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Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Ted Gioia is not a moral authority on anything

I had to laugh when I saw Substack stooge Hamish McKenzie citing Ted Gioia as some kind of moral authority in his response to the very valid concerns of Substack authors that Substack has become a Nazi bar. 

Via Mike Masnick at Techdirt:

Eventually, the Substack founders had to respond. They couldn’t stare off into the distance like Best did during the Nilay Patel interview in April. So another founder, Hamish McKenzie, finally published a Note saying “yes, we allow Nazis and we’re not going to stop.” Of course, as is too often the case on these things, he tried to couch it as a principled stance:

I just want to make it clear that we don’t like Nazis either—we wish no-one held those views. But some people do hold those and other extreme views. Given that, we don’t think that censorship (including through demonetizing publications) makes the problem go away—in fact, it makes it worse.

We believe that supporting individual rights and civil liberties while subjecting ideas to open discourse is the best way to strip bad ideas of their power. We are committed to upholding and protecting freedom of expression, even when it hurts. As @Ted Gioia has noted, history shows that censorship is most potently used by the powerful to silence the powerless. (Ted’s note: substack.com/profile/4937458-ted-gioia/…) 

Ted Gioia was published in racist Quillette; by the intensely evil and right-wing Koch-funded City Journal; and by the queen of the right-wing grifters Bari Weiss.

Either Ted Gioia agrees with the racism of Quillette and the right-wing extremist positions of City Journal and the grifting sugar baby views of Bari Weiss, or he's such a feckless stooge he doesn't care if he publishes in evil media as long as they pay.

Either way Ted Gioia is not a moral authority on anything

But I guess he's the best that the Nazi-promoting freaks at Substack have.

The Masnick piece is very good - it ends like this:

Substack has every right to make the choices it has made, but it shouldn’t pretend that it’s standing up for civil rights or freedoms, because it’s not. It’s making value judgments that everyone can see, and its value judgment is “Nazis are welcome, sex workers aren’t.”

Your reputation is what you allow. Substack has hung out its shingle saying “Nazis welcome.”

Everyone else who uses the platform now gets to decide whether or not they wish to support the site that facilitates the funding of Nazis. Some will. Some will find the tradeoffs acceptable. But others won’t. I’ve already seen a few prominent Substack writers announce that they have moved or that they’re intending to do so.

These are all free speech decisions as well. Substack has made its decision. Substack has declared what its reputation is going to be. I support the company’s free speech rights to make that choice. But that does not mean I need to support the platform personally.

Your reputation is what you allow and Substack has chosen to support Nazis.

I think Masnick is missing something of the bigger picture though - although he focuses on feckless stooges Hamish McKenzie and Chris Best, they are not calling the shots, it's their funders like techno-fascist Marc Andreessen who are. 

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