A flame war is an unfriendly argument between two or more users on the forums or main site, where said users disagree with each other's personal opinions and create drama. It is also a common type of cyberbullying. Flame wars are not allowed because they cause a disruption in the community, are disrespectful, and can harm people emotionally.

On Discovering a Flame War

It is important that any offending comment or post within the flame war is reported so that the Scratch Team will deal with it. In cases where the flame war has spread to many different projects, the Contact Us form should be used to alert the Scratch Team. Do not get involved; getting involved, regardless of what is posted, will usually do more harm than good.[1] Instead, just report and move on. Trying to intervene with a flame war will end up becoming a victim as well.

Preventing a Flame War

If a user is acting in an inappropriate, or otherwise unfriendly manner, it is best not to respond or retaliate;[1] the best solution is to just report the user. If the issue is too extreme, one should contact the Scratch Team using the Contact Us link at the bottom of every page to explain the situation.

Note Note: The Scratch Team may not always reply to Contact Us messages.[2]

Flame War Consequences

Flame wars can lead to several consequences. First, the flame war will be removed by a moderator. Second, those involved in the flame war will then be dealt with. If it is a user's first time flaming, that user will probably receive an an alert. If a user consistently flames, that user may receive a ban, with its length depending on the severity. The Text-Based Games forum is known for being closed due to the number of flame wars.[3] It was then re-created at a different location with entirely different moderators and forum ranks.[4]

Flame Bait

Flame bait is anything that might cause a flame war, such as abrasive discussion of politics, religion, someone's race, etc. It is important to never post anything that can be considered offensive to others. Any flame bait should be reported immediately. This includes projects, studios, posts/comments, signatures, usernames, and user icons.

Common Phrases

Moderators and Scratchers alike often use appropriate fire-related metaphors to describe flame wars.[citation needed] They include:

  • "Fuelling the Flames"
    • Similar to 'feeding the trolls,' this means adding to the flame war
  • "Putting out the fire"
    • This means to put an end to the flame war
  • "Spreading the fire"
    • Often used on the forums to mean carrying an argument or flame war onto another topic or forum

See Also


  1. a b post:7751741
  2. http://web.archive.org/web/20181127224136/https://scratch.mit.edu/contact-us/
  3. andresmh. (12/10/2009). “We have decided to close the [text-based games] forums.” ar-topic:24351
  4. andresmh. (27/10/2009). “The new TBG are now at: [link]” ar-topic:25034
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