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The Scratch Community often 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controversies on this list were controversial in the past but are either no longer considered controversial or no longer applicable. They are still included in this article for historical purposes.|
- 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 or do not allow remixes should be reported.
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.
It has been declared that FNAF will not be banned and will be still allowed since it is possible to create a FNAF project that still follows the Community Guidelines. However, even if they follow them, FNAF projects are marked as Not For Everyone, meaning they will not 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.
Additionally, new accounts cannot have a username resembling the franchise.
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.
Removal of Pac-Man project
- Main article: Removed Pac-Man Project
On July 29, 2010, the Scratch Team removed a project made by a user named 124scratch. The project was similar to Pac-Man, a popular arcade game. Namco Bandai Games, the company that owned the original game, requested the removal of the project, stating that it infringes their rights. The removal of the project gained significant opposition from both hundreds of Scratchers and even members of the Scratch Team themselves, who agreed that the project followed copyright law, yet did not wish to begin a legal battle with Namco Bandai Games.
On May 7, 2022, the creator of the fan-made Scratch modification TurboWarp announced that the Scratch Team was making some changes to Scratch's API, and that the bug which allowed users to view unshared projects using various software (such as TurboWarp, forkphorus, and even Scratch 3.0's development builds) would likely be removed on an unknown date. This caused a small amount of outcry from the community, with some forum posts made protesting some problems that would arise such as the fact that users won't be able to visit harmless unshared projects or projects by deleted accounts and that making collaborations out of the public eye would be more difficult.
The Scratch Team later confirmed that they would be removing the ability to view unshared projects via the API and that they were not willing to reconsider the idea due the fact that the Scratch Team has "got[ten] in trouble a lot" for incidents involving having unshared projects available.
On November 10, 2022, the removal of the ability to view unshared projects via the Scratch API was implemented.
There have been reports of people stealing other Scratchers' work and claiming it as their own. It resulted in complaints about how the Scratch Team wouldn't do anything about "art thieves". People have resorted to making projects about the controversy. The Scratch Team would not remove projects for that reason because it would break the Community Guidelines.
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.
- Main article: Fame
Some think users that want 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. It is allowed to do Follow4Follow, but it is frowned upon by many 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. Follow on Request 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
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. The Scratch Team has also confirmed that as of July 2022, they are often taking several weeks to respond to appeals due to limit resources for handling them.
Warriors (book series)
Warriors, a fantasy book series by Erin Hunter, which is about a population of feral cats who live in clans and fight each other, has been very popular on Scratch. This has been criticized for overuse, not focusing on Scratch's main point (programming), and the possible cause of the popularity of cats, and possibly ruining the reputation of cats for some users.
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 an extension was deleted by the Scratch Team due to the new policy. 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 about the new policy.
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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).
After the release of 3.0, some users left Scratch, due to reasons such as code being deleted in their projects.
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.
China's Block of Scratch
On August 14th, 2020, the government of the People's Republic of China blocked scratch.mit.edu and all related subdomains from being viewed within China as part of its censorship program known as the Great Firewall. 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 of a Chinese parent trying to "expose" Scratch's hidden dark side 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 the Location Feature, and how there is "a lot of content that insults China, spreads rumors, and discredited China." Many Scratchers (mostly Chinese) are against the ban, because they think the problem is Scratch's community, not Scratch itself.
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, 8/7/2021
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.
- Main article: Accessibility Color Changes
Toward early Feburary 2023, the Love and Favorite buttons were updated, with a thin line surrounding the buttons. Prior to this update, these buttons were solid gray. The Scratch Team stated that this was done to help users with vision challenges. Over time, more features of the site began to change, such as the remix button and the donation tab on the front page, which were changed to a dark shade of green. Additionally, a new test feature on Scratch Lab was made, where the blocks were much lighter shades of their original colors, and the text was black.
Many Scratchers were opposed to these changes. Many Scratchers complained, stating that they do not like the color scheme. Some users made suggestions to make the accessibility features optional. The Scratch Team responded by stating that making the features optional would confuse users, and that they had put much scientific research into the colors they use.
Users became more frustrated when learning that the header of the website would be changed to purple. Users complained that the website would look, "hideous." Several users suggested an option to customize the color of the header so that they could revert it back to the original blue, which led to the original suggestion being temporarily stickied to prevent users from creating duplicates of it.
