June 21, 2013 — Kickstarter today apologized for allowing a campaign on its site that raised more than $16,000 for a dating guide that included tips on how to sexually assault a woman. In a post titled simply, “We were wrong,” the company honestly addressed the mistakes it made, earnestly apologized, and explained actions it was taking to prevent a recurrence.
Kickstarter also announced that it was making a large donation to support victims of sexual violence, saying, “today Kickstarter will donate $25,000 to an anti-sexual violence organization called RAINN. It’s an excellent organization that combats exactly the sort of problems our inaction may have encouraged.”
Following Kickstarter’s apology, Scott Berkowitz, RAINN’s president, said "Glorifying sexual violence and giving advice on how to commit a sexual assault have no place in our society, online or off. We appreciate Kickstarter's apology and pledge of support for RAINN, and are glad that they are taking steps to ensure something like this doesn't happen again."
The campaign, by reddit writer Ken Hoinsky, came to light thanks to a petition created by DoSomething.org, which was signed by 60,000 people, and extensive coverage by blogger Casey Malone, Jezebel and others. Kickstarter hosted the campaign on its crowdfunding platform, but had no involvement in creating the offensive content.