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Banned From Kickstarter For Being Cyberstalked

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the you-are-responsible-for-the-actions-of-everybody dept.

The Internet 382

An anonymous reader writes "Rachel Marone has been a victim of cyberstalking for over 10 years. In 2011, she had a project on Kickstarter shut down because of the high volume of spam posted by the stalker in the comment section of the project. Recently, Marone's manager spoke to Kickstarter again to see how she could avoid having a new project banned if the cyberstalker showed up again. They replied, 'If there is any chance that Rachel will receive spam from a stalker on her project, she should not create one. We simply cannot allow a project to become a forum for rampant spam, as her past project became. If this happens again, we will need to discard the project and permanently suspend Rachel's account.' On her website, Marone sums up the situation thus: 'I am being told that I cannot crowdfund because I am a stalking victim. ... With so many women being stalking targets this does not seem reasonable to me.'"

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382 comments

With all due respect... (4, Insightful)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about 2 years ago | (#39684561)

While I hate to resort to tit-for-tat tactics, the obvious answer here is to spam all the founders' accounts.

Because, quite simply, that's 100% undiluted B.S.

Re:With all due respect... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684703)

I was thinking, "What a great opportunity to help the world out... run her project, and use the comments to help track down the shitbag that's stalking her by turning over the server logs and everything you collect on a Kickstarter user." Way to turn a pr boost into a bad repuation, Kickstarter. :p

Re:With all due respect... (5, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | about 2 years ago | (#39684793)

A single stalker can shutdown a project because of spam? Either it's a false story or kickstarter has a crappy system.

If it's really true I'm sure 4chan and gang might have a fun time shutting down ALL the kickstarter projects.

Re:With all due respect... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684943)

That may be the best option. If you show how easy the system is to abuse, they'll have no choice but to change the system.

Re:With all due respect... (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#39684945)

It's easy for an individual with enough time on their hands to create multiple accounts and spam away. Use proxies, cafes, Wifi and Tor to avoid IP bans. It's the price of online freedom.

Re:With all due respect... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684807)

There is a really long thread on reddit.
http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/s97g4/banned_from_kickstarter_for_being_a_stalking/

I was pretty mad at first. A little more reading and now I think they did the right thing.

Re:With all due respect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684861)

tit-for-tat tactics

tit-for-tat
tit-for
tit


Oh my.... you crafty SOB you.

In Soviet Russia.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684565)

In Soviet Russia spammers ban you!

And if it weren't enough (5, Funny)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#39684569)

Now she got Slashdotted too.

Interesting: marketing. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684663)

Now she got Slashdotted too.

Isn't that interesting?

Looking at her websites and everything, she looks like one of those artsy people that would benefit incredibly from exposure. Actually, anyone doing any sort of business on the net needs exposure to get noticed.

Over the last decade, I've become extremely cynical about things like this.

If she were really getting threats and people were posting illegal things like child pornography as she said, then the cops would be involved to go after this guy and take him out. But no. Things are continuing for some reason and here she is getting all this free publicity and hits on her website.

Read up on any of the "Gorilla Marketing" [amazon.com] type of books out there and you too will become cynical of any sort of public exposure.

From her website:

In my How Facebook Deleted My Ass article I discussed how my account was deleted because I was accused of impersonating myself.

. I don't consider FB to be that credible either, but then again, I wonder what made them come to that conclusion?

And if she is in fact truly being stalked, I blame the marketing people of the World for making public exposure of any sort a cheap way to market products, services, people, art, etc ...

After all, we do live in a World where people actually burn themselves to death to bring attention to issues. [usatoday.com] What's a little cyber-stalking?

Re:Interesting: marketing. (5, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 years ago | (#39684871)

This is really #1 question mark that pops up upon reading the story. Why is she not going to police with this? If it's such a clear cut case of long term stalking as she claims, it should be a no brainer to get police to look into it.
This has a strong whiff of publicity stunt. She claims he's openly sending child pornography to multiple people and that "police/FBI won't investigate". Now I don't know where she lives, but considering current hysteria in the West about child pornography, I find this very hard to believe.

