Kickstarter announced today that it will now automatically hide from the public view of comments reported by creators until the Trust and Safety team has reviewed them and made a decision as to whether the comment should remain or be removed, in an effort to reduce the number of visible offensive comments on the platform.
Creators also now have the option to select a reason for reporting a comment when flagging it for review, which Kickstarter hopes will help the team address abuse more quickly. When revoking comment privileges, Kickstarter will provide donors with more specific information about when they can expect those privileges to be reinstated, it says.
“With this work, we are carefully taking care of the health of the entire system — creators should feel safe and donors should be able to voice questions and concerns,” Kickstarter said in its blog post outlining the changes.
While it’s valuable to hide potentially offensive comments from further review, there’s also the possibility that such a system itself could be abused if the reviews don’t happen quickly enough. An unscrupulous creator using the platform could use the reporting feature to at least temporarily hide their negative comments, or those who question the viability or safety of the project, while perhaps continuing to crowdfund.
To further improve security, Kickstarter said it will partner with the Kickstarter Community Advisory Council, which kicks off in May, and will consist of creators knowledgeable in a number of areas. Applications, which closed on April 6, were open to creators who had run at least one campaign and had an account for at least a year (and were in “good standing”). Members must commit to serve on the council for at least one year and attend all six two-hour meetings of the year. In return, members receive a $5,000 honorarium for the year. Kickstarter has not announced the members of this board yet.
The council will have “a special focus on helping us prioritize the development of new features that make the platform as useful, welcoming and inclusive as possible,” Kickstarter said. The council’s responsibilities also include providing input as the platform navigates its move to blockchain, a plan that sparked a stir late last year, especially when it came to concerns about the environmental impact of blockchain technology’s energy consumption.