Dead Dove: Do Not Eat

Content Warning: Discussion of potentially triggering topics including, but not limited to, sexual assault.

ZN describes an acronym convention within the fanfiction community. This convention warns readers that there is content that may be triggering or that could be deemed incredibly offensive that is being used for sexual intent within a work of written fan-fiction. These topics could include non-consensual sex, underage sexual conduct, and more.

ZN.) So there’s something called Dead Dove, Do Not Eat, or DDDNE which is a tag that people will put on AO3 (the Fanfiction website Archive of Our Own) fanfiction posts that means that there’s some triggering content or potentially triggering content. It’s usually sexual in nature, so it’s like non-consensual sex or like underage stuff or like bestiality or something like that. It’s written in a way that it’s meant to be pornographic and like you’re meant to be turned on by it, so it’s kind of a trigger warning. But, it’s different than a trigger warning because trigger warnings will usually be used like “We deal with this really heavy topic in a way that’s trying to be respectful but you may get triggered by it.” Dead dove do not eat is specifically for like sexual assault scenes that are written like pornography.

This is an acronym that a community decided to use colloquially to describe content that would be very taboo for most readers. It is a piece of folk speech used by those that frequent fanfiction websites and communities. It’s not dissimilar to acronyms used in other communities to refer to inappropriate content, but in contrast its more used as a tag than to replace the actual inappropriate content. It’s interesting that it’s both used to keep users that may dissent to reading this content away from the content but also to attract users that may enjoy this type of writing. While this type of writing existed before the internet, now it is very accessible to whoever is browsing, so it’s very important that the community has a way to distinguish what they are okay with reading before being exposed to potentially harmful content.