Toxic Comments on Kickstarter: How to Manage Them and Protect Your Project

Learn how to deal with toxic backers on Kickstarter and protect your project with these tips and tricks.

Cosma Zhang

September 26, 2023

Kickstarter is a great platform for creative entrepreneurs, but it also comes with challenges, such as toxic backers. Toxic backers are individuals who create a negative atmosphere within your crowdfunding project. They can harm your project in several ways, such as discouraging other backers, tarnishing your reputation, and draining your energy. In this guide, we will share some tips and tricks on how to manage toxic backers on Kickstarter, while keeping your project healthy and successful.

What are Toxic Comments

Toxic comments are from individuals who, intentionally or unintentionally, create a negative atmosphere within your crowdfunding project. They can manifest in various ways, such as leaving harsh comments, demanding unrealistic changes, or spreading negativity among other backers. Some toxic backers may have genuine concerns or frustrations, while others may have malicious intentions or hidden agendas. Regardless of their motives, toxic backers can pose a serious challenge to any Kickstarter creator.

Toxic backers can harm your project in several ways. They may discourage other backers from supporting or staying with your project, tarnish your project's reputation and credibility, and drain your time and energy that could be better spent on developing your product. Toxic backers can also affect your mental and emotional well-being, causing stress, anxiety, or self-doubt. Moreover, toxic backers can jeopardize your legal obligations as a Kickstarter creator. According to Kickstarter's terms of use, creators are legally bound to complete their projects and satisfy their backers. If you fail to do so due to toxic backers' interference or pressure, you may face legal consequences.

Identifying Common Types of Them

Recognizing the different types of toxic backers is crucial to address their behaviors effectively. Let's explore some common profiles and how they can affect your project.

The Demanding Perfectionist 

These backers expect nothing short of perfection from your project. They might nitpick every detail and demand endless revisions. They might also complain about minor issues or delays. The demanding perfectionist can make you feel inadequate or incompetent as a creator. They can also slow down your progress or compromise your quality by forcing you to cater to their unrealistic expectations.

The Eternal Critic

Eternal critics seem to find fault in everything you do. They're quick to criticize without offering constructive feedback or appreciation. They might focus on the negative aspects of your project while ignoring the positive ones. They might also compare your project unfavorably to other similar projects or products. The eternal critic can make you feel discouraged or demoralized as a creator. They can also undermine your confidence or enthusiasm by making you doubt your abilities or decisions.

The Disgruntled Competitor 

In some cases, your project might attract competitors who try to undermine your success. These backers may have a vested interest in seeing your project fail or perform poorly. They might sabotage your project by leaving negative reviews, spreading false information, or influencing other backers to withdraw their support. They might also steal your ideas or copy your product without giving you credit. The disgruntled competitor can make you feel threatened or violated as a creator. They can also damage your reputation or market share by stealing your customers or profits.

Strategies for Dealing With Toxic Comments

Now that we've identified toxic backers, it's time to explore effective strategies to manage them without compromising your campaign's integrity.

Set Clear Expectations

From the outset, clearly communicate your project's scope, timeline, and limitations to manage backers' expectations. Be honest and realistic about what you can and cannot deliver. Explain the risks and challenges involved in creating your product. Provide accurate and detailed information about your product specifications, features, and benefits. Avoid making vague or exaggerated claims that may mislead or disappoint your backers later on.

Moderate Comments 

Implement comment moderation to filter out negative or offensive comments while promoting constructive discussions among your backers. You can use tools like Disqus or Kickstarter's own comment moderation feature to manage comments on your project page. You can also create a separate forum or group for your backers using platforms like Facebook or Discord.

Address Concerns Professionally

Respond to toxic backers professionally and empathetically. Don't ignore or dismiss their concerns, even if they seem trivial or unfounded. Acknowledge their feedback and thank them for their input. Offer solutions or compromises when necessary. Don't argue or engage in personal attacks.

Keep Backers Informed

Frequent updates can help keep backers engaged and informed, reducing the chance of toxic behavior. Share your progress and achievements regularly. Celebrate your milestones and successes with your backers. Report any challenges or setbacks honestly.

Enforce Community Guidelines

Establish and enforce community guidelines that discourage toxic behavior and foster a positive atmosphere in your project community. Define what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior in your project. Specify the consequences of violating the guidelines, such as warnings, bans, or refunds.


Dealing with toxic backers on Kickstarter can be a challenging but manageable aspect of crowdfunding. Give it a try by implementing clear communication, moderation, and a commitment to fostering a positive community, you can maintain a healthy project environment and see your creative vision through to success.

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