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Maintenance mode is when the Scratch Team is modifying code on the Scratch Website. The website is only available to Scratch Team members during this time. Before the maintenance screen appears, the Scratch Team often gives advance warning in the forums, unless the maintenance screen is only in place for a short period of time. In the duration of the maintenance, resources such as images used in Scratch Wiki signatures as well as authentication using the Scratch API on other sites are unavailable as well.
The Scratch Maintenance Screen has been used in the case of power outages and weather issues, sometimes with a modified message below the image. When this happens, users generally get a 503 "Service Unavailable" error. A similar screen was also used when the website was being updated to Scratch 2.0 from May 6, 2013 to May 9.