I don’t know how anyone can pretend the internet is a place of intellectual freedom. It is quite often merely a virtual echo chamber for liberal opinion. Reddit acted like the EPA and censored Global Warming disbelievers. More recently Mozilla’s treatment of their now ex-CEO, because he contributed to a traditional marriage campaign in California, was atrocious.
Now we find out how arbitrary and intolerant Kickstarter can be.
Phelin McAleer writes in the New York Post:
I was really, really happy when Kickstarter came on the scene. The crowd-funding Web site offered the opportunity for struggling artists and filmmakers to bypass corporate, union or not-for-profit funders and their agendas and interests.
Kickstarter was set up to allow us to put up a pitch — go directly to the public; if people liked it, they could fund it with small donations.
And it worked like a dream. For my last film, the pro-fracking documentary “FrackNation,” 3,305 people gave $212,000 to make it happen.
But that changed when McAleer attempted to get investors for a Kermit Gosnell movie. Despite repeated promises that Kickstarter would allow “very diverse ideas,” the website obstructed McAleer and claimed his project description violated the standards of the website.
First, they delayed.
Then Kickstarter wrote to tell us that it “couldn’t” go ahead with our posting — first, we needed to remove our (utterly factual) descriptions of “thousands of babies murdered” in order to “comply with the spirit” of the site’s “community guidelines.”
This was shocking — and even more so when I looked at which projects don’t violate those standards.
One project about a serial killer had a photograph of a dead body. There were 43 about rape, 28 with the F-word in the title or project description and one with the “C” word. There was even one called “Fist of Jesus” (don’t ask).
It seems the Kickstarter “community guidelines” don’t respect traditional sentiments — indeed, those are the ones that raise red flags.
Appalled by the double standard, we immediately pulled our project from Kickstarter and put it up on the rival site Indiegogo. The next day, after getting media inquiries about its censorship, the Kickstarter folks sent us a non-acceptance “acceptance” that noted pointedly that they reserved the right to take our project down at any time if our updates upset them. No, thanks.
It’s clear that “community guidelines” are just a cover to allow the Kickstarter insiders to censor and ban opinions they don’t like. So much for [Kickstarter CEO] Strickler’s “very diverse ideas” claim: The first time they actually encountered a truly different viewpoint, their instinct was to censor and threaten.
I fully believe our ruling class plans to use the internet the way the government uses the mainstream media—as a pretend neutral forum to operate as a platform for statist propaganda. I don’t think they have succeeded yet, but we need to stay aware that Silicon Valley and the world of internet startups is dominated by totalitarian statists and people who have no conception of what it means to tolerate diverse viewpoints. It is simply not something they can even understand, let alone practice with any kind of consistency.
So when some authority makes a move to begin regulating social media, they already have an army of compliant fools on their side, embedded in the industry.