Roboticphish Releases Second Update on Harassment Task Force

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Back in April, prominent Smash community member Josh “Roboticphish” Kassel announced the creation of a Harassment Task Force. The committee’s goals are to create a standard tournament code of conduct, establish a program through which harassment and rule violations can be reported, and establish a concrete system regarding suspensions and bans for rule violations.

The Task Force quickly made good progress—by the end of May, they had drafted a completed long-form code of conduct and began creating a condensed version to share at tournaments. Their next step was to get large-scale tournament organizers (TOs) on board.

On the morning of July 12th, however, Roboticphish gave us a discouraging update. Although the Task Force has had almost half of their intended TOs agree to support their cause, some of the biggest TOs and organizations who have yet to sign on have expressed concern about the code’s legality. The main concern regards who would be legally liable if someone banned from an event decided to sue for defamation or discrimination. Additionally, the assumption that TOs are legally allowed to expel anyone from their event at any time for any reason is being questioned.

It seems that an anonymous, yet widely-known, member of the community has been accused of grooming a minor along with sexual assault and has hired a lawyer “who has threatened to litigate against any tournament who tries to bar him entry into their event.” The current proposed solutions range from having a “signatory buy-in,” to creating a legal defense fund that would offer protection from these sorts of lawsuits, to creating an “informal agreement” and handling extraordinary circumstances case-by-case. The committee is currently seeking advice from their lawyers, legal experts, and “eSports organizational minds.”

The Harassment Task Force is still working to have a finalized code of conduct ready for the upcoming summer majors, Shine and Super Smash Con. Roboticphish reassures us that “the panel is still committed to its stated goal of setting guidelines of behavior and removing the most toxic and dangerous people in the community” and asks that we remain patient.

Several community members have responded to the announcement on Twitter:




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Author’s Note: What do you think should be the Task Force’s next step? Should they call the player’s bluff or proceed with caution? Let us know in the comments.
 
EmaLeigh "$$$$" O'Neal

Comments

#2
Legalities are rough. I'm really hoping for the best - I've seen some rough situations from various friends and acquaintances involving stalkers, so it would be nice to see at least some minimum bar eventually put in. I know understand that TO's are worried about legalities, but personally, I'm be a lot more worried if something happened that could damage Nintendo and the Smash community's image. If that were to ever happen, I could easily see Nintendo pulling out from sponsoring Smash

though, I'm not a TO, so that's easier for me to say.
 
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