SSB Code of Conduct Panel

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The logo of the Code of Conduct Panel

The SSB Code of Conduct Panel, formerly known as the Harassment Task Force, was a group of community members dedicated to enforcing and recommending bans for individuals within the competitive scene involved in harassment, abuse, or any other misdemeanors. The formation of the panel was announced on April 12th, 2018[1] with a formal opening announced on September 11th, 2018.[2] The project was initially organized by Josh Kassel but was managed by Kyle Nolla towards the end of the panel.

The panel was formally disbanded on December 14th, 2020 following an overwhelming amount of reports received during the 2020 Super Smash Bros. sexual misconduct allegations. A statement published the same day explained that the panel "would need five or ten years" to go through all the reports received during the summer.[3]

Procedure[edit]

The panel operated by having tournament organizers accept a signatory agreement in which any ban recommended by the panel would be enforced in any following tournaments. When a report was received, a group of community representatives selected by the panel would go over the report to determine the legitimacy and severity of the report. The severity of an offense was determined via the use of a 4-level system of offenses. A public document was released detailing how the panel operated in further detail.

Levels of severity[edit]

The following offenses can are described in further detail in article 2 of the Code of Conduct's public document

Level Applicable offenses
Level 1 offenses Abuse of equipment, breach of event clothing, serious attacks on character, inappropriate and deliberate physical contact,
behaving in a threatening matter, deliberate obstruction of a player, using obscene or offensive language, match manipulation, unwanted sexual attention
Level 2 offenses Directed or malicious harrassment, threat of assault, panelists or signatories disclosing confidential information, releasing private information of a person
Level 3 offenses Physical assault, unreasonable or intentional act of violence, repeated and unwanted advances towards a player through online means, sexual misconduct, doxing
Level 4 offenses Physical assault resulting in serious bodily harm, stalking, sexual assault, an offense involving a minor, an offense involving an abuse of power, being an accomplice to any level 4 offenses

List of cases[edit]

The following list is based on publicly-known information.

Date Player Reason(s) Verdict Link Note(s)
January 23rd, 2019 Mafia Sexual harassment Unbanned Public Statement Initial verdict was appealed by 23 TOs. Final verdict not publicly known.
July 5th, 2019 Ally Offense involving a minor Lifetime ban Public Statement Appeal rejected on May 14th, 2020.
January 16th, 2020 CaptainZack Match fixing Indefinite ban Public Statement Chance for appeal after 5 years. Insight was provided by panel member, Pooch.
January 16th, 2020 Mew2Queen Sexual harassment Lifetime ban Public Statement
Ammendment
Initially indefinitely banned with chance for appeal after 2.5 years.
April 12th, 2020 Overtriforce Sexual harassment Lifetime ban Public Statement
Case
Investigation performed by UK Melee Backroom.
April 2020 Hoover Level 3/4 offenses Indefinite ban Public Statement Chance for appeal after 5 years.
June 28th, 2020 SleepyK Grooming Lifetime ban Public Statement Investigation performed by Recursion.

Controversy[edit]

Mafia case[edit]

In early 2019, the panel was the center of controversy when it decided to recommend the unbanning of Mafia, who had involved in a sexual harassment case. The panel supported this recommendation by stating that Mafia had shown major signs of improvement through the use of therapy and many self-directed efforts to better himself.[4] The majority of the community aware of the situation expressed their disapproval of the decision and many tournament organizers ignored the recommendation. The panel was unanimously criticized for allowing someone who had perpetrated an act of sexual harassment back into the community. As a result of this, an appeal was made by 23 tournament organizers who had applied to the panel's signatory list.[5] The final verdict was not publicized, however, he has remained banned by most tournament organizers.

Mew2Queen and CaptainZack case[edit]

In January of 2020, the panel would once again be the center of controversy due to the nature of the bans involving CaptainZack and Mew2Queen. CaptainZack, who was involved in a match fixing incident and given an indefinite ban, was allowed to submit an appeal after 5 years while Mew2Queen, who was involved in a sexual harassment case and also indefinitely banned, was allowed an appeal after only 2.5. The community criticized the panel for issuing a shorter ban period to someone who who perpetrated an act of sexual harassment, which has considerably greater ramifications than match fixing. In a Twitter thread produced by Pooch, it was explained that Zack's 5 year ban period was the result of convincing privately-shared evidence as well as following common protocol for match fixing in other competitive environments. Enzo expressed that he had advocated for a one year ban period, but was ultimately not successful.[6] On January 18th, it was announced that any person found to have committed any form of sexual harassment would be issued a lifetime ban. This would retroactively apply to Mew2Queen.[7]

In late June of 2020, growing sentiments would eventually evolve into a Twitter campaign advocating for CaptainZack's unbanning. This would spread in the form of the hashtag "UnbanCaptainZack". People supportive of the movement argued that CaptainZack's ban period was unjustifiably long. On June 28th, 2020, the Conduct Panel defended the ban by making a statement claiming that information, dynamics, and patterns of behavior that cannot be publicly shared led to the verdict.[8]

On September 14th, 2020, it was revealed in a statement by tamim that CaptainZack had intentionally falsified information in his TwitLonger involving a sexual misconduct incident between him and Nairo.[9] The original TwitLonger had alleged that Nairo initiated sexual misconduct of his own will, but tamim's statement revealed that CaptainZack had been the one to start it. This was later corroborated in a detailed statement by Nairo.[10] Many users who had spread the "UnbanCaptainZack" hashtag and had advocated against the Code of Conduct expressed their apologies following the publication of the new statements.

Panelists involved with offenses[edit]

On June 28th, 2020, SleepyK would be banned by the Georgia Melee community[11] and the Code of Conduct[12] following a revelation that he had been grooming someone within the community. The legitimacy of the Code of Conduct was thrown into question by many members of the community as SleepyK had been one of the founding members of the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct did not release a statement on this matter.

On July 2nd, 2020, it would be revealed that Pooch, a panelist on the Code of Conduct, had physically assaulted his then-girlfriend.[13] This resulted in the Code of Conduct immediately removing Pooch from his panelist position and announcing a review of his contributions to the panel.[14] The panel was criticized for keeping their panelists anonymous despite the importance of the panel's operation within the community.

References[edit]

External links[edit]