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- This article is about the Scratch website blocking policies. For other uses, see Blocks (disambiguation).
A ban, also known as a block, is when the Scratch Team decides to disallow a user or IP address from accessing the Scratch Website and the Scratch editor. Bans are issued when users behave inappropriately, perform disrespectful actions towards others, start and engage in Flame Wars, troll and/or cyberbully others on the website, post links to commercial websites, or continuously do anything else that is generally considered as being against the Community Guidelines.
Bans on the Main Scratch Website
On the website, when a user is banned, the ban applies to the entire site. This means that the banned user is forbidden from accessing any part of the site when logged in, including the forums (besides the Community Guidelines and the Statistics page). In some cases (such as users creating multiple accounts to get around bans), the Scratch Team may decide to ban them based on their IP address instead. This means that an entire network is forbidden from accessing the website (as well as the forums) and cannot be used to create accounts. Users normally receive alerts before getting banned, but they may not receive alerts if their IP address has been used for what is called sockpuppetry.
Account Creation Blocks
Sometimes, an IP address may be blocked from creating new accounts. In this instance, they will see a message when they click the Join Scratch button on the navigation bar. The message says:
|“||It looks like one or more accounts on your network have been used to create disrespectful or inappropriate stuff that breaks the Scratch Community Guidelines. Please let the person in charge of the computers know about this. Meanwhile, we cannot accept new account registrations from your network.||”|
Account Creation Warnings
A Scratcher may get warned by the Scratch Team when they violate the community guidelines on multiple accounts. This normally occurs prior to an IP ban or account creation ban. The message that Scratchers may get when they get warned says:
|“||It looks like one or more accounts on your network have been used to create disrespectful or inappropriate stuff that breaks the Scratch Community Guidelines. You can still register for a new account - but please let the person in charge of the computers know about this warning. If your network is used to break the community guidelines again, it may be blocked.||”|
This is to remind the user to follow the guidelines when creating another account, cautioning about IP bans.
Bans in Scratch 1.x
|This article or section documents something not included in the current version of Scratch (3.0). It is only useful from a historical perspective.|
Before Scratch 2.0, bans on the main Scratch website and the Scratch Forums were handled separately instead of the whole site, so users were often only banned from the part of the website that they had broken the rules on.
Bans on the Scratch Website usually occured when one shared inappropriate projects, harassed others, cheated to get onto the Front Page, or was predominantly disrespectful. A ban in Scratch 1.x was far more likely in the case of repeated offenses. Bans could only be made on the main website by the Scratch Team. User bans on the main website also applied on the forums. However, IP bans did not always apply on the forums.
Most bans here occurred when a user either often sparked flame wars or posted links to commercial websites. Bans here were rarer than on the main Scratch website, as far fewer users used the forums than the main website. Both the Scratch Team and Community Moderators could ban users on the forums.
Bans on the Scratch Wiki
- Main page: Scratch Wiki:Blocking
Bans on the Scratch Website do not apply on the Wiki. However, if a user is banned on the Scratch Website and continues their behavior on the Wiki, then they will also be banned on the Wiki.
Because all users on the Wiki must request accounts and there are fairly high standards to receive one, rude behavior and vandalism are relatively rare; this means that bans are also relatively rare. However, some bans have occurred because of vandalism, spam, or breaking rules. Only users in the bureaucrat group can ban users on the Wiki, but Administrators and Experienced Wikians that are not Bureaucrats can request someone to be banned. In addition, bans have occurred for other reasons that have nothing to do with offensive behavior, including switching accounts, among other reasons. The Wiki software that is being used does not have the ability to delete users, so they are banned instead. The software refers to it as a "block." This only blocks the user from editing or performing any wiki option like moving pages, as if they were not logged in, versus bans on the main site prevent the user from viewing pages.
In most cases, bans are temporary and the account is automatically unbanned after a set amount of days, usually three, but if the ban is permanent (known as a "permaban"), that user has to contact the appropriate administration (the Scratch Team on the main website or a Bureaucrat on the Wiki) in order to become unbanned.
On the Scratch Website, when a user is permanently banned, they must contact the Scratch Team to explain what they did and promise that they will behave properly in the future. Upon receiving the message, the Scratch Team may decide either to set the ban to expire or take no action. If the ban is set to expire, it is usually set to 3.5 days the first time the user is banned, and double that time for each subsequent ban. If the Scratch Team decides to take no action, then they will respond with a message saying why the user will not be unbanned, forcing the user to write a different appeal.
In some cases, usually in a ban after another ban, the Scratch Team may suggest the user to take a break from Scratch and respond later. If the user is a minor and has been banned multiple times in the past, the Scratch Team will request the user's parent, guardian, or teacher to submit an appeal instead.