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, some spammers may 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.
April Fools' Day
On March 15, 2022, cheddargirl made a post implying that joke topics on April Fools' Day would be disallowed due to spam the previous year. This caused lots of backlash, and many users expressed disappointment and anger on the topic. Some users also made topics opposing the possible change, one of which was closed by cheddargirl. Other users defended the decision, citing the large workload on the Scratch Team from the influx of topics.
Two Scratch Team members, Paddle2See and Harakou, confirmed that the ban was not yet official, but said that it was being seriously considered. After discussion, they decided to continue to allow April Fools' topics with new guidelines and restrictions, such as not posting joke topics in forums where users would be seeking help and not posting joke replies to serious topics.
However, since some problems continued to occur despite the new guidelines, it was initially unclear whether these topics would continue to be allowed in the future. In 2023, the forum moderators decided to create a new subforum specifically for April Fools' Day topics. It was hoped that this would make the clean-up easier and solve the issue of normal topics getting buried by jokes. On April 2, the subforum was removed from public view. It is not currently known whether or not the subforum will return in the future.
The Suggestions forum is a forum where users can make suggestions to help the Scratch Team improve the site. However, the Scratch Team does not implement suggestions very often, and many users question the usefulness of this forum.  Some users have suggested removing the Suggestions forum, which is rejected, because users' feedback actually does help the Scratch Team. 
Similarly, some Scratchers consider the Scratch Team not transparent enough over development, especially over the implementing of suggestions. This has often been explained as due to lack of resources to implement a large amount of suggestions, as well as preventing false hope and excessive backlash over in-progress suggestions.
Cat Block removal
when green flag clicked:: cat when this sprite clicked:: cat when I start as a clone:: cat when video motion > ():: cat
Following their removal, several Scratchers complained about the removal on the forums. Although re-adding them was initially rejected by the Scratch Team, it was brought back for April Fools in 2021, 2022, and 2023 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
- EllaBellaZue. (19/7/2015). "A Rule For No-Recolors And Art Theft[title]" topic:135124
- MeHazMuffin. (6/9/2014). "STOP RECOLORS!![title]" topic:51407
- Za-Chary. (10/3/2019). "3.2 Disable remixing" topic:343602
- Harakou. (6/8/2017). "But outside of that, you aren't allowed to tell people not to remix or require that their remix meet certain conditions." post:2764309
- potato37. (20/6/2015). "There is too much FNAF stuff on scratch!" topic:126324
- projects:60050896[dead link]
- UndeadSorcerer. (27/9/2015). "I say ban FNAF." topic:154308
- Paddle2See. (9/12/2014). "We're not going to ban all FNAF projects out of hand." post:610776
- speakvisually. (16/11/2015). "Multiple school districts have blocked access to Scratch. Several parents have reported their children having nightmares. A number of community members feel uncomfortable browsing Scratch because of this type of content. In the coming weeks, the Scratch moderation team will begin to unshare some “Five Nights at Freddy's” content from the website." topic:168506
- MasterMatior123. (17/11/2015). "Please Bring Back FNAF[title]" topic:168714
- carnivalgirl47. (15/8/2019). "First of all, Art Theft." projects:324277812
- scratch:search/studios?q=add everything
- PhirripSyrrip. (14/8/2013). "The “add everything” studios are just noise" topic:13499
- ProdigyZeta7. (5/7/2013). "studio recently had problems with a troll who infiltrated the studio and did all sorts of nasty things" post:73653
- Lightnin. (6/2/2014). "Scratchers can remove their own projects from any studio" topic:28398
- summerscratch12. (31/8/2013). "alot of people like them.[sic]" topic:14832
- 9cjames1. (1/2/2021). "Scratch is not about fame it is about programming." post:4841486
- The_Best_Creator. (30/12/2014). "The point of Scratch is NOT to be famous, have a large amount of followers, et cetera. The reason the Scratch Team made Scratch was to teach people to program, not to follow4follow." topic:77250
- ToastDemon. (1/2/2016). "Banning Follow for Follow.[title]" topic:181273
