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User Conduct During Community Events

It's been brought to our (PR Staff's) attention that some users have been engaging in unsporting conduct, bordering on harassment, towards other community members during this year's KLDC. Judging hasn't even started yet and we are already hearing of, and in some cases seeing ourselves, community members making rude and unwarranted comments in public spaces about a level's quality, a maker's competence, and so forth. We have also heard of and seen harassing messages sent to event volunteers (current and past) challenging their opinions and questioning their intentions.

This is unacceptable and makes the experience worse for everyone. Judges are now faced with the choice of giving honest feedback or being harassed. Makers, both new and old, are discouraged from participation or feel shamed or alienated by their peers. People are hesitant to become involved in a given event due to this atmosphere. This does not foster a healthy community.

Events thrown by SMW Central are supposed to be celebrations of the community and our collective skill. There is room to express opinions and concerns in a healthy and constructive way, but when people engage in harassment, resort to belittling others, or make antagonistic comments these events become less welcoming.

Going forward, we will be paying more attention to what goes on in the community (this includes the extended community that engages with SMW Central events) and we will not tolerate behavior from users here that contributes to a negative atmosphere, causes discomfort, or targets others, publicly or privately.

As per the existing rules, anyone engaging such behavior towards event volunteers (judges, hosts, etc.), participants, or in any other way as it relates to SMW Central, will have their contest entry disqualified (if they have entered) and potentially be barred from participating in future events. Also, if it is serious enough it will be escalated to an infraction here on the site.

It is with great disappointment that I had to write this thread to begin with, let's do better. #w{<3}