Also, reading the stuff on the other site, she appears to actively engage in conversations with this stalker on her own. Very strange considering that police would recommend to not engage in any contact with such a stalker.

This stinks of something big and important to the whole picture is being intentionally obfuscated by complaining party.

Re:Interesting: marketing. (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#39684983)

She claims he's openly sending child pornography to multiple people and that "police/FBI won't investigate".

From the story:

The police say that he is "good at what he does."

That doesn't tell me they didn't investigate, it tells me they looked into it and found no leads because he was decent at 'covering his tracks'.

Your comment doesn't connect the dots for me, sorry.

Re:Interesting: marketing. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684997)

A _tiny_ bit of reading, like following a link from the article, would bring you to a page where Ms Marone elaborates on these points which so troubled you that you and the GP felt that the only thing you could do was cast aspersions before availing yourself of more information.

Re:Interesting: marketing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684987)

This feels like the reddit suicide story yesterday. The only source is her blog, and brief googling turns up nothing from kickstarter about this.
Also, this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3840589

First they came for the women (0, Offtopic)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 2 years ago | (#39684575)

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a woman.

Then they came for the project managers,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't an project manager.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Re:First they came for the women (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684627)

Hey I have a guy that follows me around and vandalizes the building I live in. Can I stay at your place?

Re:First they came for the women (5, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 2 years ago | (#39684659)

People who avoid victims because they don't want to deal with the fallout are the worst kind of cowards. And in your hypothetical situation the answer is easy - just like in this situation with kickstarter.

What the people running the service have done is send a world wide message that anyone can control their service by destroying projects at will.

Of course they will back track very soon. They'll have to, but the mind reels trying to figure out how they did not see this correctly in the first place.

Re:First they came for the women (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684845)

kidding right? you are trying to say it is bad being a coward? i am coward and proud of it, also hawe in mind that we cowards tend to live longer and spend less time in jail

Re:First they came for the women (4, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 years ago | (#39684907)

I don't mean to be an ass, but that's a natural survival instinct. You don't get into the fight between people you don't know unless you see with absolute certainty that one is a victim. And even then, things are often not as they would seem from the first glance.

That's what police is for in modern society. If you can stop the immediate fight, do it, but get authorities involved. Not yourself. Which is what the site in question did, it stopped the immediate fight by banning the account and informed the known active party (note that she actively participated in those spam threads) that this behaviour will be stopped and that she should not engage in it again if she doesn't want that fight being stopped by banning again.

I honestly don't see anything done wrong. Sure, if it's really as bad as the woman says, it's terrible for her and she should go to the police and really file a complaint with copies of "child porn and infant rape fantasies" she claims she's being sent. But it's not other people's job to take significant commercial losses because she chooses to take the fight to their shop. They also have a right to conduct business without such fights

Re:First they came for the women (4, Interesting)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#39684783)

Hey I have a guy that follows me around and vandalizes the building I live in. Can I stay at your place?

Sure. I live in Texas. We have the Castle Doctrine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_doctrine [wikipedia.org] I own several guns. Bring chips.


Note that arrest is also possible.

Re:First they came for the women (2)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about 2 years ago | (#39684905)

With an average [statemaster.com] death rate compared with other states, the Castle Doctrine doesn't appear to be making much of difference.

Nice law though - invite someone into your home, and blow their head off. Claim they had broken in. Profit!

Re:First they came for the women (5, Funny)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 2 years ago | (#39684927)

Sure. I live in Texas.

Cool

I own several guns.

That was assumed from the previous statement. In fact I thought it was mandatory.

Re:First they came for the women (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about 2 years ago | (#39684803)

Just because you wouldn't do that doesn't mean there are those who would extend hospitality to friends and acquaintances in need.

Re:First they came for the women (2)

trancemission (823050) | about 2 years ago | (#39684639)

No mod points at the min - so will ask a question :)

Is this taken from another quote? [please excuse my ignorance - am genuinely interested]

Re:First they came for the women (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684701)

First they came for the communists,
        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

        Then they came for the trade unionists,
        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews,
        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

        Then they came for me
        and there was no one left to speak out for me.