- awesomesauce600. (16/6/2016). "Stop the unfair banning[title]" topic:204316
- 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[dead link]
- Alex4747. (26/3/2016). "We can have a serious discussion about this, as Warrior Cats are too overexposed. ... Does ANYONE want Scratch, a programming website that (WRITTEN IN THE GUIDELINES) is supposed to be for everybody, to become a swarming mess of nothing but Warrior Cats? Anybody? No!" topic:190262
- 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]
- TheCad1. (29/5/2016). "TOO MANY CAT ANIME PROJECTS CURATED." topic:201464
- projects:117896908[dead link]
- -Scotch-. (7/10/2016). "Why is everything on Scratch Warrior Cats?" topic:220754
- ceebee. (30/11/2017). "We want to announce today that we’re shifting our policy related to browser extensions, userscripts, userstyles, and other similar external software. We’ve decided that, for safety reasons, we are no longer going to allow these to be advertised on Scratch." topic:284272
- ceebee. (3/12/2017). "To be clear, we have not banned extensions. The policy is that you may no longer advertise browser extensions or user scripts on Scratch." post:2911608
- fingertipsgaming. (30/11/2017). "i dont know about you but i dont like this change.[sic]" post:2907696
- GraspingVirus07. (15/5/2018). "I notice in the GUI or preview of Scratch 3.0, that placement of the stage is now on the right, this is not a good decision in my opinion, but it is what it is." topic:301430
- AYN2. (3/1/2019). "Most people are even saying to switch back to scratch 2.0!" post:3378296
- 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
- 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 [[wikipedia:Bilibili]|Bilibili]]]" post:4326818
- --阳光咕--. (12-08-2020). "这个视频感觉有点故意捏合两个事，本来教材和软件没问题，结果因为这个软件的平台出了问题，就开始说“西方势力怎么怎么样”，调查清楚再说话。"
- waterblock79. (12-08-2020). "太故意捏合了这，把少儿编程这个大的方向跟一个网站的不良内容挂钩，还整这样的标题"
- 风残--雨落. (14-08-2020). "很好，禁了之后有两种选择：1.让三年级小朋友敲C++等难度较高语言(最好把树，动态规划什么的学了，毕竟宁家孩子已经会上外网了) 2.国内开(chao)发(xi)一款一样的软件，并声称国产原创，教育小朋友爱 国，被发现了再带一波节奏，反对的人全部打成境外反动势力，再蹭一波热度"
- SimplxSunset. (6/7/2021). "Please change the studios back.[title]" topic:526621
- 9rainbowtails. (6/7/2021). "The new studio update that's what. I don't like it." projects:551129203
- cheddargirl. (8/7/2021). "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." post:5416387
- BearSlothCoding. (8/7/2021). "So I had some ideas to fix this." topic:527672
- MegaApuTurkUltra. (7/2/2015). "I've been on Scratch for 6 months, and the 60-second rule has been the most annoying thing I've ever encountered." topic:87928
- rollercoasterfan. (4/8/2015). "Almost all of us absolutely hate it." topic:139610
- Paddle2See. (22/6/2015). "Sorry - we still feel that it's a necessary security feature to throttle the post rate." post:1134018
- Za-Chary. (10/3/2019). "10.1 Remove or decrease the 60 Second Rule" topic:343602
- dietbacon. (5/7/2017). "In addition to the inclusion of the new Tips page, the site navigation menu has also been updated. We replaced the “Help” button with a “Tips” button, which will lead you to the new Tips page mentioned above. ... We have also removed the “Discuss” button from the navigation menu." topic:269283
- muellly. (5/7/2017). "Bring back Discuss[title]" topic:269290
- WolfCat67. (5/7/2017). "I'm not too stoked about the “Discuss” option being removed…" post:2711613
- cheddargirl. (15/3/2022). "Don't do it. We don't want a repeat of last year where a lot of users were denied help because the forums got flooded and mods spent a lot of time cleaning up instead of other reports. You're better off making an April Fools project instead of a joke forum topic." post:6120239
- dertermenter. (15/3/2022). "Sorry but joke topics should not be discouraged, there are only 2 days a year to have some banter on the forums instead of being serious all the time, and I am sure a lot of people realised that it was not a normal day on the forums, or scratch. Most people did joke topics fine, and there was just a small minority who thought it was acceptable to spam. - If it follows the community guidelines then it should be fine. " post:6120444
- sharkode. (15/3/2022). "C'mon! There is only one April fool's day each year, we forumers were being like free customer support for ST for an entire year and we're all waiting for this day to have some fun, only for ST to go like “nope”. I'm pretty sure a ST member (Zachary) even created a joke topic a few years back, I entirely agree with what @dertermenter said, the April fool's topics is not that much of a problem if we don't intentionally harm people and close all the prank topics after April fool's day." post:6120520
