Safe Virtual Space Policy

PodTales is dedicated to providing a safe, respectful, and harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, body size, race, age, or religion. We ask that our guests be mindful of the following:

  • Harassment or abuse in any form will not be tolerated at PodTales. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
    • Stalking, intimidation, or otherwise threatening behavior
    • Inappropriate or insulting remarks or jokes
    • Persistent unwanted questions or comments
    • Unwanted virtual contact, for example, unsolicited explicit photographs
    • Racist, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, or other hateful language
    • Intentional or persistent misgendering
    • Harassing photography or recording
    • Spamming the event chat or conference server
    • Other conduct which is known or ought reasonably be known to be unwelcome/unwanted, offensive, intimidating, hostile, or inappropriate.
  • Participants asked to cease harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately; those judged to violate these guidelines may be asked to leave the virtual conference at the discretion of conference organizers, or may be banned from current and future PodTales events.
  • Our goal at PodTales is to foster a space where creators and listeners can exchange ideas, support, and deepen knowledge of audio drama and fiction podcasting. We understand that discussions in a creative atmosphere are often deeply personal, and we encourage participants to interact respectfully, with inclusivity in mind. 
  • Additionally we would like to acknowledge that communicating in a virtual space can get complicated, particularly when taking into consideration the one-sided dynamics of parasocial relationships. We ask that everyone treat with respect all the people with whom they’re sharing a virtual space
  • Our guests have the right to safety and comfort. We take concerns seriously and seek to address issues in a sensitive and timely manner. If you have experienced harassment or unwelcome conduct, please email safespace@podtales.org, or direct message any indicated moderators or staff member. This e-mail goes directly to our Ombudsman Committee, who is independent of our PodTales staff, and will advise convention leadership in finding a safe and satisfactory resolution for you. Anything you discuss with the committee is confidential – neither the committee nor PodTales will take any action without your express consent, and we encourage you to let us know how you would prefer to see the situation resolved.

We will also offer meeting spaces through Discord for affinity groups, for example, queer creators and creators of color. Please be respectful of these spaces and only enter them if they are a group with which you identify. These are meant to be safe spaces for these groups. All moderators for these spaces will be those who identify thereof. 

Reporting Procedures

If the person experiencing harassment feels safe and comfortable doing so, they should communicate with the individual engaging in the offensive behavior to let them know that the behavior is inappropriate and request that it immediately cease either publicly or via private message.

If such behavior does not immediately cease, or if direct communication is insufficient, unsafe, or uncomfortable, the behavior may be reported to the PodTales Ombudsman Committee at safespace@podtales.org. The Ombudsman Committee is independent of PodTales leadership, and will advise festival leaders directly in finding a safe and satisfactory resolution to the complaint. We are currently seeking volunteers to serve on the three-person Ombudsman Committee. If interested, please reach out to info@podtales.com for further information.

A report to the committee should include the substance of the complaint, date(s), a list of witnesses, and/or, when appropriate, URLs or screenshots. In addition to notifying the committee, the complainant may also request assistance from any PodTales staff or moderator on the platform.

PodTales will take reasonable action to stop the apparent harassment and ensure the safety of all attendees at the event. Reasonable action may include, but is not limited to, verbal notification to the individual that the behavior believed to be in violation of this Policy should be discontinued immediately, and/or removal of the individual from the virtual event, banning from the platform, and other actions deemed necessary.

safespace@podtales.org