--Martin Niemöller

Re:First they came for the women (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684779)

On the plus side, we got rid of all those communists and jews.

Sony DRM Footsteps Poem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684969)

One night I dreamed I was sitting in front of my computer next to Sony.
Many scenes of past contact with Sony products flickered across the screen.
In most scenes I noticed some form of DRM helping me managing my digital rights,
but in some there appeared to be none at all.

This bothered me because I couldn't understand why Sony wouldn't care for some of its intellectual properties.
Especially music CDs seemed to be completely unprotected. So I said to Sony,

"You promised me, that if I bought your products, you would always help me protect my digital rights.
But I have noticed that especially IP in dire need of protection, like music CDs, has had no protection at all.
Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?"

Sony replied, "The times when you didn't notice any kind of DRM, my child, is when I rootkited you."

Re:First they came for the women (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#39684949)

Yes and no... It comes from a 1955 book about the rise of and life under the Nazi's.

Wikipedia has a decent [wikipedia.org] if superficial article on the phrase.

The solution is simple. (3, Insightful)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#39684583)

The solution is clear, start posting high volumes of messages on all the other projects for supporting kickstarter, an organization that clearly supports 'cyber bullying'. I would imagine that after a significant amount of projects have been shut down, they'd turn around and actually fix the problem properly.

Re:The solution is simple. (2)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 2 years ago | (#39684827)

The solution is for the people/groups with kickstarter projects to suspend operations until the problem is fixed properly. You can't fight dick moves with dick moves without becoming a dick. Kickstarter's policy of punishing the victim is absurd and it shouldn't take much to point them in the right direction.

Re:The solution is simple. (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#39684831)

The solution is clear, start posting high volumes of messages on all the other projects for supporting kickstarter, an organization that clearly supports 'cyber bullying

No, it is quite clear that they do not support cyber bullying, by refusing to provide a venue for it to continue in.

Bullying them into accommodating the cyberstalker seems to me to be counterproductive. Working to stop the stalker might be more helpful for the victim, who could then cease being a victim and move on.

But it's so nice to have someone to be outraged on behalf of, isn't it?

Re:The solution is simple. (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#39684873)

No, it is quite clear that they do not support cyber bullying, by refusing to provide a venue for it to continue in.

It's clear they support it by allowing a stalker/bully to essentially prevent them from being able to do things any other person is able to.

Bullying them into accommodating the cyberstalker seems to me to be counterproductive.

It's clear this is the language the company understands, they give into this sort of thing, so use the same methodology to either force them give back the project because it's causing more problems by removing it or they will find another solution which doesn't rely on giving into a stalker/bully 'winning'.

But it's so nice to have someone to be outraged on behalf of, isn't it?

What?

typical female rational (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684585)

"i represent an unbearable burden on some system and am upset that they won't accomidate me"

Re:typical female rational (5, Insightful)

GabriellaKat (748072) | about 2 years ago | (#39684621)

"i represent an unbearable burden on some system and am upset that they won't accomidate me"

You're an idiot and should be kicked in the nuts.

Re:typical female rational (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684743)

You're an idiot and should be kicked in the cunt.

Re:typical female rational (1)

Toad-san (64810) | about 2 years ago | (#39684751)

I see. And the stalker who's actually doing all the spamming? Gets away free, right?

Oh yeah, that's fair.

Screw kickstarters and go somewhere else, or assume an alias.

Re:typical female rational (4, Insightful)

redelm (54142) | about 2 years ago | (#39684761)

I don't know how "typical"/common-to-type, but I too smell a whiner. 10 years of cyberstalking isn't harassment, it is symbiosis. "Co-dependency" in PC-speak. I find it beyond incredible that a computer-savvy person would be stalked that long without identification and intervention by law enforcement.

