Crowdfunding super site Kickstarter has benefited from an excess of good will across the web. They may take a bit of a bruising then from allegations they banned transmedia artist Rachel Marone for–as The Next Web aptly puts it–“all the wrong reasons.” In a blog post published Saturday, Ms. Marone quoted an email from Kickstarter rep “Daniella” regarding the ban:
Throughout the duration of your project, Extreme Futurists, there was an incredible amount of comment spam that several members of Kickstarter staff removed on your behalf. It has come to our attention that this comment spam has persisted at an alarming rate, and that you have engaged in conversation with the spammer. There are now over 300 spam comments that include your own engagement on your project.
This kind of activity is not allowed on Kickstarter; it violates our community guidelines. For this reason, we are removing this project from the site as well as suspending your ability to create projects.
Ms. Marone noted that the cyberstalker in question has been after her for a decade and linked to a previous blog post in which she asked if there was a solution to cyberstalking.
Rachel Marone’s manager attempted to run interference with Kickstarter’s “Daniella” to no avail.
As The Next Web’s Robin Wauters points out, Ms. Marone has waited a full year before coming forward with her story–“Extreme Futurists” was posted on Kickstarter in April, 2011. Ms. Marone’s rationale for the delay makes some sense, though:
Thanks to everyone who is being supportive right now. I thought I would be harassed for speaking out against such a hip company.
— Rachel Marone (@rachel_marone) April 14, 2012
Kickstarter gave The Next Web a new statement regarding comment spam that appears to walk back their previous hard line expressed to Ms. Marone, saying in part:
Abuse is never tolerated on Kickstarter. Kickstarter’s moderators review any comment flagged by project creators and take whatever action is necessary, including banning or suspending an abusive user’s account. In the past year we’ve also made adjustments to the site’s functionality to limit trolls, restricting the ability to comment on a project to only its backers.
We work very hard to look out for our project creators and our community, and part of that means taking abusive behavior very seriously. Our response in this particular situation implied the opposite. We take full responsibility for that and apologize.
Regardless of the issues with Kickstarter, the show went on. Rachel Marone speaks at the opening in December, 2011, in the video below.