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The Scratch Community has issues which can range from simple complaints to mass controversies. Several practices, features, and events have shown controversy due to negative reactions from many Scratchers. The following is a list of the most notable.
|Note:||Some controversies on this list may have died down already and are not cared for anymore. They may stay because they were extremely significant in the history of Scratch.|
- Main article: Remix#Controversy
Since the remix feature allows anybody to remix and do anything they want to do to the project, some Scratchers, especially users experienced in art projects, have protested this feature. There have been many complaints of users "stealing art" and "recoloring". There have been many suggestions suggesting a feature which allows the user to disable remixing. However, this suggestion has been turned down many times mainly due to the motto and Creative Commons license. Any projects that threaten remixes should be reported.
Add Everything/Everyone Studios
- Main article: Add Everything Studios
Many users have protested against Add Everything/Everyone studios since they have no exact theme, are extremely popular, and seem to be a "waste of space." Many suggestions to remove AE studios were created, many protest projects were shared, and some sabotages were practiced. The Scratch Team has cooled down the opposition by removing and implementing a few features, such as allowing users to remove their own projects from studios. However, some Scratchers are still unhappy about this. Despite the opposition, many believe that they can be very useful because they can be helpful for Scratchers looking for projects to remix and can help projects and users gain attention.
Five Nights at Freddy's
In late 2014, fandom circulating a then-new popular horror game, Five Nights at Freddy's (FNAF), was widespread over Scratch and became a top trend.
However, this received more negative reputation than any other horror media in the past due to intense jumpscares and a gory backstory. People began to protest FNAF and even suggested banning it. The Scratch Team received complaints from parents and teachers, and Scratch was even banned in some schools.
It has been declared that FNAF will not be banned and will be still allowed since it's possible to create a FNAF project that still follows the Community Guidelines. However, FNAF projects are marked as Not For Everyone, meaning they won't show up in search results.
|“||We're not going to ban all FNAF projects out of hand because we think it is possible to make a project about it without going against the Community Guidelines. We will, of course, continue to moderate the site and hope that if you find *any* projects that you think are inappropriate for Scratch, you will click on the report button and let the moderators know.
But step back a bit and evaluate what you are looking at before deciding. Is it really too scary? Or is it just scary because somebody told you that everything FNAF-related is super scary? Try to be objective.
On November 16, 2015, speakvisually announced that FNAF led to mass issues such as nightmares and some school districts banning Scratch, which means that restrictions will be laid out to these projects and projects with jumpscares and frightening content will be unshared. However, this caused complaints from the fandom of FNAF, which led to an exaggeration that FNAF was "banned" (more likely due to misunderstanding) and flaming in the announcement topic.
- Main article: Fame
Users competing for fame tend to use Scratch as more of a social media account and focus on earning followers, instead of using Scratch to "imagine, program, share."
Follow for Follow
- Main article: Follow4Follow
The "Follow4Follow" (commonly abbreviated as F4F) practice, in which a user asks for a follow in return for a follow, has been strongly disapproved by a large part of the community. There is nothing in the Community Guidelines that says not to do Follow for Follow, but it is frowned upon by most users as it is seen as an easy way to get more followers.
Follow on Request
Follow on Request, generally abbreviated as F.O.R, is a practice, where a user asks someone to follow them on request. This practice is disapproved by many Scratchers, as few want something in return, but few others think they should earn their followers themselves. F.O.R is common in Kindness Accounts. People think it is an easy way to earn followers, but it is looked down upon as Scratch is not all about being popular.
- Main article: Ban
Warriors, a fantasy book series by Erin Hunter, which is about a population of feral cats who live in four clans and fight each other, has been very popular on Scratch. This has been criticized for overuse, not focusing on Scratch's main point (which is programming), and the possible cause of the popularity of cats, and possibly ruining the reputation of cats for some users.
Some Scratchers have complained that some project removals were unfair, as the projects taken down were considered age appropriate by their creators. Common examples include projects with intense cartoon violence that can be mistaken for real violence and projects complaining about the community.
Ban of On-site Advertising of Browser Extensions
On November 30, 2017, the Scratch Team announced that advertising or naming third-party browser extensions (including userscripts) made for Scratch was disallowed due to the risk that some extensions can collect private data unknowingly. The Scratch Team also mentioned that although users who had previously advertised such extensions would not be counted against, such advertisements would be silently removed, while moderator actions would be taken against further advertisements. On the Scratch Wiki, an article about one of them, isOnline, was deleted by the Scratch Team due to that. The Scratch Team has also said that using extensions are fine, however advertising/naming them on Scratch is not okay. In less than a day, it started up many complaints from those who endorsed such extensions.
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Before and after Scratch 3.0's release, many users complained in the Scratch 3.0 Beta Forum about features in Scratch 3.0, including the block size and the stage being on the right of the editor. Some Scratchers requested to the Scratch Team that they stop developing 3.0 and keep 2.0. A sticky was later made in that forum mentioning that the Scratch Team will not stop 3.0, and that if 2.0 was kept, it would no longer work after 2020 (the year Adobe Flash, which the Scratch 2.0 online editor ran on, went obsolete).
