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Anti-Harassment Policy

Please read this page carefully to understand our Anti-Harassment policy.

1. Introduction

1.1. Everyone at, also known herein as "UFP" or "United Federation of Planets", has a responsibility to prevent and stop harassment and bullying. No matter the method of communication, it is expected that everyone will contribute to an inclusive and respectful environment. Should you become aware of or witness any form of harassment or behaviour that violates this policy or our Code of Conduct, please report the incident directly to the Head of Community Administration immediately for thorough investigation.

1.2. As LTD is a company registered in England and Wales, references will be made to laws based in that jurisdiction.

2. Scope

2.1. This policy applies to all members of UFPlanets and any individual that uses any UFPlanets hosted or offered services. This includes our website, hosted Teamspeak server, UFPlanets branded Discord server, any UFPlanets offered guild/clan/fleet in any supported games etc.

2.2. The sovereignty of the Federation Executive Office, known herein as "FEO", is not affected by this policy. Any FEO decision made by majority vote or a decision made by the Fleet Admiral/Vice Fleet Admiral or Head of Community Administration will override any aspect of this policy.

3. What is harassment?

3.1. Harassment can be defined as unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of an individual, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

3.2. In the UK, The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 defines harassment as repeated behaviour that causes ‘alarm or distress’. Its main purpose is to protect people from what is popularly known as ‘stalking’ by making it a criminal offence.

3.3. In such cases, the UFP may report the matter to the police if it deeds the matter to be stalking.

3.4. Harassment can take many forms, occurring in face-to-face settings, by telephone, written or electronic communications, including social media. As the UFP is an online gaming community, this means that all of the interactions conducted by our members usually by voice, video or written communication via Teamspeak or other online platforms. It could however be through other mediums should members personally know each other or provide personal contact information. The list below is by no means exhaustive and many items may not apply to the UFP, but it sets out to provide examples of behaviour that can amount to harassment:

  1. 3.4.1. Unwelcome physical contact – ranging from invading someone’s ‘personal space’ where this is unnecessary, touching or brushing against another person’s body to physical assault, or being coerced or forced into sexual contact.
  2. 3.4.2. Unwanted verbal conduct – including making remarks and comments about members’ appearance, lewd comments, sexual advances, innuendo and inappropriate banter, offensive or stereotypical comments, jokes or songs, making threats or patronising comments, for example repeatedly drawing attention to a person’s disability.
  3. 3.4.3. Intrusive questioning – this may include gossip, as well as questions, about a person’s sexual orientation, their sex life, or religious beliefs. This could be directly with the person or in discussions with others.
  4. 3.4.4. Unwelcome written or visual communications – including inappropriate emails, texts notes or pictures, displaying or sending pornographic material.
  5. 3.4.5. Unwelcome communications on social media – use of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. to ridicule, harass or bully.
  6. 3.4.6. Unwelcome non-verbal conduct – such as making abusive or offensive gestures.
  7. 3.4.7. Oppressive or intimidatory behaviour – relating to someone’s protected characteristic, such as outing someone as gay without their permission.
  8. 3.4.8. Stalking – such as if a member persisted in sending messages to another member that asserted a close, personal relationship that did not exist and that the recipient found distressing.

4. What is bullying?

4.1. Bullying is not well defined in law. However, it shares many characteristics with harassment. It can be defined as the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate or aggressively dominate others. The behaviour is often repeated and habitual. Bullying can be carried out by an individual or group of people and often involves an abuse of power or authority.

4.2. Examples of being bullied include:

  1. 4.2.1. Being shouted at.
  2. 4.2.2. Being humiliated in front of members or other people.
  3. 4.2.3. Being criticised in an inappropriate manner or belittled about one’s work, personality or personal appearance.
  4. 4.2.4. Being persistently ignored or isolated/excluded.
  5. 4.2.5. Being pressured by a group into behaviour/actions against ones wishes.
  6. 4.2.6. Use of social media to bully, harass or intimidate.

4.3. It is important to make a distinction between bullying and firm management – where a member of FEO and SFC, is carrying out their role properly and fairly and adhering to the Code of Conduct and duties outlined in their role description. This includes managing under performance or taking unpopular decisions in their division/department. However members of FEO/SFC should always consider their tone and ensure they treat members with dignity and respect.