OTOH, any site that complains of spamming needs to require registration or grow a pair. The cost of allowing anon is some spam tolerence, or filters of some sort. Banning positive contributors (is she?) enters the death spiral -- rewarding bad behaviour.

Re:typical female rational (5, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 years ago | (#39684931)

She makes claims that "police say he's too good for them and FBI won't investigate". Something I personally find very hard to believe considering she's claiming that he's systemically sending "her and hundreds of other victims child porn and infant rape fantasies".

Someone who doesn't fuck up when massively sending crap like that to hundreds of recipients for a decade? That's inhuman. And on top of the cake, her letters with the moderators clearly state that she actively talked to this stalker on their site.

Re:typical female rational (5, Interesting)

qwijibo (101731) | about 2 years ago | (#39684939)

I find it completely credible that stalking could go on for a long time and that law enforcement wouldn't help at all. Many years ago my girlfriend had a stalker. He was leaving weird messages on her car at home and at work and showed signs of escalating like messages on her bedroom window, which was in the back of the house. We went to the police with the notes, a summary of when and where things had been done as well as the text of the law against stalking and they refused to take a report. Her employer didn't like someone coming on to their property to harass an employee, so they had one of their attorneys do all of the paperwork and force the police to take a report. The guy was identified and convicted of stalking. Stalking is ignored by law enforcement until after the victim is raped or killed, then it can be used as evidence of pre-meditation.

Re:typical female rational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684875)

Perhaps we can crowdsource this project.

Re:typical female rational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684885)

"i represent an unbearable burden on some system and am upset that they won't accomidate me"

You're an idiot and should be kicked in the nuts.

Rationale*, I*, Accommodate*

Come back next week when we learn how to spell cat!

Re:typical female rational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684753)

So, I hear what you are asking for. You are asking for a digital equivalent of the USAs ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act that prevents sites from reducing the service level to people who bring with them a burden that they didn't ask for and must live with, right?

Re:typical female rational (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#39684809)

"i represent an unbelievable PR opportunity to kickstarter in catching a criminal, and am surprised they are lazy"

Actually, not that surprised.

Perhaps her time would be better spent ... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684597)

Perhaps her time would be better spent solving her stalking problem?

Re:Perhaps her time would be better spent ... (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#39684677)

Indeed. It is up to the police and judicial system to stop her stalkers, not her employer to accommodate it continuing.
It's not like she hasn't been given time by her employer already, but at some point they have to put the foot down and say "no more".

Yes, she's a victim. But she also seems unwilling to or incapable of leaving the role of a victim. I hope I am wrong, and that she pursues justice with as much vigor as the stalker pursues her, and that in 2012, the stalking will end.

Re:Perhaps her time would be better spent ... (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#39684705)

not her employer to accommodate it continuing.

Kickstarter isn't an employer, what are you talking about?

Re:Perhaps her time would be better spent ... (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#39684887)

Apologies for any confusion this might have caused.

"Employer" has many meanings - it's not just the person who pays your wages or salary, but also who provides you with an opportunity to or facilities for doing the work, or supervises it.

Those who use my software are in one sense my employers, and when I work on a project under the umbrella of a distro, they are in many ways my employer, for lack of a better word. They can request and OK my work, and certainly should supervise it.
And stop accommodating me if I waste their time and resources.

Is there a better word than "employer"? Probably - I may just have a brain fart here.

Re:Perhaps her time would be better spent ... (1)

fafaforza (248976) | about 2 years ago | (#39684805)

But it seems like kickstarter has a service that's vulnerable to a fairly simple attack. Unless this stalker controls a huge botnet, how much spam posts can he really make on their forum? Why not let her moderate her forum to see if it gets out of hand?

And don't they have any sort of anti-abuse systems? Limit posts per day. Wait X minutes before another post. Per user limits. Per IP limits. Captchas. Moderated sub-forum that requires posts to be allowed. There are quite a number of options.

Re:Perhaps her time would be better spent ... (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 years ago | (#39684879)

Unless this stalker controls a huge botnet, how much spam posts can he really make on their forum?

