Substack Starts Promoting Its Own Network
In 2022, Substack started trying to promote its own network of newsletters. It added tools to let writers recommend other Substack writers. It also launched a Twitter-like social network called Notes.
Platformer grew a lot because of this. It got over 70,000 new free subscribers in 2023 from Substack’s tools.
Concerns Over Hate Speech on Substack
But in December, Substack said it didn’t want to intervene much beyond threats of violence.
This concerned Casey about Substack’s stance on hate speech.
Casey investigated and found 7 newsletters promoting Nazi hate speech and violence.
Platformer Moves to Ghost
So Casey announced Platformer is moving to Ghost. Ghost is open source software for building websites, newsletters, membership sites, etc.
It’s a close competitor to WordPress but more sleek and simpler in design and functionality.
Ghost bans violent, threatening, or hateful content in its terms of service. Ghost’s CEO committed to removing pro-Nazi content.
Ghost also has no plans for a social network like Substack’s.
Why Writers May Want Alternatives to Substack
Alternatives like Ghost offer more control and stricter content policies.
Writers may want platforms that don’t promote controversial content alongside their own writing.
They may also want more options to build full sites and membership programs, not just newsletters.
That all being said, Substack is not entirely to blame here, of course. It’s the people spreading hate speech and nazi ideology that are the real threat.
And those will be found on any platform. Hidden or right before our eyes.