5. What is victimisation?

5.1. Individuals with a grievance may sometimes complain that they are being victimised in some way. However, victimisation within the scope of this Policy has a very specific meaning. It involves treating someone less favourably than other people because they have:

  1. 5.1.1. Made a claim of harassment or bullying.
  2. 5.1.2. Suggested or complained that, in some way, they may have been discriminated against.
  3. 5.1.3. Helped someone else to make a claim of discrimination, perhaps by providing evidence or some other form of support for that person.

5.2. Victimisation is entirely unacceptable behaviour which can have a profound effect upon atmosphere and environment of the community and lead to a reluctance to report discrimination, harassment and bullying.

6. Malicious complaints

6.1. Any complaint is treated seriously by the UFP. It should however be noted that anyone found to be making a mischievous or malicious complaint will have appropriate action taken against them, which will include disciplinary action.

6.2. The mere fact that a complaint is found not to be justified does not mean it has been made in bad faith. Therefore, it would not be viewed or dealt with as a malicious complaint.

7. Use of mediation

7.1. Mediation is defined as an “intervention in a dispute in order to resolve it”. The UFP does not have trained mediators and will therefore not have a formal mediation process. However, on a case by case basis, members of FEO or the Federation Administrative Bureau, known herein as "FAB", may offer to informally mediate between two parties if the situation warrants it and if the two parties agree to an informal mediation session.

7.2. Direct requests to mediate disputes will be considered in exceptional circumstances but will only be of an informal nature.

8. Dealing with harassment and bullying

8.1. If you think you are being bullied or harassed, do not feel that it is your fault or that this should be tolerated. It is important that you take action, and this can be done in a number of ways, both formally and informally.

8.2. Attempts should be made to resolve any complaints quickly and informally, wherever possible, as this can lead to the behaviour stopping and resolution to all concerned.

8.3. In many circumstances the person who makes the complaint will be the recipient of the behaviour complained of, but that may not always be the case. The person raising the issue can also be someone who has direct or sufficient knowledge of the behaviour to enable a complaint to be raised. For example, if they have overheard racist or sexist language which, while not directed at them, caused them offence and distress.

8.4. If you feel your health is being affected by bullying or harassment you are encouraged to access professional medical advice.

8.5. If you are being bullied or harassed it is a good idea to keep a note, including dates and times and a description of the behaviour and its impact on you. This can include changes to your time spent within the community as a result of the behaviour. The details of any witnesses to the incident(s) should be included. Copies of relevant paper or electronic documents should also be kept.

8.6. Informal approach for dealing with harassment or bullying:

  1. 8.6.1. Depending on the individual circumstances, members are encouraged to try and resolve issues through an informal approach. Most people do not go out of their way to deliberately bully or harass and when they are made aware of the impact of their behaviour, will address such behaviour . The informal approach is about making the individual aware, in a non-confrontational or threatening way, that their behaviour has upset you, or is unacceptable to you, giving the individual the opportunity to acknowledge the effect their behaviour has had on you, and address it. Taking early action when the issues occur can often stop matters escalating. All individuals have a responsibility to take action at an early stage to address and resolve matters promptly.
  2. 8.6.2. If you are concerned about a person’s behaviour towards you, try to approach them directly, giving as full details of your complaint as soon as possible to make it easier for them to understand why you are upset, offended or angry. If you need support to do this you can ask FEO/FAB.
  3. 8.6.3. You can speak with the person on your own or take someone to support you (via Teamspeak or Discord). Alternately you can message them, explaining what they did or omitted to do that upset you and asking them not to do it again. In doing this, clearly explain what it was that specifically upset you, what the consequences and impact on you are, and what you would like to happen moving forward.
  4. 8.6.4. You can ask a member of FAB Command Staff/FEO staff to intervene on your behalf. If you stress that you wish to resolve the situation informally, they will make every effort to do so. If they feel they need to take more formal action, they will not do so without discussing it with you.
  5. 8.6.5. However, if the behaviour persists, or if it is considered so serious that you feel it is not appropriate to use an informal approach, then you can use the formal procedure to try and resolve the situation.

