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- Main article: Community Guidelines
The Community Guidelines are the official rules for Scratch as written by the Scratch Team. They are summarized as follows:
- Treat everyone with respect. Scratchers are unique in their own way, and they are encouraged to share things that are important to them. It’s never OK to attack a person or group’s identity or be unkind to someone's background or interests.
- Be safe: keep personal and contact information private. For safety reasons, Scratchers are discouraged from giving out any information that could be used for private communication, in person or online. This includes sharing names or usernames, phone numbers, addresses, hometowns, or links to websites with private chat functionality.
- Give helpful feedback. Scratchers are reminded to say something that they like about projects and offer suggestions in a kind, not critical, way. Scratchers are encouraged to keep comments respectful, avoid spamming or posting chain mail, try new things, and learn from others.
- Embrace remix culture. Remixing is building upon someone else’s product to make a unique creation. Remixing is a great way to connect with the Scratch community, and Scratchers can use anything they find on Scratch in their projects as long as credit is provided to the people whom it belongs to and a meaningful change was made to it.
- Be honest. It’s important to tell the truth when interacting with others on Scratch, and remember that there is a person behind every Scratch account. Spreading rumors, impersonating other Scratchers or celebrities, or pretending to be seriously ill is disrespectful to the Scratch community.
- Help keep the site friendly. Scratchers are encouraged to keep their projects and comments friendly and appropriate for all ages and report anything that is mean, insulting, too violent, or otherwise disruptive to the community. Scratchers are discouraged from engaging in fights, spreading rumors about other Scratcher’s behavior, or otherwise responding to any inappropriate content.
When a rule is broken by a Scratcher, the Scratcher receives a warning in the form of a message from the Scratch Team. After multiple messages, a user may be banned temporarily, or (in case of a serious offense) even permanently.
- Main article: Spam
Spam is irrelevant material posted in comments or on the forums. It is bad to encourage spam. Spam posts should be reported. Common types of spam abuse smileys, _meow_, or are attempts to gain fame by posting links to one's own projects or posting advertisements.
Misusing the Report Feature
Reporting for no specific reason or something which follows the Community Guidelines is considered spam and is frowned upon, as it wastes the Scratch Team's time. If a user does it multiple times, they can receive consequences from the Scratch Team.
- Main article: Flame War
Flame wars are unnecessary and hurtful arguments between two or more Scratchers. Flame wars are absolutely not tolerated and can result in bans for the participants. Note that helpful and constructive arguing is allowed, as on the Scratch Forums, but ad hominem attacks are not allowed.
Drama is unnecessary and is discouraged by many Scratchers. Quitting in order to gain attention is considered drama, as is protesting the ban of another user. Personal problems such as depression and eating disorders do not belong on Scratch. Making multiple accounts and pretending to be new, tricking people into thinking they will receive tons of love-its, and any type of trick that could be hurtful to someone are also drama.
Religion and Politics
Religion and politics are allowed to be put into projects so long as they are not disrespectful.
|“||It's fine to make a project sharing about your faith, as long as it meets the Scratch community guidelines. It's disrespectful to try to change other's beliefs about their faith, or say that your belief about faith is the only acceptable one.||”|
– Lightnin, Scratch Team at MIT
|“||For one thing - we think people should be able to express their political views in projects (respectfully, of course). It's an important part of how democracy works. Sometimes the discussions go bad and get disrespectful (and not just on Scratch - lots of places).||”|
– Lightnin, Scratch Team at MIT
Always Give Credit
When using or getting inspired by another user's creation, you should always give credit. If you are remixing, there will automatically be a message underneath the project saying that it is remixed. However, it is typically assumed that you will give credit in the Notes and Credits as well.
Advertising Browser Extensions and Userscripts
|“||We want to announce today that we’re shifting our policy related to browser extensions, userscripts, 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.||”|
– ceebee, Scratch Team, Nov 30, 2017
This rule does not apply to Scratch Extensions. Scratchers can still use browser extensions or userscripts, but they cannot be referred to on the Scratch Website.
These rules apply to the Discussion Forums.
Bumping outdated, irrelevant, unwanted, or unnecessary topics is called necroposting and is frowned upon in the Scratch Community. Scratchers new to the forums will often unknowingly necropost. However, bumping up old topics to add new, relevant information, or to revive a discussion for a valid reason is not considered necroposting.
On the Scratch Forums it is frowned upon if a thread goes off-topic as it distracts people's attention from the main post. If a topic branches into another idea, it is encouraged to create a new topic rather than continue on the old one.
It is considered bad form to intentionally post exactly the same topic twice. It is also encouraged to look for older topics about the same thing rather than to create a new topic and split up the discussion. Duplicate topics get closed by the Scratch Team.
Topics Not Allowed in the "Things I'm Reading and Playing" and "Things I'm Making and Creating" Forum Sections
- Topics focusing on negativity, such as "anti-X" and "media that you dislike". Topics like this have been closed.
|“||The Reading and Playing forum is a place to discuss books, TV, movies, art, music, or video games that inspire you.||”|
– Paddle2See, Scratch Team
- Topics about media that is too mature for young teenagers and children
- Topics about horror media if too scary for children, such as creepypasta
- Topics prone to flaming, such as religion and politics
- Text-based games, they should go to the TBGs forum site.
- Topics that are prone to spam, such as joke/meme topics
Users should not use other users' usernames in a negative way, for example, "Username did this thing to me." This is because such case attracts unwanted attention to the named user, which is not helpful to the problem. If a user does this their post may be edited by a Scratch Team member to remove the name. Where the name was a message along the lines of [username removed by mod] may appear. If a user is having problems with a particular user, they should report them.
It is frowned upon to overuse the scratchblocks feature. Such overuse is called blockspamming. Often it can become annoying if it has nothing to do with the post. Even if the scratchblocks are used a bit like a Script Poem and the message of the post is conveyed through them, it can still be annoying. However, as long as it gets the message across, it is acceptable, at least from the Scratch Team's point of view.
- Discuss Scratch
- post:58174 [dead link]
- Paddle2See. (4/5/2018). "So there seems to be some confusion about what makes up "block spam" with some reporters. Our current thinking is that it is okay to use Scratchblocks in a post even if the post isn't about a specific script question - as long as the text in the blocks is on-topic. In other words, it's okay to use Scratchblocks as a text-style choice. This is a departure from how we used to do it years ago." studios:3688309/comments/#comments-42289432