“But IndieGoGo is the platform that allows freedom.” says Marcel Dupree, writer of Le Fay Volume 1, on twitter July 16, 2022 after he received a message from the IndieGoGo team that his funds were being held for a community guideline violation in his recent campaign.
Crowdfunding creators who use sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter enjoy the benefits and safety that are usually provided in the guidelines of campaigns. These same creators are raising funds for their campaigns and are coming across some issues with community guideline standards. Announced violations and questionable decision making on behalf of the crowdfunding management and support teams have created concern and displeasure from current independent content creators.
Comic writers such as Marcel Dupree and Venerella Volume 2 writer, Anthony Sica, have had their campaign funds withheld due to a violation that they have deemed questionable. Dupree took to twitter to shed some light on his supposed violation of “Graphically-Violent Content” and his followers had some mixed thoughts about the issue.
@IllegalAlienComixx replied to Dupree on July 17, 2022 stating “So my confusion is that you know Indiegogo doesn’t like this type of stuff on the campaign page. Don’t put it on and you will be fine. After that put a link to your own page to show more graphic content.” Dupree replied a few days later, “This was the first time they complained. This is new, I’ve had a campaign with those same pages and it was okay.”
Dupree seems to be just as confused as his followers since he has had the same pages accepted by crowdfunding sites before. He is not the only one experiencing obstructions from his campaign. Anthony Sica posted to twitter back in March 2022, “Venerella #2…While now In-Demand coincidentally on the week I’m to be reimbursed for my initial 30 day campaign…I get an email that my reimbursement is being held because I have a sexually explicit perk.” IndieGoGo seems to have some blank spaces in their guidelines causing upset and confused creators to question their validity.
Looking past the current issues for a moment, crowdfunding guidelines are beneficial for independent creators and their campaigns. When it comes to the rules and guidelines they are made to place order to the campaigns to protect themselves, the creators and their work. As an example, Kickstarter pre-approves submissions in the beginning of a campaign to try and avoid the issues of violation around the end of the campaign when funds are definitely needed most. When looking on the IndieGoGo website, they have an extensive outline for their community guidelines. This usually gives a clear explanation and outline of what IndieGoGo is looking for and if it doesn’t, they are normally good about communicating to the best of their abilities to solve any issues.
Not only do the crowdfunding sites set organized parameters for creators, but they also give an avenue to connect with other creators who are going through similar experiences. This sets a whole new bar for information and references for any creators who may need additional support that is not provided within the crowdfunding team.
Benefits from the crowdfunding world can also cause some blank spaces that can easily attract possible negative outcomes and lost or leaked information..
Creators have been facing questionable violations on campaigns that shouldn’t have issues and haven’t had issues before. Currently comic creators are trying to reach out and find answers for their violations but the support teams have not been the most responsive and sometimes cause matters to worsen. In addition, people haven’t been receiving their funds even when time has passed way beyond the date of any resolved issues. According to @tyler_c_world on twitter, there has been a new face of management since April of this year. This usually leads to adjustments to new values from new perspectives causing conflict and disagreements within and outside of the company. There is a possibility that changes could have been made within the company that have not been expressed outside.
As mentioned earlier, IndieGoGo has an extensive outline for their community guidelines. This gives a clear explanation and outline of what IndieGoGo is looking for, but also gives creators a little less freedom in their campaigns than other crowdfunding platforms. On the page for the IndieGoGo guidelines, under section 2. Prohibited Content and Perks, “Graphically-Violent Content: promoting any form of violence” is the only sentence that states guidelines against violent content. Whereas if you go into the “Nudity and Sexually Explicit Content” area in the same section you see additional bullet points noting what specifically is included.
All in all, concerned crowdfunding comic creators have been questioning the displeasing problem solving from the support and management teams of crowdfunding giants about campaign violations and non-specific guidelines. On the bright side the networking opportunities and the fact that there are even accessible outlines for the community is something that makes crowdfunding so successful. Sadly, poor communication and pulling campaigns for violations they have never seen before will always cause creators to be upset and have lots of questions. Creators like Marcel Dupree, deal with common violations and customer support arguments but usually enjoy the fact that they can reach more readers for campaigns when there are multiple platforms available.
“Crowdfunding Platforms – Kickstarter vs Gofundme vs Indiegogo.” Grasshopper.
CrowdToolz. “Kickstarter vs Indiegogo: Which Crowdfunding Platform Should You Choose?” Medium, Crowdtoolz, 8 Dec. 2016.
“The Essential Guide to Crowdfunding.” Indiegogo.
“Fulfillment from A to Z.” Kickstarter.
“Indie GoGo Community Guidlines.” Indiegogo Community Guidelines,.