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BFS Online Code of Conduct

The British Fantasy Society is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable experience for everyone.

In order to offer a welcoming and safer space for everyone, we require participants to be respectful of all others.

Harassment Policy & Refusal of Entry: 

The Harassment policy does not seek to replace or restate the Equality Act 2010, but sets out the specific conditions for our event.

BFS reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone for any reason. In this case we do intend to let you know the reason for refusing entry.

If you have booked a ticket and we decide to refuse you entry prior to the event we will refund your ticket price.

Harassment includes (but is not limited to):

  • Offensive verbal comments about gender, sexuality, impairment, physical appearance, body size, race class/economic status or religion.
  • Racist behaviour.
  • Showing sexual images in public spaces.
  • Discussions or images related to sex, pornography, discriminatory language or similar is permitted if it meets all of the following criteria: organisers have specifically granted permission; it is necessary to the topic of discussion and no alternative exists; it is presented in a respectful manner; and attendees are warned in advance and respectfully given ample warning and opportunity to leave beforehand. This exception does not allow use of gratuitous sexual images as attention-getting devices (such as clothing or costumes) or unnecessary presentation or panel examples.
  • Intimidation, stalking or following.
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
  • Uninvited sexual attention.
  • Symbols or images that the event organisers deem offensive. This could include t-shirt design or avatars.

Participants must not engage in harassment at any online event or related social event at any time. Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately. This includes not only anyone involved in the incident, but any onlookers contributing to the disruption. As a general rule, practising common sense in interactions with strangers will ensure everyone has a comfortable event experience.

This policy covers everyone involved with the convention, including guests, attendees and organisers. Paying membership at the convention is not required to be subject to the policy.

What should I do if I am being harassed?

In some cases, you may find the harassment stops if you clearly say ‘no’ or ‘please leave me alone’, or simply leave. We would appreciate it if the BFS host was still informed to help us identify any repeat offenders.

If you continue to be harassed or notice someone else being harassed, please inform the BFS Online Events Co-ordinator immediately. You can do this via private chat (on Zoom) or by emailing onlineevents@britishfantasysociety.org. Or you can contact any BFS committee member, who will assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe during the event. We will take whatever steps to assist you in feeling safe, and will put you in contact with or bring you to an appropriate member of the event organising team. We value your attendance.

You do not have to give us details of the harassment, and can choose whether or not to make a formal report. If you wish to report, we will take details of the harassment and work with you to respond to the issue in a way that assists you in feeling safe and maintains the safety of the wider BFS online environment, as well as enforcing our anti-harassment policy. If you report a serious criminal matter, please be aware that we may be obliged to contact the police. We would, however, take into account any concerns you may have around involving them.

If you would like to discuss the harassment without making a report, we will help you meet with the designated member of the event organising team. Please bear in mind that this is for informal emotional support only; our volunteers don’t have counselling training, and we can’t promise confidentiality. You can access this service by emailing onlineevents@britishfantasysociety.org.

How we respond:

BFS reserve the right to take any action they deem appropriate, including: issuing the offender with a warning if, in the determination of the BFS and/or the person reporting the incident, the incident is considered accidental or minor; making an internal note of the incident to document repeat offending; making a formal report of the incident available to the wider BFS team or all event participants at the discretion of the BFS; contacting law enforcement; removing the offender from the event with no refund; and reporting the offender’s behaviour to other events (including conventions), or regulatory organisations.

In order to make BFS Online a safe event, be aware of this harassment policy, of using non-oppressive language, and of boundaries. Assist others: if you see someone being harassed or appearing uncomfortable, ask if they are okay.

The British Fantasy Society reserve the right to refuse entry to their event for any reason, while abiding by the terms of the Equality Act. Reasons for refusal may include behaviour at other online events, conventions, via email or messages that have made others feel uncomfortable or harassed.

If you are concerned about someone who is, or you think might be, attending one of our events, please contact the Chair of the British Fantasy Society (chair@britishfantasysociety.org).

If you have been refused entry to any previous BFS events (formally or informally), including Fantasycons run by third parties on the society’s behalf, then you are likely to be refused entry and your booking fee will not be refunded (the ticket price will be).

If you are unsure for any reason, please do contact us to confirm.

Nothing in these terms and condition is intended to be used to contravene the Equality Act or other UK law.