Code of Conduct v3.2.0
The Code of Conduct is subject to change at any time.
- Version 3.2.0 (May 28, 2019). Gentle editing throughout to improve the text (no meaning changed).
- Version 3.1.0 (May 7, 2018). Added TL;DR.
- Version 3.0.0 (February 2, 2018). Complete rewrite of the old Code. It was boring. All the same ideas are here, better explained.
The Butterscotch Community is all about creating Joy for everyone. There's enough negativity in the rest of the world, and it is not welcome here.
- Don't Be a Jerk
- Act in Good Faith
- Don't make jokes about aspects of human diversity
- Don't intentionally ruin someone's day (no trolling, making fun of, or just being mean)
- Avoid sexual references and jokes
- Minimize profanity, don't point profanity at people, and never use words that negatively target some group of people
Don't Be a Jerk
Welcome to the Butterscotch Shenanigans Code of Conduct (a.k.a. the "Don't Be a Jerk Policy")!
Here's the deal. Long ago, everyone collectively agreed that it was totally okay to be a jerk as long as you were sitting behind a computer screen while doing it. And everyone also somehow decided that it wasn't just okay but even expected that you be a jerk while playing video games.
The heck was that all about? We are tired of all that negativity, and there is absolutely no place for it here. And by "here" we mean "any digital or physical space over which we (Bscotch) can exercise some degree of control."
"Who Are YOU to Call ME a Jerk?"
Who gets to decide what is and isn't "being a jerk"? Well, we do, and the broader Bscotch community does. Participation in our services and community is a privilege, not a right. And, just like in real life, you're expected to adjust your behavior to the norms of the social groups you involve yourself with even if you disagree with those norms.
But Freedom of Speech!
Butterscotch is a private enterprise, not a government, so "freedom of speech" doesn't mean anything here.
But It Was Just a Joke!
If your joke made someone else feel bad, it was a bad joke. It wouldn't have hurt you to keep that joke inside, but it did hurt someone when you let it out. If you find yourself wanting to say, "geez, can't you take a joke?" then you should definitely say, "oh, sorry, I'll do better next time" instead.
Jerkness Knows No Boundaries
If we see or hear about someone being a Jerk outside of places that we control, they may face consequences here anyway. Why? Because if someone is being a jerk somewhere, it's only a matter of time before they're a jerk here.
Getting Called Out
The exact line between being playful and being a jerk differs for every person, so err heavily on the side of not being a jerk. We all have our own collections of implicit and explicit biases, life experiences, and expectations, which means that anyone can (and probably will) mess up from time to time. Come to every social interaction in good faith: offenders will be gently called out and given the opportunity to learn and grow, and offendees should start with the assumption that the offender didn’t intend harm and wants to know that they’ve done something wrong so they can fix it.
Bscotch staff and community members are expected to politely (but promptly and unapologetically) call out jerk behavior when it occurs. If you get called out you must first assume that you were in the wrong and act accordingly with humility. There is no value to be gained in defending what you did/said. Maybe you weren't even in the wrong, but why is that more important than keeping the peace? Take a step back and apologize, then be quiet, listen, self-reflect, and try to learn something.
Here's a dead-simple script for calling someone out: "Hey, that (probably) violates the Code of Conduct!"
It isn't always obvious what is or isn’t acceptable behavior, so here’s our loose and non-comprehensive guidelines to help get you on the right track. Some things truly are obvious, and it'll be assumed that you're acting in bad faith if you definitely should have known better. Such obvious things (like "don't threaten physical violence") are not listed here.
- Approach every interaction in good faith (meaning you have the best of intentions, and assume the same of everyone else).
- Respect personal boundaries, physical and otherwise. Physicality that seems warm and friendly to you may be unwanted by someone else.
- Embrace human diversity in all its forms. Mere “tolerance” is an embarrassingly low bar and we expect a lot more from our community. If some form of human diversity makes you uncomfortable, this is a problem with you and your beliefs; work on being a better person until that discomfort is gone.
- Admit the reality of the enormous social injustices and inequalities that define our world. This reality is implicitly in the background of every social interaction.
- When someone thinks you are socially in the wrong, believe them. Even if you don’t understand their position, start with the premise that they are right and that there is knowledge you are missing.
- When you discover you might be socially in the wrong, remember that it is not anyone else's responsibility to teach you why. Take it upon yourself to learn (via the Internet, where you can learn anything). If that is insufficient, ask the other person in good faith if they would be comfortable helping you to understand. You might not understand right away, and that's fine! In that case, believe that there is a gap in your world view and take time to ponder it.
- Apologize quickly and sincerely, even if you don't fully understand what has happened. None of that “I’m sorry if you were offended” nonsense. Here's a better script: “I’m sorry I said that offensive thing. I’ll go learn more about that issue and introspect to make sure I fully understand why what I did was wrong and how to do better.”
- Never make jokes related to aspects of human diversity, physical or otherwise. It’s always inappropriate. Even if it seemed to be taken in good humor, you can't know if someone truly is okay with what you said/did or if that person was simply playing along to keep the peace.
- Avoid sexual references and jokes. It's easy to have your words fall into sexual harassment territory without you realizing it. Why even go there?
- If you use profanity, the words you say must never be ones associated negatively with some group of people. Sometimes we don't even know how offensive a word is because we aren't familiar with its origin, or don't have the cultural context that explains the offensiveness; cut harmful stuff out of your vocabulary when someone points it out.
- Don't mock people or make jokes at their expense.
- Let someone know when they have done/said something they shouldn’t have. If they don’t know, they can’t learn and will probably do it again.
- Be forgiving. When an offender has been made aware of their error and is working towards fixing it, continue to approach all future interactions in good faith.
- Don't do anything that is intended to ruin someone else's experience or mood. Being a "troll" isn't something to be proud of.
- Let people like what they like. Don't tell someone their favorite game, band, or programming language sucks.
Gaming and Using our Services
- Any violation of our Terms definitely falls under being a Jerk.
- Don't ruin someone else's game by cheating.
- Don't submit support requests if you pirated our games.
- Don't submit support requests if you've hacked our games.
- Don't demand help from moderators or other community members.
- Don't use our APIs and other services for your own purposes.
- Don't try to circumvent the limitations or intentions behind our applications and services.
- Just because something is possible that doesn't mean you should do it. If something violates the spirit of our applications and services, don't do it!
Consequences & Reporting
Not all violations of the Code of Conduct are created equal, and the consequences will scale to the severity of the violation. Community moderators, Butterscotch staff, and robots deployed into our communities (collectively, "Moderators") all have full and complete discretion regarding if and what actions to take in response to bad behavior.
While you are an active community member in good standing, this community is partly yours and so you should make sure bad behavior doesn't go unchecked. Politely call stuff out. If that makes you uncomfortable, privately tell a Moderator or make use of any other available reporting systems.
Consequences can range from being publicly or privately called out, to being expelled from a subset or all of our community spaces, to being blocked from all social parts of the Butterscotch applications and services, to having all of your stored data and game access permanently removed. We make a huge distinction between good-faith and bad-faith behavior, and Moderators have full discretion to decide into which category someone's behavior falls. As we, our services, and our communities change, so might consequences.
If you are called out for something you must immediately stop that something and never do it again. If a consequence was handed down in response to something you did, you must accept that consequence with dignity without argument.
If you feel, honestly and in good faith, that you were handed an unfair consequence, you may privately ask a second Moderator to weigh in. Don't continue pleading your case or shopping around until you find a moderator who agrees with you.
If a Moderator is being a Jerk, please inform Butterscotch staff. Moderators must follow the same Code of Conduct as everyone else!