Skip to comments.Gosnell Filmmakers Quit Kickstarter, Claiming Censorship
Posted on 04/02/2014 2:50:58 PM PDT by Diago
Makers of a film on abortionist and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell say the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter singled out their project for special objections. They have ankled the massively popular platform in favor of another crowdfunding site.
Ann and Phelim Media have raised nearly $200,000 in five days on crowdfunding site Indiegogo for a planned movie about Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortionist who was convicted in 2013 on a host of charges including multiple illegal late-term abortions, hundreds of violations of Pennsylvanias informed-consent law, and three counts of murder. The movie will chronicle the man described by ABCs Terry Moran as the most successful serial killer in the history of the world, using stories lifted directly from trial documents. It will also describe the scant attention the establishment media gave to Gosnells killing spree until very late in the trial.
The filmmakers were going to use Kickstarter until they received an e-mail saying their project might upset community guidelines.
Kickstarter had previously helped producers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer raise over $200,000 for their documentary FrackNation. But the filmmakers say the crowdfunding company slow-walked their project once it learned about the topic. McAleer and McElhinney say Kickstarter did not respond to multiple e-mails for several days and finally responded with a request that the project video be amended before it could go live.
We ask that the phrase 1000s of babies stabbed to death and similar language be modified or removed from the project, a Kickstarter representative identified as George said in a March 27 e-mail to Ann and Phelim Media. We understand your convictions and the horror of this persons crimes, however we are a broad website used by millions of people. Our Community Guidelines outline that we encourage and enforce a culture of respect and consideration, and we ask that that language specifically be modified for those reasons.
Unbelievably, Kickstarter tried to censor us, McAleer tells National Review Online. They said we could only put the project on the site if we agreed not to upset the sensitivities of their community.
Kickstarter told McAleer phrases such as thousands of babies stabbed to death and thousands of babies murdered needed to go to comply with the spirit of our Community Guidelines.
In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler said, We viewed Kickstarter as a public trust. This is a place of opportunity for anyone to make their thing happen. And its our job to be the stewards of it and to honor it . . . a living breathing cultural institution thats there to represent the interests of everybody.
McAleer says the Gosnell project was singled out for these changes. He points to the Kickstarter campaign for a film project about the Swedish-American serial killer Belle Gunness, which he says had a picture of a dead body on the project page.
Other controversial Kickstarter projects that McAleer says received funding include:
Some of these projects were based on true stories, some were works of fiction, but all were allowed onto Kickstarter, says McAleer.
But Kickstarter has canceled projects it deemed offensive in the past. A project about cheat codes that shows men how to hook up with women at bars was canceled after bloggers revolted. Kickstarter wrote an apology for allowing the project. This led Kickstarter to amend their community guidelines by banning all seduction guides.
The project submission was accepted on Friday exactly how it was submitted for our review and the filmmakers are still welcome to launch the project on Kickstarter at any time, Kickstarter representative Justin Kazmark told National Review Online. Kickstarter is a platform open to projects from across the creative spectrum that represent an incredibly diverse array of topics and viewpoints. All projects are subject to the same set of community guidelines.
Joshua Encinias is an Agostinelli Fellow at National Review.
Update: This story has been updated to include a response from Kickstarter.
Actually it’s not censorship at all but political bias, and as others have pointed out, blacklisting.
I’m pretty sure this story is the first time I’ve ever seen the word ‘ankle’ used as a verb.
He certainly has an executive pardon coming from Obongo ... this guy probably is on The Blackhouse Christmas card list!
Seriously, yeah Kickstarter is a private company but their hypocrisy will give other fundraising sites, including those for sick children, a bad name. And if the movie makers were gay would kickstarter have to run their project description as described? After all, we already know you have to bake a cake at your private business for gay couples even if you don't want to. (I still can't understand why you would want to eat something someone was forced to prepare for you, when you could give the business to some one who thinks the same as you.)
Liberals decry the McCarthy era blacklisting of Communists while developing a similar blacklist of conservatives today.
“Thank you Captain Beside-the-Point-Obvious.” :^D
You forgot to add:
Do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with the facts before voicing an uneducated opinion.
The issue is not about censorship. This issue in this regard concerns a website which claims to support and serve individuals seeking to enlist financial donors to their film projects. Due to the topic of the documentary, the producers of the film were singled out under false claims. Claims which the producers qualified by showing Kickstarters bias as well as their hypocrisy.
Get a clue.
There is a political litmus test and we'd be fools not to speak out against the double standard.
I'm unable to find that comic fundraiser today, but I did find this one:
Clearly violent and bloody imagery is NOT prohibited in kickstarter campaigns, let alone names and images "offensive" to some peoples' beliefs.
You bring up a good point about "denial of services".
If a photographer declines to accept a potential client's same sex wedding (in a state that does not recognize same sex marriages, no less), could he survive claiming that it "goes against 'his' community standards" (which by evidence of Kickstarter, do not need to be explicitly stated, just vague references to being offensive)?
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