Do not underestimate the obsessive. Example, one dutch woman stalked a guy and called him 65000 times in a year [go.com] :

"A look at the statistical breakdown of the woman’s phone-calling habits sheds light on the multiple cellphones seized in the raid of her home.
To reach 65,000 calls, the woman had to have called 178 times a day. That’s nearly eight calls an hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week or one phone call every eight minutes, without ever stopping."

Re:Perhaps her time would be better spent ... (1)

fafaforza (248976) | about 2 years ago | (#39684995)

Kickstarter should view this as a chance to build up their defenses, if the spam flood comes. When will they get around to doing that, when they've grown large, about to issue an IPO, or sell to someone? It seems to me that they're sticking their heads in the sand a bit in this instance.

down (0)

Frankiezzz (2001558) | about 2 years ago | (#39684605)

her site is down, slashdotted.
This story was on Digg and Reddit last night, too.
Spread it even more, contact Kickstarter, shame the hell out of them, plenty of negative publicity.

Re:down (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#39684719)

Ah, the crowd mind. It never ceases to boggle the mind how the sum of us can be so more stupid than any individual.

If you want to contact someone, contact the police and politicians, who are in a position to get the stalking stopped.

Instead the hive mind wants Kickstarter to accommodate the stalker. How clever.

Re:down (1)

fafaforza (248976) | about 2 years ago | (#39684823)

And who's going to sit down with local PD detectives and spend 2 hours explaining to them how anyone can send an email as billclinton@whitehouse.gov and not actually be the former president?

Re:down (3, Interesting)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 years ago | (#39684825)

Instead the hive mind wants Kickstarter to accommodate the stalker. How clever.

No one want Kickstarter to accommodate the stalker. How about they put a little effort into blocking the spam ? What kind of internet startup can't deal with a spam problem ? Blaming the victim because your system isn't set up to deal with abuse is out of order.

Re:down (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#39684925)

Stalking isn't the same as spam, trust me.
Not jumping through hoops to do what a victim wants isn't blaming the victim.

Re:down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684857)

> Instead the hive mind wants Kickstarter to accommodate the stalker. How clever.

Hey, Arth... who says we the hive mind want "Kickstarter to accommodate the stalker"?

I f I'm received at your house for dinner and someone comes knocking the door to threaten me, well, it's your house. You're the owner and entitled to defend it -- not a visitor like me. And no, it's no solution to push me outside so the stalker can go with what is wanted (btw, this would be very coward, like others say).

Calling the Police, like you suggest, is a great idea -- but again not the visitor's job but the house owner's. Kickstarter has to solve the problem, if not out of moral responsibility, at least for savvy management: who will be stupid enough to make new deals with such cowards?

Now, I could call you stupid, too, for misreading the "hive mind" and for braindamaged ideas. But I wonder if you aren't already doing great in that department...

Re:down (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#39684955)

I f I'm received at your house for dinner and someone comes knocking the door to threaten me, well, it's your house. You're the owner and entitled to defend it -- not a visitor like me. And no, it's no solution to push me outside so the stalker can go with what is wanted (btw, this would be very coward, like others say).>/quote>
Not inviting you a second time unless you have had the problem taken care of seems to me to be a sensible thing to do. And what Kickstarter did.

And not inviting you ever again, problem solved or not, if you weren't upfront about the danger to my home the first time around. Kickstarter hasn't been that uncompromising. I would be.

Banned from Facebook too (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684611)

According to her she was banned by Facebook too. Methinks there is more behind this story.

kickstarter - run by brogrammers? (2, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | about 2 years ago | (#39684619)

the inability to comprehend the situation and the lack of enthusiasm in dealing with it in a forthright and efficient manner speaks volumes about kickstarters management culture. they sound like a bunch of incompetent buffoons.

Re:kickstarter - run by brogrammers? (1)

alphatel (1450715) | about 2 years ago | (#39684687)

Seriously, monitoring spam, tracking abuse, and permanently banning the stalker is such a bothersome task? Rachel could easily take KS to court for allowing predatory behavior. That'll put a serious spin on their own stupidity.

