Nine Worlds aims to create an inclusive, welcoming environment. We are founded on the belief that geekdom should not be restricted by class, age, gender, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, or the ability to cite Wookiepedia in arguments.
However, over the years Nine Worlds has been running, we’ve at times been made aware of unacceptable behaviour by potential attendees or guests. We've also occasionally been asked to exclude someone from attending or participating in the event, due to safety concerns. As we aim to be transparent in how we work, we’ve decided to put together a formal policy, explaining what will happen, in the event of such concerns being raised with us.
Each ticket we sell or allocate for Nine Worlds comes with the conditions that the attendee must comply with our anti-harassment policy, and that we reserve the right to refuse entry. When we exercise this right, we are not obliged to give a reason. Exercising this right does not imply that we are accusing the person barred from entry of breaching our policies or of other discreditable behaviour.
The reasons we may exercise this right include, but are not limited to, reasonable belief that a person:
- has breached our anti-harassment policy in Nine Worlds spaces (including online 'spaces' where Nine Worlds is being discussed)
- will pose a risk to the safety of other attendees if they attend, specifically by breaching our anti-harassment policy at the event
How to report concerns before the convention
Emailing email@example.com is the preferred way of making us aware of issues with a potential attendee. Emails to this address are received by the event director, deputy director, and registration organisers. If you wish to raise concerns more privately, the director's direct email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and the deputy director's direct email is email@example.com.
How we deal with reports before the convention
All concerns and requests regarding potential attendees will be taken seriously, listened to and discussed fully by multiple members of the senior management team.
We will respond to any concerns raised with an acknowledgement, by whatever means of communication are deemed appropriate, while the concerns raised are considered, followed by a response detailing our decision, once discussions are concluded.
Any evidence submitted will be carefully considered. Should further evidence come to our attention after a decision is made, it will also be considered, and the decision revised if necessary.
Anyone working on Nine Worlds who has a relationship, personal or professional, with the person whose attendance we have been asked to consider, will recuse themselves from the discussion, leaving the other management staff to make a fair and balanced decision, based on the evidence available. If there are insufficient staff available to make a decision, we may consider appointing a trusted outside party to review claims.
Any concerns expressed will be considered in terms of safety of attendees, with reference to our anti-harassment policy. If there is documented evidence that the person has expressed views or behaved in a way which directly contravene our anti-harassment policy, and we judge that they would be likely to behave in a manner (including speech) contravening that policy at Nine Worlds, should they attend, we will look at either barring or restricting their attendance. Since this is about direct behaviour by the individual, we will not exclude someone solely because they have worked with, interviewed or otherwise interacted with someone whose attendance we would prohibit.
Our aim is that decisions will be made on the above basis, in the interests of fairness, and will not be affected by commercial or personal interests of Nine Worlds or anyone involved with the event. All attendees in whatever role are bound by the anti-harassment policy.
If we decide to exclude someone, that will bar them from both participating in content, and attending the event.
Types of restriction
Barring is one possible restriction on attendance. It can be permanent or temporary, and either decision can be reviewed if more information emerges.
Alternatively, in discussion with the person making the report or other involved parties, we may seek to impose restrictions, for example not attending certain content, staying away from and not interacting with specific attendees, or not drinking alcohol or otherwise becoming intoxicated. These would need to be agreed by the person in question, as a condition of their attendance.
We also operate additional, informal levels of restriction on people's involvement with the convention. These go beyond this policy, and apply particularly to people engaged in volunteering and management of the event, as those roles give people greater authority and influence in the context of Nine Worlds.
Enforcing restrictions or barring
We won't always know if someone is planning on attending Nine Worlds, as we don't collect names for each attendee, and we don't require 'real' names. We won't normally contact someone who is not a confirmed Nine Worlds attendee. However, we can decide that they would not be welcome if they did attend, and will inform them of this as and when we became aware that they are attending, even if this is only at the actual event. If an attendee is concerned that they may be barred, they're welcome to contact us for confirmation either way.
We won't publish the names of people who are or are not barred, or enter into public discussion about barring decisions or restrictions.
If there is good reason to believe that a person with a barring or restriction decision is coming to Nine Worlds, we will contact them by some direct, private means such as email or DM, and inform them of our decision. Depending on the situation, we may or may not explain the general reasons behind the decision.
We may let the subject of a report know that a report has been made regarding them, but we will not share information that would allow the reporting party to be identified without their prior permission. If we decide to impose a restriction other than barring, then we may need to let the person know e.g. who to avoid, but will confirm beforehand that this is acceptable to the reporting party and other involved parties.
We will not publicly comment on who we've barred or why, but we will confirm our decision to individuals who make reports about that person, and let them know if we're aware of the person's attendance status. Additionally, we will not comment on or enter into a discussion about who we may have approached or invited to present at Nine Worlds, as this rests on a variety of factors additional to safety restrictions.
Please be aware that we are subordinate to law in all of our decisions. If compelled by law, we may have no choice but to share information. We would obviously seek to maintain people's privacy to the greatest extent that we can, but contempt of court isn't something that the event or its organisers are in a position to survive.
Reporting and barring at the convention
At-convention issues are covered in more detail in the anti-harassment policy. If you experience behaviour at the convention that you wish to report, or you become aware that someone is attending that you believe may either be barred or who may have committed behaviour that warrants reporting, the info desk is the primary port of call, and the duty manager there will be able to take reports in confidence, arrange support, and let you know what we're doing in response. Any on-duty staff member should be willing and able to arrange for someone to be with you, and take you to the info desk or another more private space.
Any breaches of the anti-harassment policy during Nine Worlds will be taken seriously and addressed. Someone who is asked to leave the event due to contravening the anti-harassment policy may also be barred from attendance at future events, where this is considered appropriate and necessary.