A bug stemming from an April update to Kickstarter's website has revealed details concerning more than 70,000 unlaunched projects the popular crowdfunding site was hoping to keep under wraps.
Site cofounder Yancey Strickler addressed the issue on Sunday, writing on Kickstarter's blog that "one of [the site's] engineers uncovered a bug involving Kickstarter's private API [application programming interface], which is used to display projects on the Kickstarter homepage.
"This bug allowed some data from unlatched projects to be made accessible via the API. It was immediately fixed upon discovering the error. No account of financial data of any kind was made accessible."
Strickler wrote that the bug first came to fruition when the crowdfunding site—which is expected to reel in over $300 million in project funding this year—unveiled its new homepage on April 24. It lived until being discovered and fixed early on Friday, May 11.
The bug made public the project description, goal, duration, rewards, video, image, location, category, and username for each unlaunched project, but Strickler was quick to note that no account or financial data was made available to the public.
Strickler also noted that only 48 of those unlaunched projects were accessed during the three weeks that the bug was live.
"Obviously our users' data is incredibly important to us," he wrote. "Even though limited information was made accessible through this bug, it is completely unacceptable."
The number of unlaunched projects is newsworthy in itself. According to an April spread in The New York Times, Kickstarter has only played host to 50,000 projects since the site launched April 28, 2009. Strickler made no mention in his blog post of the sheer mass of unlaunched projects and has yet to publicly address why those projects never went live.
Photo via Herold Hoyer