Substack has announced its intention to continue to platform Nazis, in the face of a letter asking them to stop doing that, signed by a large number of the writers who publish on there. The puerile, idiotic reasoning employed in Substack’s response is beneath anyone’s notice, so we won’t bother analyzing that here.
Let’s be generous and suppose that Substack management’s failure to rise to the occasion and kick the Nazis off their platform is the result of stupidity, rather than wickedness. The source of their failure doesn’t matter: All that matters is the failure. Whether they are wicked, or merely stupid, people willing to platform Nazis are unfit to manage a publishing concern; they are unfit to wield the power they have over what is left of the public square.
It seems safe to say that readers subscribe to Substack newsletters not because they like Substack, but because they like the people who write there. Even so, Substack profits from the money paid for those subscriptions. And much as I love the Substack writers to whom I subscribed (there were eight: George Saunders, Mona Eltahawy, Max Read, Judd Legum, Hamilton Nolan, Tim Mak, Tom Scocca/Joe MacLeod, and Ryan Broderick), I can’t give white supremacists money, so I deleted my Substack account yesterday. To these talented writers, I offer my apologies.
I would like to still give these writers money, so I hope they will figure out how I can do that. And I hope, also, that everyone who likes to publish and/or read things online, and/or make contact with IRL people on social media, will devise alternatives that don’t require giving any (ANY) money at all to fascists, white supremacists or any other Dunning-Kruger-afflicted Silicon Valley goons. I’ve had it! Honestly.
Now that it becomes clear as day what we’re looking at, maybe the sad spectacle of libertarian pseudointellectuals making fools of themselves online is at long last coming to an end.