Popular blog hosting platform WordPress.com has begun a censorship spree, blacklisting at least two blogs dedicated to monitoring the spread of radical Islam.
The blog Creeping Sharia, which documented what it describes as “the slow, deliberate, and methodical advance of Islamic law” was taken offline by WordPress earlier this week. Visitors navigating to the long-running blog are now met with the message “creepingsharia.wordpress.com is no longer available.”
“This blog has been archived or suspended in accordance with our Terms of Service,” explains the message.
On its official Twitter account, Creeping Sharia claimed that WordPress.com’s decision to suspend service followed a warning from the hosting platform that one of its posts violated Pakistani blasphemy law. Creeping Sharia says it received a similar warning from Twitter after tweeting a link to the piece.
A few weeks ago Twitter Legal notified us that this tweet violated Pakistan's (sharia) laws. @Wordpress notified us too…then they took our site down permanently. https://t.co/J0ywepp3Fh @michellemalkin #SiliconValleySharia pic.twitter.com/uUzuEZ9AUh
— Creeping Sharia (@creepingsharia) May 15, 2019
WordPress.com also banned the blog Muslim Statistics, which was dedicated to collecting and presenting ” international statistics, government statistics, newspaper articles and reports related to Muslim immigration and Muslim issues in non-Muslim societies.”
Unlike the major social media platforms, which often use the excuse of “hate speech” to ban critics of Islam, WordPress.com does not appear to have a clearly-defined “hate speech” policy. Instead, its user guidelines specifically state that it will not remove “hyperbolic or generally offensive language.”
Do not publish realistic calls to violence. By that we mean that you cannot post content which threatens, incites, or promotes violence, physical harm, or death. This includes threats targeting individuals or groups, as well as other indiscriminate acts of violence. This restriction does not mean that we will remove hyperbolic or generally offensive language. [emphasis ours]
Elsewhere in its terms of service, WordPress.com states that “we do not have any control over those websites and are not responsible for their contents or their use.”
Unlike the WordPress open source code, which allows anyone to host a WordPress blog on their own personal website, WordPress.com is a centralized hosting platform run by the company Automattic Inc. that has the ability to ban blogs hosted on its platform.
Shortly before banning the two blogs critical of Islam, WordPress.com also banned “Chateau Heartiste,” an alt-right “pickup artist” blog. This was the first notable incident of WordPress.com seemingly banning a blog for political reasons.
Breitbart News has reached out to Automattic Inc. for comment.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter, Gab.ai and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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