement restrictions to keep it under control. Even 4chan has long banned all loli/shota content outside of /b/.
The female child and male child tags didn't exist up until about six months ago. Before then, things were usually either tagged loli/shota, or they weren't tagged at all. That was safer in many ways because things were either out of sight, or they weren't labeled as children. Explicitly labeling content as underage is what gets us into trouble. There's no way around that.
Anything labeled as child that's not 100% safe is a risk. And my definition of safe is going to be much stricter than most people's. There's tons of stuff like post #5898241 or post #5856671 that are currently rated G and that aren't overtly lewd, but that I just know are lowkey lolicon or shotacon bait and that people are going "Uohhhhhhhhh! 😭😭😭" over it on Twitter.
This puts me in a difficult position, because I don't want to hide more content than I have to, but I don't want people coming to Danbooru and searching child and see hundreds of mildly suggestive images either. This leaves me with the choice of either nuking these tags, hiding these tags, or making the ratings for these tags much, much stricter, which would probably still entail hiding anything rated Sensitive or higher.
Ultimately, as happens all too frequently, that topic went nowhere. Given the status of these tags and the admins' opinions on them, I am proposing this BUR which will nuke the male_child and female_child tags while adding child to the rating:g ones that are missing it. There are around 4k such posts. These two tags seem to be the biggest issue. I'll make an alternative BUR to nuke all three, should that be the more desired outcome.
Note that these do not address the child on child tag. I'm not entirely sure what we want to do with that.