The attack on the US Capitol, and subsequent threats of violence surrounding the inauguration of the new US administration, has moved us to reflect and reacquaint ourselves with the reality that however good the maker’s intentions, technology can amplify the ability to cause great harm.
This includes us and our products at Basecamp. Therefore, we feel an ethical obligation to counter such harm. Both in terms of dealing with instances where Basecamp is used (and abused) to further such harm, and to state unequivocally that Basecamp is not a safe haven for people who wish to commit such harm.
Our full Use Restriction Policy outlines several forms of use that are not permitted, including, but not limited to:
- Violence, or threats thereof: If an activity qualifies as violent crime in the United States or where you live, you may not use Basecamp products to plan, perpetrate, incite, or threaten that activity.
- Doxing: If you are using Basecamp products to share other peoples’ private personal information for the purposes of harassment, we don’t want anything to do with you.
- Child exploitation, sexualization, or abuse: We don’t tolerate any activities that create, disseminate, or otherwise cause child abuse.
- Malware or spyware: Code for good, not evil. If you are using our products to make or distribute anything that qualifies as malware or spyware — including remote user surveillance — begone.
- Phishing or otherwise attempting fraud: It is not okay to lie about who you are or who you affiliate with to steal from, extort, or otherwise harm others.
Any reports of violations of these highlighted restrictions, or any of the other restrictions present in our terms, will result in an investigation. This investigation will have:
- Human oversight: Our internal abuse oversight committee includes our executives, David and Jason, and representatives from multiple departments across the company. On rare occasions for particularly sensitive situations, or if legally required, we may also seek counsel from external experts.
- Balanced responsibilities: We have an obligation to protect the privacy and safety of both our customers, and the people reporting issues to us. We do our best to balance those responsibilities throughout the process.
- Focus on evidence: We base our decisions on the evidence available to us: what we see and hear account users say and do. We document what we observe, and ask whether that evidence points to a restricted use.
While some violations are flatly obvious, others are subjective, nuanced, and difficult to adjudicate. We give each case adequate time and attention, commensurate with the violation, criticality, and severity of the charge.
If you’re aware of any Basecamp product (Basecamp, HEY, Backpack, Highrise, Ta-da List, Campfire) being used for something that would violate our Use Restrictions Policy, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will investigate. If you’re not 100% sure, report it anyway.
Someone on our team will respond within one business day to let you know we’ve begun our investigation. We will also let you know the outcome of our investigation (unless you ask us not to, or we’re not allowed to under law).
While our use restrictions are comprehensive, they can’t be exhaustive — it’s possible an offense could defy categorization, present for the first time, or illuminate a moral quandary we hadn’t yet considered. That said, we hope the overarching spirit is clear: Basecamp is not to be harnessed for harm, whether mental, physical, personal or civic. Different points of view — philosophical, religious, and political — are welcome, but ideologies like white nationalism, or hate-fueled movements anchored by oppression, violence, abuse, extermination, or domination of one group over another, will not be accepted here.
If you, or the activity in your account, is ultimately found in violation of these restrictions, your account may be closed. A permanent ban from our services may also result. Further, as a small, privately owned independent business that puts our values and conscience ahead of growth at all costs, we reserve the right to deny service to anyone we ultimately feel uncomfortable doing business with.
For further reference, our full list of terms are available here: https://basecamp.com/about/policies