This article is about the role of Eastern Standard Time on Scratch. For other uses, see Time (disambiguation).
The old timezone selector in the Scratch Forums.

Scratch Time is an informal name given to Eastern Standard Time (EST; UTC-05:00) that was used in the display of dates in the Scratch Forums prior to Scratch 2.0. "Scratch Time" is the timezone of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (where Scratch was developed) in Massachusetts.

Scratch Time has also been called MIT Time by some.[1]

In Scratch 2.0 and later, the reader's timezone is detected automatically, and posts are shown in local time. This does not work consistently.[2]


Scratch Time is based on an old glitch in the Scratch Forums that could be reached by attempting to change the timezone display in the forums. Users could change the number, but after clicking "Submit", the time would be set back to EST.

It was reported several times over the years, but only fully brought to light when the issue was brought up again in late December 2009.[3]

After a discussion, then-Scratch Team member andresmh said to think of the timezone as "Scratch Time".[4] It was understood that the timezone forum glitch was not going to be changed any time soon, and so it was called Scratch Time.


  1. ErnieParke. (13/7/2015). "MIT Time" post:80966
  2. Za-Chary. (25/8/2022). "Sometimes, but not often, I see it set to whatever time zone I am currently in." post:6553986
  3. Johnathanpb. (21/12/2009). "I can't change the time zone in the forums... it won't update.[title]" ar-topic:27601
  4. andresmh. (27/12/2009). "Think of it as Scratch Time" ar-post:285612
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