Some thoughts about recent contretemps regarding the regulation of speech
If a handful of barely-read extremists from the Right constitute a "Nazi problem" on Substack, what are we to make of the myriad stacks making apologia for Hamas?
There is a reason I prefer to simply stick with e-mail delivery and avoid opening the Substack app as much as possible. I only want the content I have chosen. The app desperately wants to show me every crackpot lunatic that it can in addition to what I subscribe to.
I’ll be maintaining my own blog elsewhere. I may eventually do something paid but it definitely won’t be with Substack.
Katz article is poorly substantiated. One of the posts that bothers him had _zero_ engagement when I checked it. As Bill O’Reilly writes, these are barely-read publications. Let them yell into the void.
If someone is truly concerned about antisemitism, then they should start looking at academia.
I would be delighted if you moved to a platform where I could be a paid subscriber without funding a Nazi-friendly corporation with their percentage of your earnings.
“the murder of [George] Floyd was a break point. The video was so ghastly” - but the videos of over a thousand people being tortured and murdered are less ghastly? They’re only “controversial” to Leftist sociopaths on campus. No sane person would consider the Hamas massacre less ghastly.
Regarding Substack, it’s also filled with anti Jewish Leftists who are celebrating genocide and massacre. Nazis aren’t the only ones indulging in that type of hate speech. I wonder why they’re less deserving of restriction.
Thank you for a very thoughtful, valuable essay that helped clarify my own thinking about the proper role of institutions. As for content moderation...I have been having tremors of inarticulate anxiety about substack. Yesterday I checked out an article recommended to me to (as one of most read) and was shocked to discover vaccine-denial. What was most sinister was the tone. Psychologists long ago figured out that you can shape people’s memories by slipping misinformation into an otherwise reasonable statement especially when the target isn’t paying close attention or is inclined to believe. That was how this article was written: Reasonable statement, reasonable statement, false statement presented as self-evident truth, reasonable statement. Underneath the reasonable surface the tone was subtly menacing and intended to undermine the reader’s confidence in authoritative findings. It was very sophisticated propaganda. The lie was slipped in, fear was subtly triggered (“the experts are lying to me??”) all in an agreeable, genial tone. This one was vaccine denial. I have encountered similar pro-fossil fuel articles denying climate change.
The idea that Substack is a hot mess of propaganda and misinformation is alarming to me. Substack has been a fantastic resource for so many outstanding journalists, especially post-twitter, but without content moderation...no nazis, no far right propaganda about vaccine denial and climate change, please...it could be a petri dish for delusion and hate. The attitude of the owners is ignorant and dangerous.
Helpful thinking on institutional statements. Thanks
I can't find Richard Spencer anywhere on Substack? Not sure what Katz is going on about? Is this another method of conservative deception in the media?
A other great essay. Full stop!