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How we handle abusive usage

Last updated: April 13, 2020

We build our products* to give teams a better way to work. We are proud of that purpose and trust that our customers use our products for appropriate endeavors.

Sometimes, though, we discover potential abusive usage as detailed in our Use Restrictions policy. When that happens, we investigate using the following guiding principles and process.

Guiding Principles

Human oversight

Who’s “we”, you ask? It’s us: folks from the Basecamp team. We have an internal committee who review all potential abuse cases. This 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 observable evidence points to a restricted use.

Process

Every case goes through the same general process:

  1. Discovery
  2. Investigation
  3. Decision, sometimes with right to an appeal

How do we discover potential abuse?

From our experience, we learn about potential abuse because:

This list is not exhaustive; there are always edge cases. We will update the list if we find regular new avenues.

How do we investigate?

We focus on the evidence:

We strive to balance privacy and safety for all those involved:

What happens if someone really broke the rules?

We will terminate an account without advance notice if there is evidence it is being used for a restricted purpose that has, is, or will cause severe harm. If applicable, we will also report the incident to the appropriate authorities.

For other cases, we’ll take a case-by-case approach to clear things up.

Can you appeal a decision?

If we terminate an account without notice, the decision is final.

For other cases, we will consider good faith appeals sent to appeals@basecamp.com by the account owner within 14 calendar days.

*This process applies to any product created and owned by Basecamp, LLC. That includes Basecamp (any version), HEY, Highrise, Campfire, Backpack, Writeboard, and Ta-da List.

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