Handshake Code of Conduct

Handshake Code of Conduct

As every single person is a genuine and authorized Director of The Handshake Project, it is our responsibility to conduct ourselves accordingly — we are principled, transparent, and of good moral character. The Code of Conduct exists to help guide the actions and integrity of each Director of Handshake.


Name squatting

Directors should honor and protect the ownership of others’ names by not supporting or engaging in the purchase of registered trademarks, brands, or individuals’ personal full names with the intent of selling the names for profit. Name squatting is a form of extortion, is prohibited by the Namer Community, and may result in the blacklisting of said names. Directors are encouraged to research local and international registered trademarks and brands prior to acquiring names.

Name gifting

Directors are encouraged to register the names of friends, family, and acquaintances with the express intention of gifting. However, Directors should avoid pestering giftees to claim their names as they are under no obligation to accept gifted names. Organizations often eschew gift attempts of trademarked and branded domains. Directors who hold such names can relinquish their trademarked and branded names to hnsnameclaim.com for organizations to claim.


Directors should register Handshake names that are free of another person’s or organization’s name, trademark, or brand for the purpose of impersonation, defamation, or slander. The use of names to suggest a non-existing endorsement should be avoided.

Egregious names

Directors should not register or support the selling or usage of names related to: child sexual abuse materials, illegal distribution of opioids, human trafficking, or specific and credible incitements to violence. Underlying these is the physical and often irreversible threat to human life. If you have come across a distressing Handshake name or website, please report it to any Directors who have signed this Code of Conduct below.

Shill bidding

Directors should only place bids on names they have the intention of winning. Directors should avoid placing bids on names with the intention of increasing burn.


Disagreements with other Directors

If disagreements arise, Directors should seek to first understand the others’ viewpoints before being understood. In moments of strong disagreement, Directors should "agree to disagree", stay focused on the goals of the Handshake project, and move on to address shared needs and opportunities. If a comment is phrased in a way that might be misinterpreted, assume the best of intentions and ask for clarification of the statement. Directors should never resort to ad hominem attacks (when one attacks the person, their motives, or qualifications rather than the idea they are presenting), which are never tolerated. Treat others with respect, dignity, and fairness.

Interacting with other communities

Handshake is an open protocol and an inclusive community. Directors should welcome and seek to work together with other communities. If other communities are putting down the Handshake community's projects and efforts, Directors should not retaliate with negativity and seek to understand or ignore. If a Director is seen putting down other communities’ projects and efforts, Directors should seek to help the Director see other communities in a positive light. “It takes at least three positive interactions to outweigh one negative interaction.”


Directors should protect an individual’s or organization’s private and personal information. Directors should act to prevent the dissemination of private information such as full name, birth date, address, and any other information that is deemed sufficient to identify specific person(s), regardless of intent.