007 Procedure in Brief
Updated July 2023
Banning avatars from the Burning Man sims (Estate bans) are very serious actions that happen rarely on the Burning Man/BURN2 sims--an average of one or two new problem people per year--and only as an action of last resort, after a thorough investigation has taken place and after multiple mediation attempts and other interventions have taken place and failed.
Most situations that come through complaints (or will be from the new complaint form on the website) are handled by Rangers. They complete a process of mediation called FLAME (step-by-step process to Find out more, Listen - actively, Analyze with collaboration, Mediate, and Explain). In this process, a LSD (Location, Situation, and Determination), or Ranger incident report is filed. After all measures have been tried and failed, and the issue escalates to a point where a ban may be considered, Rangers will contact the 007s and ask them to review the case. NEW starting this year, an incident manager is then assigned. The incident manager assigns tasks to other 007s and/or Rangers. The parties to the complaint are informed within 24 hours that the issue has been turned over to the 007 team (also new for this year).
A 007 will recuse themselves from investigating or participating in the consensus process in an incident if they are the accused or the accuser (not merely the reporter of an incident). A 007 is to recuse themselves from active investigations if they are biased or have perceived bias. They are chosen to be 007s because of their ability to be unbiased and have the self-knowledge to make a judgment to "kick it sideways" as this also applies to 007 FLAME processes.
A ban from the Burner community is considered a form of creative death. At Burning Man 2000, RL Black Rock Rangers began referring to the ability to execute a ban by invoking the James Bond Movie “007- License to Kill”. Consequently, people with the authority to decide Burn2 estate bans are called 007s, just like the RL Burning Man counterparts.
The 007s are a team made up of the most long-standing and highly respected individuals in Burn2. The identities of the 007s are confidential (new this year to prevent harassment). The primary responsibility of the 007s is that they perform a final review on bans. They operate on consensus. All 007s are Ranger trained and use the Rangers’ FLAME process. By a set protocol, they thoroughly discuss and analyze all aspects of an issue before deciding whether an avatar should be banned.
Temporary, emergency bans may be instituted by a Senior Ranger and an Estate Manager (who has the ability to ban). The 007 team will review the ban within 24 hours, consider extending the ban and/or continue the mediation process, or remove the ban.
There are several reasons for which a ban may be implemented on an avatar. Burn2 007s align with the BRC Rangers in that they are the only group in Black Rock City empowered to evict participants. The most obvious of those is that the person presents a threat or has inflicted serious harm upon members of the community or presents a threat to the regional. There is no all-inclusive list of every thing that could constitute a bannable action, but a ban is such a serious thing that it is an action of last resort; the 007s recognize that a ban excludes an avatar from participating in any and all activities of the regional.
Recent (2023) changes in 007 procedures include that a 007 will be assigned as incident manager to coordinate the investigation and communication regarding the request for banning within 24 hours of an email being sent. All parties involved (the accuser / victim / perpetrator) in a request for banning will be also notified.
Not new this year, and repeating here for emphasis, 007s being called in does not mean that a ban is in progress. When 007s arrive on a scene, they FLAME the situation with a fresh perspective. Should the 007 team be unable to craft any other workable solution to the issue and they agree by consensus, that the only (or best) solution is banning from Burn2, the participant will be banned. If the 007 team is unable to come to a consensus, the Regional Coordinator (RC) will ask the Meta Regional Mediators at Burning Man to further FLAME and/or advise.