Is the End Nigh for Indiegogo?

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Buried on Indiegogo

For the past handful of years there have been two major players in the arena of crowdfunding projects: Kickstarter and Indiegogo. But over the past few weeks, the San Francisco based Indiegogo has gone eerily silent while its platform has been exhibiting nasty behavior.

Questions arose about the platform when graphic novel and comic book campaigns were apparently being shadowbanned -- a term for when a campaign on the site is not actively being promoted. However, in its elevated form, shadowbanning can also prevent a shopper from finding the campaign using Indiegogo's own search function. Two current examples of this are Private American by Mike Baron and Frog G: Voodoo, Gods, and Magic by Jason Bascom, two project which can only be reached on Indiegogo through having the direct link to the project.

Indiegogo does state within its Terms of Service that it is not obligated to include your project in their search function or promote your book -- which begs the question why you would be paying them 5% of your total take on a successful campaign instead of running your book on your own Wordpress site with a PayPal store, both of which are free.

Things took a more harrowing turn this weekend, however, when Google itself could no longer find these campaigns on Indiegogo, indicating that the pages could not be crawled by the massive Internet search function.

In the above illustrations, the Google search keyword "site:" was used to direct the search engine to only look at Indiegogo for results. The returned links were to several other campaigns with the description belonging to the sought for page, presumably because the campaign had been promoted on those pages at the time Google archived the page, or perhaps because the database indexes on the Indiegogo database have been corrupted. If so, is this the result of a glitch in the system? A failure of hardware? A database engineer trying to shadowban a project and inadvertently fouling up the data linkage in the process?

Like dozens of others, Critical Blast has reached out to Indiegogo to get their comment on this developing story. Indiegogo did no return our invitation for comment, and has not offered any public statement in regards to the projects specifically mentioned here or several others that are currently in a similar limbo status.