In a post published to the Kickstarter blog today, the New York-based crowdfunding platform wrote that it was “wrong” to allow a controversial dating book published by a Redditor to collect funded on Kickstarter. The book, which many have called a “rape manual,” included several passages that suggested men make unwanted advances on women, though its creator insists the quotes were taken out of context.
The book, to be published by Redditor Ken Hoinsky, raised over $16,000 on Kickstarter. Despite calling it “abhorrent,” Kickstarter initially declined to remove it, stating that “the material on Reddit did not warrant the irreversible action of canceling the project.”
Now, Kickstarter has admitted that the decision they made in haste and in the interest of not censoring creators was “wrong,” though the money has already changed hands and they cannot defund the project now that it’s already been funding. However, Kickstarter writes that from now on they will ban “seduction manuals” from being funded on the platform. They’ve also removed the project page, though you can still see a cached version.
According to Kickstarter’s post:
Let us be 100% clear: Content promoting or glorifying violence against women or anyone else has always been prohibited from Kickstarter. If a project page contains hateful or abusive material we don’t approve it in the first place. If we had seen this material when the project was submitted to Kickstarter (we didn’t), it never would have been approved. Kickstarter is committed to a culture of respect.
…we are prohibiting “seduction guides,” or anything similar, effective immediately. This material encourages misogynistic behavior and is inconsistent with our mission of funding creative works. These things do not belong on Kickstarter.
In the wake of their mistake, Kickstarter has also decided to donate $25,000 to RAINN, an anti-sexual violence organization, so at least something good came out of all this.