Harassment Task Force Releases Community Code of Conduct

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The Harassment Task Force, a project spearheaded by Josh “Roboticphish” Kassel back in April, has just released some big news after several months of anticipation. On the night of September 11th, Roboticphish shared the completed Super Smash Bros. Community Code of Conduct. His post outlines the committee’s documentation, a FAQ and a “summary of intent and details.” For those who have trouble reading the “legalese” used for the official Code of Conduct, the Task Force has published a condensed, plain-language summary alongside it.

Offenses have been broken down into three levels:
  1. Malicious discriminatory epithets, verbal abuse and disrespectful out-of-game behavior such as damaging venue property, etc.
  2. Violent threats, sexual harassment, physical intimidation and targeted abuse such as releasing their publicly available information with the intention of starting a raid of abuse
  3. Sexual or violent assault, doxing and stalking, etc.
Additionally, advocating for someone to commit an offense will count as an infraction at that offense’s level whether or not you perform the offense yourself. Relatively minor issues are expected to be handled by TOs, while more serious ones should be presented to the “Disciplinary Panel,” a pool of volunteers that includes an Investigation Panel and Appeals Panel. If offenses involve a minor, an abuse of power or past history is involved, punishment could be escalated.

The Task Force has compiled a list of resources and courses of actions for victims and witnesses. To reach the Disciplinary Panel, "all incidents, reports, questions, comments, concerns, etc. must first begin by sending an email to SSB.ConductPanel@gmail.com,” and each email will be reviewed within about a week. Depending on the issue, the Panel might reply with a formal report form. Reports may be submitted anonymously, but only reports submitted by an identifiable victim or with permission on behalf of the victim that seeks punishment can be acted upon.

Going forward, the Disciplinary Panel will be taking an exclusively advisory and administrative role—”reviewing emails, assigning people to Investigations and Appeals, counseling victims and providing resources for both the [Code of Conduct] processes and official legal and victim support” along with having a member act as liaison at participating supermajors in case of incidents at the event. They explicitly state that they are not actually a criminal court, nor do they intend to emulate one. Rather, they are “similar to a civil trial, [whose] job is to find the best possible explanation given all the stories, perspectives, and contexts presented to [them].”

The Harassment Task Force will send a monthly email with a list of bans and their corresponding lengths to all signatory TOs. There will also be an up-to-date Google doc with all the relevant information available. Signatories are expected to uphold bans, but if at least half of them contest a decision made by the Disciplinary Panel, the decision can be revisited. TOs also hold the authority to create their own bans without a ruling from the Panel.

Several events—including The Big House, Genesis, and Shine—already have TOs proudly supporting the new Code of Conduct. If you are or know a TO who is interested in becoming a Code of Conduct signatory, you may find further information in the FAQ portion of Roboticphish’s post.
 
EmaLeigh "$$$$" O'Neal

Comments

#2
This is a good idea.
That being said, let's stop and consider the small, small possibility that it could eventually go wrong. Are there any ways to prevent someone's popularity from interfering with a reasonable judgement? Like if Player A is really unpopular but skilled, and someone decides to file a complaint against him, or a lot of people decide to file a complaint against him because they want him to leave the scene. Then what happens?
 
#3
I like these rules, these are perhaps the most fair on paper. The tidbit about "disrespectful out-of-game" behavior made me snicker a bit, since it's fully possible to disrespect someone in-game and people always root for that. I also hope this doesn't affect (effect? I'm out of it don't judge me) the Salty Suite... much. We've at least gotta have our banter, but then there's obvious lines to draw there too.
However, the most important part to these rules is having people with good judgement for these rules. Like Hisry said these people need to be able to make sound judgements and look into every corner of the case, otherwise we're likely gonna have some issues. Granted, issues are always unavoidable, but it's about as keeping as few as possible.
 
#5
This is a good idea.
That being said, let's stop and consider the small, small possibility that it could eventually go wrong. Are there any ways to prevent someone's popularity from interfering with a reasonable judgement? Like if Player A is really unpopular but skilled, and someone decides to file a complaint against him, or a lot of people decide to file a complaint against him because they want him to leave the scene. Then what happens?
I don't see that happening. Each case is reviewed independently and I imagine requires evidence weighed up on the balance of probabilities.
 
#6
I don't see that happening. Each case is reviewed independently and I imagine requires evidence weighed up on the balance of probabilities.
We won't know that until it's actually used.

It might be nice if they looked at previous cases and what they would have done. Would Leffen and/or MacD be officially banned from the community under this if it were to be used retroactively, for instance? Would Sky be officially suspended for his commentary during Top 8 at Genesis? Would Wobbles be suspended for punching a hole in a wall at Summit?
 
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#7
Im behind this all the way. The most important thing is to enjoy playing and professional competition. I know for a fact not everyone will follow these methods but people need to pay for their actions.
 
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