Substack Should Own Its Position on Moderation

Mike Masnick, Techdirt:

Say “we believe that writers on our platform can publish anything they want, no matter how ridiculous, or hateful, or wrong.” Don’t hide from the question. You claim you’re enabling free speech, so own it. Don’t hide behind some lofty goals about “freedom of the press” when you’re really enabling “freedom of the grifters.”

You have every right to allow that on your platform. But the whole point of everyone eventually coming to terms with the content moderation learning curve, and the fact that private businesses are private and not the government, is that what you allow on your platform is what sticks to you. It’s your reputation at play.

And your reputation when you refuse to moderate is not “the grand enabler of free speech.” Because it’s the internet itself that is the grand enabler of free speech. When you’re a private centralized company and you don’t deal with hateful content on your site, you’re the Nazi bar.

“[T]he internet itself […] is the grand enabler of free speech” is the thing to take away from any question about how to moderate the web.