Re:kickstarter - run by brogrammers? (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | about 2 years ago | (#39684909)

You're assuming the some legal recourse is possible. Most stalking laws don't have cover Spam like conduct they Threats of Violence and safty. In KS in perticular

Intentionally or recklessly engaging in a course of conduct targeted at a specific person which would cause a reasonable person in the circumstances of the targeted person to fear for such person's safety, or the safety of a member of such person's immediate family and the targeted person is actually placed in such fear

See 21-3438 [ks.gov]

So unless the Spam Harrasment is threatening physical violence you need to perform a hat trick to get any legal action unless the harassment is physical violence.

What does being a woman have to with it? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684635)

Is this the feminist version of the "think of the children" cry?

Blame Game (5, Insightful)

PastBlast (2617971) | about 2 years ago | (#39684647)

Don't blame the website for not wanting to put up with your baggage. Blame the stalker. Take legal matters in your own hands and go after him/her.

Re:Blame Game (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684669)

Sounds great, maybe she should sue the people who are blaming her for things she can not handle herself. Maybe by allowing a setting for only "verified accounts" to post. this is such a trivial build item that one has to wonder what is wrong with KickStarter.. and by extension, you.

Re:Blame Game (2)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#39684681)

Don't blame the website for not wanting to put up with your baggage. Blame the stalker. Take legal matters in your own hands and go after him/her.

Since you are clearly informed on this situation. I would ask you a question of "how?", considering the article mentions she had been in contact with the FBI who had bigger things to deal with and the police who claim this person is good at what he does.

I await your detailed response that she is perfectly capable of doing and getting a 100% success rate as your initial post implies.

Re:Blame Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684695)

Since you need to be a backer to post comments to Kickstart-pages, couldn't she get the stalkers details that way?

Re:Blame Game (1, Insightful)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#39684771)

Since you need to be a backer to post comments to Kickstart-pages, couldn't she get the stalkers details that way?

Going to make an assumption here, since she's made it clear that his identity is not known. It gets traced to a pre-paid credit card that has no actual real name or real address assigned to it (or even worse, someone else's real life details without verification required on these cards), useful details?

Re:Blame Game (1)

GabriellaKat (748072) | about 2 years ago | (#39684749)

Don't blame the website for not wanting to put up with your baggage. Blame the stalker. Take legal matters in your own hands and go after him/her.

Its not HER FAULT. Anyone can stalk a person online or real life for whatever fucking twisted reason is going on in their head. Hell, you can even do it here and mod people down, etc. And taking matters to the law doesnt solve anything. They can just do it AC online. This is a site programming issue and should have been addressed as such. By their words and lack of fucking action all they are doing is "Slut Shaming" her and it has rightly backfired.

Re:Blame Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684829)

This isn't slut-shaming on Kickstarter's behalf, but it is still total crap of them to blame the victim as they have. They could easily attempt to stop this, and probably do so with a little bit of work, but instead they decide to get lazy and punish her for being stalked.

Re:Blame Game (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 2 years ago | (#39684843)

Don't blame the website for not wanting to put up with your baggage. Blame the stalker. Take legal matters in your own hands and go after him/her.

And while she does that she's supposed to put her whole life on hold ? The wheels of justice don't turn that fast.

Why must there be comments? (2)

Mirvnillith (578191) | about 2 years ago | (#39684657)

Why can't Kickstarter allow for projects to disable comments?

Re:Why must there be comments? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684715)

I could see allowing comments as a way of giving accountability to projects. If, for example, someone failed to deliver on a project, being able to comment would be very helpful.

Kickstarts admin are idiots (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684675)

This can lead to complete abuse (being able to shut down basically any and all projects at will) leading to the destruction of kickstarter. A simple solution would be to tie accounts to bank accounts/credit cards or whatnot, and have it verified by charging something like $0.35 (deal with transaction fee). That makes both the act of creating accounts and having accounts banned much more costly. Since this is a crowd funding program, this wouldn't be too much of a burden for the users are they will be dealing with money anyways.

