Despite claiming otherwise, Kickstarter quietly removes projects

“Transparency is vital on Kickstarter.”

Or so says their FAQ. But if you look closely enough, Kickstarter isn’t living up to its own transparency promises.

It seems that Kickstarter has quietly removed several projects from its site, despite claiming that they never do this. Again, from their FAQ:

How long does a project remain on Kickstarter?

Forever! Projects are not closed or taken down, they remain on site for reference and transparency.

For the same reasons, projects cannot be deleted, even if they were canceled or unsuccessful. Please note that deleting your Kickstarter account will not delete your project.

But here’s the thing. Kickstarter has taken down several projects. The most recent example comes from Vinted Goods, a handbag company that raised more than $70,000 on Kickstarter. They’re claiming that Kickstarter suspended their campaign just 10 hours before it was scheduled to end.

Indeed, as I write this, the Vinted Goods Kickstarter page simply says:

Sorry, this project is no longer available.

Vinted Goods isn’t alone.

The Drone “DMND” Controller campaign from Evolution Controllers also says “Sorry, this project is no longer available.”

As does the ironically named F.I.N.A.O.= Failure is NEVER an option campaign.

And Gubble 3D: New Retro Maze Videogame.

In fact, if you search Google for Kickstarter projects containing “Sorry, this project is no longer available” it seems there are a small handful of projects that have been quietly removed.

If all Kickstarter projects “remain on site for reference and transparency” and if transparency really is vital at Kickstarter, I’d love to know where these project pages went.

Update 21 September 2012 09:50 CEST: Last night, a representative from Kickstarter reached out with this statement:

Like any site, Kickstarter removes content due to intellectual property disputes, inappropriate content, and Terms of Use violations.

Looking through archived versions of the projects Kickstarter removed, there’s definitely an undercurrent of IP disputes.