Some people have complained about Scratch 3.0 looking too childish, and others wanted to use 2.0 online, and hated the 2.0 offline editor.
There have been reports of people stealing other Scratchers' work and claiming it as their own. It resulted in complaints about how the ST wouldn't do anything about "art thieves". People have resorted to making projects about the controversy. The ST wouldn't remove projects for that reason because it would break the Community Guidelines.
Ignoring Ban Appeals
Some users have complained that, allegedly, the appeals system is broken and they never get a response to their appeals after months of waiting, although this has been confirmed to have happened a few times.
Blocks of Scratch
On August 14th, 2020, China's government blocked scratch.mit.edu and all related subdomains from being viewed within China. Previously mit.edu domains had already been blocked, but scratch.mit.edu had been exempt. The Scratch Wiki is not affected by this ban. The Scratch Team is aware of the issue and they are currently looking into it. Some speculate that a video posted on Chinese video-sharing platform Bilibili caused this ban to occur. The video brought up points like how Taiwan and Hong Kong are separate options from China in a dropdown labelled "country", and how there is "a lot of content that insults China, spreads rumors, and discredited[sic] China"
3.0 Studio Page
- Main article: Studio Update (July 6, 2021)
|“||We won't be changing it back since the way studios were operating was pretty much starting to get unsustainable for the website. We're open to suggestions that build on top of the one we have put in place, but conversion to old stuff is going to have to be a no-go.||”|
– cheddargirl, Scratch Team, 7/8/2021
However, some people have made ways to combine both designs and features so it looks more like the 2.0 design, but also some aspects of the 3.0 design.
60 Second Rule
- Main article: 60 Second Rule
Many Scratchers complain about the 60 second rule in the Scratch Forums. They often argue that it is annoying, and they can be trusted to not have the 60 second rule. However, the 60 second rule is an extremely effective shield against spam, and if a certain amount of posts was required to remove the 60 second rule, spammers would be willing to go that far. The Scratch Team has confirmed that the 60 second rule is not getting removed and have made it part of the list of rejected suggestions.
Removal of Discuss Link from Header
On July 5, 2017, the "Discuss" link was removed from the Scratch website header alongside the "Help" page, in favor of a new page called "Tips". This, however, even within a few hours, sparked outcry among much of the Scratch community and active forum users, with lots of arguments being made against the reasoning the Scratch Team had come up with for removing the option, with many users using the hashtag "#Bring_It_Back," and even a few users changing their signatures in support of one side or the other. Even though it was removed from the header, one can still find the link to the forums under the "Community" section in the footer and on the Tips Page. Furthermore, the Discuss header can still be found on the Scratch Wiki's header.
Cat Block removal
Following their removal, several Scratchers complained about the removal on the forums. Although re-adding them was initailly rejected by the Scratch Team, it was brought back for April Fools in 2021 due to popular demand and because the Scratch Team's resources were limited during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Pie_Guy_Gaming. (18/5/2015). "I've noticed that most of the remixes on Scratch are the exact same as the original." post:1032010
- scratch:search/studios?q=add everything
- Paddle2See. (9/12/2014). "We're not going to ban all FNAF projects out of hand." post:610776
- batul_ninja. (13/2/2021). "he didn't do anything wrong, and even if he did, there was nothing about that in the Scratch Community Guidelines. https://www.pixilart.com/photo/wh-e050b428fa83ba1 for proof there's a comment from @TheInternetIsCoool" users:TheInternetIsCoool/#comments-121636280
- gdpr533f604550b2f20900645890. (18/4/2016). "People join because they think that Scratch is an art site or Warriors fansite, and now we have a community lacking people who are interested in learning programming, even though Scratch is an educational programming site." post:1930625
- projects:90326398[dead link]
- projects:117896908[dead link]
- TNTsquirrel. (4/1/2019). "I'm leaving." projects:276664849
- fireincarnate. (08/03/2020). "i have long wanted to still be able to use 2.0 online, because 1: 3.0 looks too childish (by my judjements) and 2: i hate the offline editor.[sic]" topic:389161
- wrj2009. (14/8/2020). ""The website has been walled, since yesterday afternoon there's been no way to visit it...[translated]"" post:4325553
- apple502j. (14/8/2020). ""online censorship checker: This URL appears to be blocked in China."" https://github.com/LLK/scratch-www/issues/4315#issuecomment-673970785
- Keith J. Winstein. (22/11/2002). "China Blocks MIT Web Addresses" http://tech.mit.edu/V122/N58/58web.58n.html
- MapMaths. (14/8/2020). ""Scratch Wiki(Not wrong)"" https://github.com/LLK/scratch-www/issues/4315#issue-679001983
- DownsGameClub. (14/8/2020). "I skimmed the Chinese forums, and it appears to be this video that was uploaded over on BiliBili" post:4326818
- Suggestion 10.1