Normally I back a project every week and write about it, but this week I’ve got to get something off my chest.

I’ll start by saying I love Kickstarter. I love what it does for legitimate creators, and I love looking through projects to find something to back and write about each week. Hell, sometimes I can’t even decide on just one and I end up backing 2-3 projects that week. With  that in mind I want to share with you two projects that caught my eye.

First, about two weeks ago I found this project to build an “Open Source Death Star.” Right on the project page it clearly states that it is a joke, and they have no intention of actually building anything. The creator, no doubt along with some friends, decided it would be hilarious to put this up on Kickstarter, and so they did. As soon as I found it, I reported it to Kickstarter as not being a real project. Today, I found this project to build an X-Wing star fighter in response to the Death Star project. Again, right there within the project, it clearly states it is only a joke, and again, I reported it for not being a real project. I’m sure the creators think themselves especially clever, and I’m sure there are others out there that agree, but these projects are, in my opinion, harmful to Kickstarter as a whole. The fact that these projects exist at all means that either the creators lied when they originally submitted the project in order for it to get approved in the first place, or, more likely,  that Kickstarter has grown too large, and the projects in question were never actually looked at by a human being who should have flagged these as terms of use violations and never let them through. I spend a lot of money backing projects, and if joke projects like this become the norm, it’s going to become irritating real fast if I have to short through all the gag projects to find legitimate creative people who are actually trying to raise money for something serious. Not only that, but it completely destroys the integrity of Kickstarter as a reputable business doing good for the creative community. If enough of these things go through, Kickstarter is going to start losing potential project creators to other crowd funding sites that take what they’re doing more seriously.

What’s worse is that this just opens the door for abusing Kickstarter with scam projects. If they’re willing to let joke projects like this slip through the cracks, what happens when someone creates a project that appears real with the intention of making some quick money and running with it? Or, worse yet, what happens if these two projects, by some crazy viral fluke, actually get funded? Neither of them has promised to actually deliver anything  in exchange for the money they’d be receiving, effectively bilking thousands of people and becoming multimillionaires. If they succeed, there will be thousands of people who will try to get themselves some free money, too. If this happens, it will completely destroy the good name Kickstarter has built for itself over the last couple of years. It would prove all the  people who said Kickstarter would fail because people would start abusing it right. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to see that happen.