Appalling, but not actually surprising. (4, Interesting)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | about 2 years ago | (#39684685)

This is absolutely ridiculous. I'm simply appalled that they would even SAY THAT. I'm not really that surprised though, as I've been on the receiving end of Kickstarter's questionable behavior as well.

I submitted a Kickstarter for a generic USBHID interface board (For making game controllers and input devices, though it really had tons of applications) and they rejected it for no reason. When pressed for an explanation, they said "Kickstarter is for creative arts projects and [my] project did not fit."

So, I guess having a DOZEN Kickstarters for Arduino clones going at any given time is okay, but if someone wants to make something that hasn't been run into the ground yet, fuck 'em! I mean, wow! I was only trying to get $500 together!

Re:Appalling, but not actually surprising. (1)

Windwraith (932426) | about 2 years ago | (#39684787)

God d*mn, man. That DOES suck, a lot.
For the record, I *can* think of a lot of uses for such a board (I want to power-mod my cheap android WM8650 tablet, and that's exactly what I need!). I would have donated. I'd love to know if you are able to get it up. I am not in a position for hefty donations but I sure will try to help, or purchase the end product.

Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684713)

Maybe -just maybe- Kickstarter suspects but can't prove some commercial link between Marone and "her stalker". Having "a manager" talking to Kickstarter raised the red flag.

A change of ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684725)

Creating a company and Kickstarting the project in the name of the company could be an alternative. You already see this is done by many projects on Kickstarter. The person's name could be revealed only on the video, when the project time is completed for Kickstarter, or only available for those sponsor the project.

Women card... Tanuki's law: She lost. (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 2 years ago | (#39684727)

With so many women being stalking targets

Kickstarter, throw her out, whether she deserves it, or not.

It's her own fault (3, Insightful)

kegon (766647) | about 2 years ago | (#39684733)

While I think that Kickstarter could have handled it better; read the article on her website.

She got spam comments and she replied to them. She claims that she was being stalked and she recognised the stalker: why reply ? Just report them. You're not supposed to feed trolls.

It is clear the reason she got kicked off because she got interacted with the spammer and was part of the problem.

And WTF is a "transmedia artist" ? She uses various media, multimedia ?

Re:It's her own fault (5, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#39684839)

And WTF is a "transmedia artist" ? She uses various media, multimedia ?

She is a painter trapped in the body of a sculptor?

For all (2)

tenverras (855530) | about 2 years ago | (#39684741)

I know kickstarter is going to get a lot of negative feelings about this, but I can't blame them for their decision. Look at all the crazy lawsuits that happen and succeed... such as a person suing the owner of the house they are robbing, after they injure themselves during the crime... there is a chance that if they allowed a project to go forward, knowing that it could provide a new forum for cyberstalking against someone with a long history or it, then kickstarter risks a liability lawsuit.

This isn't discrimination, it's just declining to serve a customer (which a businesses has every right to do) for a reason that has some merit to it. They don't want to be part of a bad situation and don't want to risk involvement or any form of responsibility for it. It sucks, but it's not unreasonable

The 1st Amendment is being abused (-1, Flamebait)

hessian (467078) | about 2 years ago | (#39684763)

Stalking is not a right.

If she's been stalked for ten years, and our enlightened law enforcement can't do anything about it, we need to get less "enlightened."

Stalkers will steal your life away. It's abuse of the first amendment to insist that people have a right to express themselves in destructive ways. Stalking is one of those ways, child porn is another.

Let's start yanking citizenship for these mentally defective stalkers and pedophiles and instead send them to another continent. Maybe another society is short on insane predatory parasites and needs more.

I don't want to live in this world anymore. (1, Insightful)

chr1st1anSoldier (2598085) | about 2 years ago | (#39684775)

Seriously, I don't see what Rachel has done wrong here. The world sucks when a person is punished for being the victim of someone's insanity, insecurity, and inability to cope with the real world. When I read about incidents like this I don't want to live in this world anymore.

