Guidance on Crafting an Honest and Clearly Presented Project

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Please make sure the objects on your project page actually exist, unlike these compasses.
Please make sure the objects on your project page actually exist, unlike these compasses.

The second rule on our Rules page reads: “Projects must be honest and clearly presented.” But what do we mean by that? To provide some context for this rule, we’re releasing a new page today, “Honest and Clear Project Presentation,” and an accompanying feature for creators starting new projects.

Essentially our rule about honest presentation means that projects can’t mislead people or misrepresent facts. It also means that creators need to be candid with backers about what they plan to accomplish. For projects that plan to manufacture and distribute something complex, like hardware or gadgets, we require working prototypes and don’t allow misleading imagery.

We believe that transparency and open communication are essential in creating a healthy ecosystem and, ultimately, in cultivating trust. When creators present their campaigns in a way that exaggerates claims or downplays risks, they may inflate backers’ expectations beyond what is feasible for the creator to produce. On the other hand, creators who infuse their campaigns with openness and candor naturally set clearer expectations for their backers from the outset. They are more likely to build a supportive and engaged community that’s excited to stand behind them as they work toward bringing their creative project to life.

On our new page, we offer recommendations to creators on how to be forthcoming in a way that may be rare on the internet today. But we feel this is critical to setting up both backers and creators to have positive experiences on our platform over the long term. We’ve also added more specific context and examples to illustrate our existing rules requiring prototypes and prohibiting photorealistic renderings.

The new feature we’re adding will alert creators when they’re inserting superlatives or exaggerations like “World’s Best” into their project titles. It’s meant to warn creators when they are veering away from the principles of transparency and candor that we find so essential. We hope it will help to inspire creators across all categories to be as forthcoming as possible when building their projects.

We know that being open and honest can be challenging and scary, which is why we’re committed to building tools and resources that will enable open and honest dialogue between backers and creators. We deeply value the creators who make a commitment to transparency in their Kickstarter campaigns, and we know that backers do too. When we’re searching for projects to elevate within our own community — for example, in our newsletters — we seek out projects that amplify these values. We look forward to sharing more of the tools we’re building that are centered around transparency.