Additionally, some bans cannot be appealed. In that case, the ban page will not show a contact form. The most common case for this is if a user is banned for using alternate accounts to get around a ban, in which case they must submit any appeals from their main account.
|Note:||As Scratch uses Freshdesk for the Contact Us page and email messages, IP banned users cannot contact the Scratch Team, as their messages will be invalidated.|
On the Scratch Wiki, because bans are extremely rare, there is not a standard procedure. In the cases of non-vandalism bans, there is usually no reason to unban the user. However, in the cases of vandalism or otherwise violating Wiki Guidelines, then the banned user must contact the Bureaucrat that banned them and ask to be unbanned.
Bans are either user-restricted or IP ranged: usually only a user is banned, but if they create more accounts and evade their ban, they can be IP banned.
Account bans are simply bans that prevent a certain account from access. Account bans are more common than IP bans and are generally used if there is nothing to suggest the user will create other accounts to continue causing havoc.
IP bans are normally used when a user creates alternate accounts in order to get around an account ban, sometimes known as sockpuppetry. The IP ban prevents access on the network that has the banned IP, preventing the Scratcher from using a different account to continue their terrible activity. But this can be evaded by using proxies, virtual private networks (VPNs), or changing the IP address. Bugs have been reported that the IP ban can make users that are innocent to become unexpectedly banned.
|Note:||IP banned users cannot contact the Scratch Team.|
|Note:||IP banned users can see certain pages using the new interface (i.e. Projects, search bars, etc.); however, most pages using the older interface (i.e. User pages, discussion forums, etc.) will be blocked from view.|
|Note:||As emails are blacklisted during an IP ban, users will be disallowed from creating accounts from banned emails as well.|
In addition to banning an IP access from accessing the website at all, the Scratch Team can prevent users on that network from sharing content while still allowing them to log in and work on unshared projects.
Some users complain about the Scratch Team unfairly banning people. Although there are occasionally misunderstandings, as mistakes can be made by the Scratch Team, this is usually not the case. Sometimes, if a popular Scratcher is banned, Scratchers may create studios and projects asking for the Scratch Team to unban them; these are usually deleted by the Scratch Team because this can be considered gossiping, since the Scratchers do not know the full story. The Scratch Team has also been accused of deleting and ignoring some emails appealing bans, though this has not been confirmed. There are also several reports of Scratchers getting banned for showing or spreading their religion without being hurtful.
Other times, the Scratcher will do sockpuppetry, which is against the community guidelines and is not encouraged.
Reasons for Being Banned
A user might be banned if they:
- Do not follow the Community Guidelines
- Receive multiple alerts for the same action
- Reshare projects unshared by the Scratch Team without removing inappropriate content
- Make one project containing a excessive amount of inappropriate content, known as a "shock project" (usually warrants a temporary ban without any alerts at all)
- Are signed in to an alternate account of an already banned one, referred to as ban evasion or sockpuppetry (if the ban for the account first banned is temporary, this could either extend the user's ban or warrant a permanent ban for the accounts used to evade the bans)
- Abuse the Discussion Forums or the comments section upon their arrival on Scratch (e.g. bypassing censors, using topics incorrectly, posting obscene, NSFW, racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, and/or xenophobic comments or jokes, excessively loopholing the Community Guidelines, etc.). This usually warrants an unappealable IP ban only if the user has recently joined Scratch.
Reasons for Accounts Being Deleted (sometimes with an IP ban)
A user's accounts might be deleted if:
- The user acts like they have disregarded the Scratch Team's alerts by continually misbehaving
- The user mass appeals, meaning that they have sent a large number of appeals within a short range of time. Mass appeals are not allowed and can sometimes result in all accounts registered under the banned user's email being deleted (with the exception of those permanently banned)
- The banned user retorts at the Scratch Team, attempting to fish out "errors" that the Scratch Team made with the ban
- The case was a one-time severe offense
- The deletion was requested after a long-term ban
Possible Reasons for Mistaken Bans
A user might be mistakenly banned if:
- They have a username that resembles a previously banned Scratcher
- The Scratch Team makes misinterpretations of comments, studios, projects, or forum posts
- Another account starts misbehaving around the user in question
- They use the same IP address as a banned user (e.g. a banned user's sibling or roommate) or registered under a banned user's email
- One of their projects was false reported by multiple Scratchers (note that automatic bans for receiving a large number of reports automatically expire fairly quickly)
- Main article: Mute
A user may be automatically temporarily blocked from posting comments and forum posts if their comments are detected to be inappropriate or disrespectful. Unlike bans, mutes are extremely short-lived and automatic and only block users from posting comments and forum posts rather than access to the entire site.
The forum ban message on Scratch 1.x
The Account Creation window notifying that an account or more has been banned but accounts can be still created, cautioning about IP bans
Placeholder appeal page, which used to be located here
- Questions about Scratch forum