What's kickstarter and why do I care? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684791)

Also who the fuck is this whiny bitch? Oh and here is a solution for "cyberstalking". If you really don't want "cyberstalked"? Unplug the fucking computer from the internet.

Re:What's kickstarter and why do I care? (4, Funny)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#39684811)

Unplug the fucking computer from the internet.

I can't, it's wireless!

Re:What's kickstarter and why do I care? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684869)

How about you unplug your head from your asshole then?

Re:What's kickstarter and why do I care? (2)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#39684895)

How about you unplug your head from your asshole then?

Wow, so tense, bro. Clearly you've never heard of this thing called "humor".

Here is a relevant posting by the "victim" (5, Informative)

thrift24 (683443) | about 2 years ago | (#39684891)

As you all know I have a rockin' tight ass, a successful project on Kickstarter that you've all funded, and a cyberstalker that goes by the name of FrankSinatraDirtyTalker1915@comcast.net.
I originally met "Frank" back in College, where we dated for a bit. I should point out that he's not an old man, as his username might imply, but rather someone who is simply obsessed with Frank Sinatra and my gorgeous rockin hard ass.
Anyway, when I broke up with him he took it pretty badly. It was our Sophomore year at Rice University and I had just discovered gravity bongs and going down on another girl while blazed out of my gord. As I've admitted, these were confusing albeit fun times for me.
Meanwhile, "Frank" was raised as a Mormon but had recently converted to Scientology. I guess you might say he was experimenting with his own hallucinogenic homoerotic drug. This drug/sex/cult cocktail, combined with my round pulchritudinous derriere, and the sudden shock of losing his ability to play his daily role of dressing up as Dr. Parnassus while gently fondling my perky nipples and supple breasts that he had affectionately named the Merry Mammary Sisters of Nippopolis, and Queens of the Breastiary - led to Frank's complete mental breakdown.
I don't blame Frank for my rockin body, just as I don't blame you for being attracted to my intelligence and funding my project on Kickstarter. However, what I do not like is being stalked. I hope you all do what I do when you see Frank's messages on any thread related to my project. Just lick your index finger, point it at Frank's username and then say, "Ooooooooooooo ICE COLD! Mama thinks you're a BAAAAD BOYYYY! OOOOOO Ice Cold..." then point the same finger back at your left nipple and make a sizzling sound "SSSSSssssssssssss" and sing this little rap
Thank you all again for funding my project on Kickstarter. You're clearly invested in a winner!

also relevant:
http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3840589 [ycombinator.com]

The Reddit comments have more info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684893)

http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/s97g4/banned_from_kickstarter_for_being_a_stalking/

Justification on the part of the website (1)

D. Book (534411) | about 2 years ago | (#39684901)

My first impression of the situation described in the summary is it sounds somewhat similar to a web host shutting down a user's account because their site was a magnet for DDoS attacks - a response which would be uncontroversial. Another analogy that comes to mind is the removal of users' comments in a discussion forum, following a legal threats to the site operator.

The fundamental similarity in all three circumstances seems to be the website operator not wanting to deal with a website user's "baggage", as an earlier poster here termed it. But the next question in my mind is what the differences are in the Kickstart case. Notwishtanding the fact that it's "their site, their rules", is there a point at which nature of the "baggage" may be trivial enough to deal with (e.g. a user being targeted by a spammer, rather than a DDoS botnet) that it's fair to criticise the website operator for being too ready to wash their hands of the victim?

Summary: We can't stop spam and our service sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684915)

Apparently. And there are no tools for project owners to deal with it or mitigate the problem. And we'll kick you if too much piles up.

Not a very useful service if there isn't some way to deal with a *very* common problem (the spam part, not the stalking part). Do they seriously not have a way to deal with unwanted/off-topic comments? No moderation system, or a way for the person who set up the project to control things? If the controls rely on them doing all the work, then they're doing it wrong.

Can you imagine what slashdot would be if there was no way to control the spam?

Blackmail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684935)

I'm gonna go shutdown Wasteland 2. Pay me $500 and I won't.

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