Kickstarter Says It Was Wrong About ‘Above The Game’ Campaign, Bans Future ‘Seduction Guides’

Kickstarter just published a blog post offering its take on a controversial campaign to fund a book called Above the Game: A Guide To Getting Awesome With Women.

The title of the post, “We were wrong,” makes the company’s position pretty clear. What was so bad about the campaign? Well, comedian Casey Malone had a pretty damning blog post about it — Malone basically quoted the parts of the guide that have already been published on Reddit, with tips like:

Decide that you’re going to sit in a position where you can rub her leg and back. Physically pick her up and sit her on your lap. Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances. …

Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.

(The author Ken Hoinsky has said the quotes were taken out of context, and that he was just saying, “Don’t wait for signs before you make your move,” not advocating for sexual assault.)

Kickstarter says it first saw Malone’s blog post, and the material that he was linking to, on Wednesday morning, and it found the content pretty offensive. But the company didn’t cancel the campaign, it says, because it only had two hours before it ended (“We’ve never acted to remove a project that quickly.”) and because Kickstarter has an obligation “to approach these investigations methodically as there is no margin for error in canceling a project.”

“These factors don’t excuse our decision but we hope they add clarity to how we arrived at it,” the post says. It goes on to say that material glorifying violence against women has always been prohibited, and that if Kickstarter had seen this material when the project was submitted (again, the offensive content was first posted on Reddit, not the actual Kickstarter page), it would never have been approved.

Despite the apology, Kickstarter says there’s no taking back the money after the campaign has been funded. However, it says it is banning any future “seduction guides” from the site, and it’s also donating $25,000 to the anti-sexual violence group RAINN.