Those of us paying attention can see exactly what’s happening to Parler and Substack. The corporate media are now looking to deplatform platforms that refuse to deplatform. Put another way, the corporate media are looking to blacklist and bully platforms that refuse to blacklist and bully.
Whether or not President Donald Trump ends up winning a second term, 2020 was a major wipeout for the corporate media, proof of their almost non-existent influence. So more than ever, they are desperate to recapture that influence by eliminating competition in the war of ideas, by creating a monopoly where only their ideas are allowed.
As fascist, far-left media outlets like Vox, the New Yorker, the Intercept, etc., chase talent away with their blacklisting of ideas; and as fascist social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter chase users away with their blacklisting of ideas and people, the blacklisted and those who fear being blacklisted, are seeking platforms that do not engage in blacklisting.
Two recent examples: a whole lot of Twitter users are moving over to Parler, and those fleeing the Woke Fascism currently eating its way through corporate-run “journalism” like a bone cancer — leftists like Glenn Greenwald and Matt Yglesias and aging conspiracy theorists like Andrew Sullivan — are heading over to Substack.
Naturally, the preening and insecure fascists in the corporate media are not happy about any of this. The Twitter alternative, Parler, has been under attack for more than a week now. Parler’s sin? Well, at Parler, you’re allowed to say whatever you want without fear of being canceled, blacklisted, censored, shadow-banned, or whatever.
Oh, no! You mean people can say whatever they want… In America!? How can this be!
CNNLOL and the New York Times have entire divisions devoted to bullying and threatening platforms into censoring and blacklisting ideas and people whom CNNLOL and the New York Times want censored and blacklisted.
And now Substack is under fire.
Substack is interesting, an ingenious idea — a platform where you sink or swim based solely on merit. You set up an account. You provide content. You sell subscriptions to your content. If you do well enough, you can make a living. If you’ve built a big enough audience and enough of that audience is willing to lay out, say, $10.00 a month to subscribe to your content, you are suddenly your own boss. Substack provides the platform and takes ten percent.
To me that sounds as American as it gets, but now that Greenwald, Sullivan, and Ygelisas will be allowed to run free to express their ideas without a corporate censor or filter, the left-wing Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) is freaking out and pressuring Substack to censor and blacklist ideas and truths the CJR would prefer not be revealed:
But often, adherence to neutrality only enforces existing power structures. In these moments, Substack’s founders veer into unsettling corporate-tech-dude-speak, papering over the fact that a “nonideological” vision is, of course, ideology just the same. When [Andrew] Sullivan joined Substack, over the summer, he put the company’s positioning to the test: infamous for publishing excerpts from The Bell Curve, a book that promotes bigoted race “science,” Sullivan would now produce the Weekly Dish, a political newsletter. (Substack’s content guidelines draw a line at hate speech.) Sullivan’s Substack quickly rose to become the fifth-most-read among paid subscriptions — he claimed that his income had risen from less than $200,000 at New York magazine to $500,000. When I asked the founders if they thought his presence might discourage other writers from joining, they gave me a pat reply. “We’re not a media company,” Best said. “If somebody joins the company and expects us to have an editorial position and be rigorously enforcing some ideological line, this is probably not the company they wanted to join in the first place.”
CJR’s threat of a boycott there is obvious. CJR is planting a seed, not only with Substack, but with Substack subscribers and contributors, that allowing an Andrew Sullivan or certain ideas on the platform could very well cause people to boycott Substack — That’s a nice company you got there, be a shame if anything happened to it.
The whole CJR piece is a joke, an anti-intellectual piece of wokery obsessed with identity and not at all concerned with excellence or merit. CJR is appalled Substack writers rise or fall based on merit! Too many white people! What’s with all the white people! This is unjust!
Well, unlike the monsters at Twitter and Facebook, Substack doesn’t practice the anti-American rigging of its algorithms:
The way the top-twenty-five lists are organized, she believes, is “to the detriment of Black journalists.” (McKenzie told me that Substack will soon revamp its leaderboards, highlighting top revenue earners in different categories.):
In general, will Substack replicate the patterns of marginalization found across the media industry, or will it help people locked out of the dominant media sphere to flourish? To a large extent, the answer depends on whether or not Substack’s founders believe they’re in the publishing business. When we spoke, they were adamant that Substack is a platform, not a media company — a familiar refrain of Silicon Valley media ventures. “We’re not hiring writers, and we’re not publishing editorial,” McKenzie said. “We’re enabling writers and enabling editorial.” He told me that the leaderboards, which were originally conceived to show writers what kind of “quality work” was being done on Substack, were organized by audience and revenue metrics, with “no thumb on the scale” from the company. When I asked about their views on content moderation, the founders said that, because readers opt in to newsletters — unlike Facebook, there’s no algorithm-based feed — they have relatively less responsibility to get involved.
So Substack is saying, Here you go. Here’s a platform. Here’s a level playing field. We’re not going to mess with it, and CJR is all, That’s racist.
Listen, there are few people in media I despise more than Andrew Sullivan, a grotesque human being, a cruel and pathological liar who deliberately spread false conspiracy theories about Pope Benedict XVI being gay and former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin (R) not being the mother of one of her children. But he should be allowed to write and publish whatever he wants without fear of being blacklisted. This is the United States of America for crying out loud.
So what we have here is this…
In the same way the corporate media have successfully pressured Facebook and Twitter to blacklist people and ideas, the corporate media are now openly threatening platforms like Parler and Substack to pressure them to do the same.
My guess is that it will eventually succeed.
So let me repeat what I’ve been saying for years… It’s all going to come down to this…
People who are right-of-center and free-thinkers like Greenwald, those who do not seek the approval of our corporate media masters and political establishment, are not only going to have to create their own platforms, they are going to have to build their own banking and server infrastructure to keep those platforms from being destroyed.
That’s all there is to it…
And the sooner we stop complaining about being blacklisted, the sooner we stop wasting our energy trying to shame Bond Villains like Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg into doing the right thing, the sooner we can get started building these workarounds.