8.7. Formal approach for dealing with harassment or bullying:

  1. 8.7.1. If you wish to make a formal complaint about a fellow member you should Private Message the Head of Community Administration or their appointed representative (either the Deputy Head of Administration or another FEO member). If the formal complaint is regarding the behaviour of the Head of Community Administration or their appointed representative, then you should Private Message the Fleet Admiral. Current appointees to the aforementioned positions can be found on the Federation Executive Office informational page
  2. 8.7.2. Your complaint should detail:
    1. Whom the complaint is about.
    2. What they did to upset, offend or distress you.
    3. Provide evidence to substantiate any alleged behaviour towards you.
    4. Provide the names of witnesses (we would encourage you to seek permission first before naming any witnesses).
    5. 8.7.3. The matter will then be investigated by the Head of Community Administration, supported by the Deputy Head of Administration or one member of FEO.
    6. 8.7.4. An interview will be arranged with the accused member if the Head of Community Administration/FEO deems there to be enough supporting evidence to substantiate the complaint. The complaint will be dismissed without supporting evidence and potentially reviewed against Section 6 if needed.
    7. 8.7.5. Prior to the interview, the member must be made aware of the allegation against them and sent copies of any evidence that will be considered. The evidence may be have names or other sensitive information redacted in order to protect the identity of the member who collected such evidence. If it is not possible to redact enough information to protect the member, then the evidence will not be sent to the accused member and they will be notified of this.
    8. 8.7.6. Should the accused member not be able to attend the interview, the member should contact the Head of Community Administration or their appointed representative who can arrange alternative arrangements.
    9. 8.7.7. Should the accused member refuse to attend an interview or fail to attend the interview without good reason, the Head of Community Administration may proceed in their absence
    10. 8.7.8. If, following the interview, the Head of Community Administration does not believe, on a balance of probabilities, the offence to have been committed by the member, a written retraction will be issued via Private Message.
    11. 8.7.9. If, following the interview, the Head of Community Administration believes that, on the balance of probabilities, misconduct has been committed by the member, then they shall decide the best repercussions, taking into account the nature of the offence, the interests of the complainant and the interest of the community at large.

9. Potential repercussions

9.1. If the Head of Community Administration believes that misconduct has been committed, a penalty shall be imposed on the member. Examples include but are not limited to:

  1. 9.1.1. Temporary exclusion from some or all UFP hosted services, guilds, clans, fleets and community events
  2. 9.1.2. Permanent exclusion from some or all UFP hosted services, guilds, clans, fleets and community events
  3. 9.1.3. A time-restricted ban or permanent ban from the UFPlanets community
  4. 9.1.4. Removal of medals and achievements, reduction in rank

10. Appeals

10.1. A member will have the right to appeal against the findings of their misconduct interview and/or the penalty imposed. No other person except the person whom the complaint is against may appeal.

10.2. An appeal must be lodged with the Head of Community Administration via a Private Message or email.

10.3. The appeal must be lodged within 7 days of the date of the misconduct interview or issue of the penalty (whichever is later).

10.4. The appeal must and only be based on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. 10.4.1. A material procedural irregularity, which might have impacted significantly on the validity of the original interview and the subsequent penalty;
  2. 10.4.2. New evidence that could not reasonably have been made available to the initial misconduct interview
  3. 10.4.3. The penalty imposed by the disciplinary hearing was too severe bearing in mind the circumstances of the case and the treatment of other members in similar situations.

10.5. FEO will consider whether the appeal meets the grounds outlined in this policy. Should an appeal be granted, two FEO members, other then the members involved in the original misconduct interview will be appointed to review the case again. They will consider all evidence previously considered, and any new evidence in line with section 10.4.2. Should an appeal not be granted, the imposed penalty will be enacted immediately.

  1. 10.5.1. If after the review, the appointed FEO members decide to uphold the original findings and/or penalty imposed, the penalty prescribed by the Head of Community Administration will be enacted at the conclusion of the review.
  2. 10.5.2. If after the review, the appointed FEO members decide to not uphold the original findings and/or the penalty imposed, the appointed FEO members will either dismiss the case or amend the penalty (if the findings are upheld but the penalty is judged too harsh in line with section 10.4.3).

10.6. After the conclusion of the appeal process, no further appeals will be granted.

11. What to do if you are accused of harassment or bullying

11.1. Although all accusations are taken seriously, if you are accused of harassment or bullying, it does not necessarily signify a judgement that you are at fault and there will need to be discussion with you in order to establish the true nature of the situation . It is possible that a problem has arisen because you have not realised, or did not intend to cause, the effect your actions have had. The perception of the person alleging the behaviour is, however, an important factor in determining whether or not bullying or harassment has taken place.

11.2. Throughout any informal or formal procedure, the primary objective is that of identifying the underlying issues and addressing any issues as quickly as possible and with minimal recrimination.

11.3. If the formal procedure is initiated, the FEO will ensure that all procedures are fair and correctly followed.

Last Updated: 24th November 2019