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Substack explains why they are paying Nazis to publish on their platform. Friends who publish on Substack, are you ok with this? If not, maybe try Buttondown or Wordpress or Ghost or literally anything fucking else.

Discussion  10 comments


I often wonder if I am naive about American society. Not in the way that all of us are naive in someway about somethings. No, I'm talking about the fundamental worldview level. American society has always lived in my head as an affirmation. It states, "at least we can all agree that XYZ is wrong." As I get older, I find myself wondering if America is in the midst of a massive turning over of our collective cultural assumptions. If values are tectonic plates, are the older ones being consumed beneath the sea? And like an old land mass, is it occurring in an ever more violent, but inevitable way? I assume that my values are on the younger plate in my metaphor, but maybe everyone does.

Joseph Mastroeni

Disappointing -- this has been their line for a few years though, since at least other platforms starting restricting COVID misinformation, and it's what's kept me from adding paid subscriptions to my Reads.

Jason KottkeMOD

From Greg Pak on Bluesky:

I absolutely don't hold it against any independent creators for sticking with platforms/services/companies they depend on for their livelihood. The decks are stacked against us and everything is jacked up. Still, I am happy every time I see someone kicking Twitter or Substack to the curb.

Jason KottkeMOD

From Charlie Jane Anders on Bluesky:

Just boosting this. Switching from Substack to Buttondown was incredibly easy and seamless — I downloaded my subscribers and newsletter archive from Substack and imported them to Buttondown, and it took like 15 minutes.

Eric Goebelbecker

I co-signed/posted the SAN letter.

I've got ~350 readers on Substack. (All free, I never turned on paid, never planned to.) Most of those readers are from the Substack network, and the beginnings of a little network of scifi/fantasy writers is starting to matrialize. That isn't something you get from Buttondown or Ghost.

I'm planning a move, but it's with the understanding that I'm walking away from an opportunity to find readers. I can see why some authors won't do the same.

(Also, as someone pointed out in the Blue Sky thread, Buttondown doesn't have a trust and safety policy. You'd just never find the content because they don't have the discovery mechanism Substack does. Also, WP's policy seems to be the same as Substacks?)

Jason KottkeMOD

Here's the letter that Eric is referring to: Substackers Against Nazis.

From our perspective as Substack publishers, it is unfathomable that someone with a swastika avatar, who writes about "The Jewish question," or who promotes Great Replacement Theory, could be given the tools to succeed on your platform.

Nancy Friedman

I started my Substack newsletter in August after 17 years of increasing frustration with Typepad. Unlike Typepad -- for which I'm paying $50 a year -- Substack (free) offered a beautiful interface and a sense of community. Granted, I have even fewer subscribers than Eric: not even 300. I've never turned on payments either, and probably never will. Honestly? If the "Substackers against Nazis" letter hadn't surfaced in Substack Notes, I might have remained blissfully unaware that there was a problem. Do I really want Hamish et al. reading over my shoulder? Do I want to worry that my little newsletter -- about names and brands, mostly -- will become the target of some ire-fueled group? Is it always easy to define "nazi"? Am I living in a ridiculous bubble?

Reply in this thread

Joshua A

Ken White wrote a really well-articulated critique of Substack's post.

For those who are sympathetic to Substack's position, White's response does a solid job of describing just how dishonest their response to critics is — not just factually (e.g. that the extremely racist, far-right writer they featured on their podcast had not, in fact, disavowed his "past" views), but intellectually as well.

Ramanan Sivaranjan

This felt unsurprising, based on everything they have said in the past. It feels like the sort of basic ass free speech take you get from tech libertarians. Disappointing all the same. It seems like the platform with the most traction for people trying to get their writing out into the world.

Leslie Kaminoff

Do you not agree with Louis Brandeis?

“Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”

If not, why?

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