Dead Dove: Do Not Eat
"Dead Dove: Do Not Eat" is a tag used on fanworks that started being used around 2015, apparently prompted by this https://mostlyvalid.tumblr.com/post/116424790408/a-proposal Tumblr post] by mostlyvalid. They summed up the tags intent as:
- The “Dead Dove: Do Not Eat” tag would essentially be a “what it says on the tin” metatag, indicating “you see the tropes and concepts tagged here? they are going to appear in this fic. exactly as said. there will not necessarily be any subversion, authorial commentary condemning problematic aspects, or meditation on potential harm. this fic contains dead dove. if you proceed, you should expect to encounter it.”
The Dead Dove reference originated in the TV shows Arrested Development.
That fans saw a need for this type of tag can be linked to the rise of so-called Purity Culture in fandom. This led to some fans wanting stories containing content they saw as problematic banned from AO3. This content could include anything from violence and rape to toxic relationships, misogyny and racism. While A03 has an extensive tagging system which allows authors to indicate the content of a story so readers can avoid it, the "Dead Dove" tag is an additional "caveat lector". Of course many in fandom also see the tag as an advertisement for an extra juicy story!
- Dead Dove Entry on Fanlore