- cheddargirl. (20/3/2022). "I don't think an activity that is severely disruptive can be counted as fun. I also don't think it's appropriate to justify being severely disruptive on April Fool's Day just because you were helping others on the forums (that's kind of a shallow reason to be helping others anyway). I also think you can still find fun using studios and projects for April Fool's Day." post:6132138
- 10goto10. (15/3/2022). "But sometimes the Scratch Team has to define the limits just because of what can be managed by their team." post:6120533
- Paddle2See. (15/3/2022). "I agree that the spamming was totally out of hand last year. I even had to shut down a few areas for a period of time - which may have interfered with normal forum operations. So that was too much. However, I've enjoyed some of the more carefully crafted prank topics and don't see why they have to stop. I guess we'll have to have a Scratch Team meeting to come to an agreement." post:6120968
- Harakou. (21/3/2022). "I think the previous thread has outlived its useful life. We understand your frustration and want to be sure everyone can have fun on April Fools, but the whole forum moderation team agrees that previous years were much too spammy. That includes me and Paddle2See. We're still discussing what we think an optimal solution might be and will update you as soon as we can. In the meantime, I'd like to ask that you not come to us individually trying to get a ruling from us. While you're allowed to ask us to reconsider things, we make decisions as a team and its disrespectful to try to pit us against each other. We'll let you know when we've decided on a suitable arrangement. If you want to discuss what is and is not suitable for AF activities on the forums, this topic would be a good place to look instead. Just please remember to stay on-topic." post:6134922
- Paddle2See. (22/3/2022). "The other forum moderators and I have talking over how we can find a balance between having some good-natured fun on April Fool's day without causing too much disruption to regular forum users - and without creating a ton of new work for our short-handed forum moderation team. Here's some guidelines that we hope will help... " post:6137487 and post:6140674
- cheddargirl. (4/7/2022). "With what happened last year and this year, we're really starting to heavily lean towards “no” (although, I personally was, and always will be, dead-set on “NO”)." post:6435501
- dertermenter. (5/3/2023). "can we make joke topics on the forums?" topic:667576
- Paddle2See. (29/3/2023). "To make sure the forums remain functional and to make clean-up easier, we would appreciate it if you would put all prank posts and topics right here in this shiny new all-purpose forum!" topic:673033[dead link]
- cheddargirl. (2/4/2023). "We're not sure. One of the things to keep in mind is that the AFD forums were (or rather, are) are a resource sink in terms of time, cost, and moderation." post:7118165
- gosoccerboy5. (12/12/2020). "Ok, hear me out. This is a genuine question. Why doesn't the Scratch Team add certain suggestions that I'd love to have?" topic:466468
- scratch978654. (7/12/2020). "I decided to leave Scratch last week due to it not being advanced enouh[sic] but then a thought struck me: where are the suggested features?" topic:422179
- DrakeBot17. (8/16/2022). "Overall, I don't see the point of a suggestion forum if they barely add anything from it." topic:624137
- Paddle2See. (1/6/2021). "Sorry, rejected. We get a lot of important community feedback from this forum section. Even though a lot of the suggestions don't end up as features, they are still helpful in letting us know where our resources would be best spent." post:4755694
- Sliverus. (05/22/2023). "The Scratch Team isn’t personal enough with other Scratchers. I’ve met an incredibly large amount of users who hate being left in the dark about updates, hate the delayed, strict, and sometimes unfair moderation[...]" post:7259402
- cheddargirl. (05/30/2023). "As for making announcements on them, we generally don't announce anything public until we're sure." post:7277962
- tnt_mason. (9/4/2020). "PLEASE ADD THE CAT BLOCKS BACK " topic:395173
- Za-Chary. (2/4/2020). "I was explicitly told by another Scratch Team member not to add it to this list because it might call more attention to the feature." post:3910140
- vrie. (7/4/2020). "The cat blocks have been rejected." topic:394698
- Paddle2See. (31/3/2021). "The reason we are “recycling” some of our more popular AFD items from previous years is simply that it's been a tough year and our resources have been stretched pretty thin." post:5065568