Never trust a platform not to sell you out

I nuked my Facebook Pages for this?

This morning, I posted something to my Substack newsletter for the first time in over a year. Below, the post is reproduced in full:

It’s been almost exactly a year since I last posted here. I’ve had it on my to-do list for all that time to send people an update. In that year, I launched a new comic, introduced Danish translations of that new comic and another one, grew my Patreon a bit and finally went ahead with destroying the Facebook Pages so that I’d never have to put my communications with my readers in the hands of an evil platform again.

Yeaah… about that.

Over the last couple of weeks, Jude Ellison Doyle has been writing about how Substack built its platform on the backs of trans people and feminists, only to turn around and offer big money to writers who are best described as professional transphobes. I will not even name the names of said transphobes here because they all have a well-deserved reputation for sending their flying monkeys after people who name them and I don’t have time for that right now. However, the names are easy to find online through Jude’s writing and the accusation checks out.

As an aside, not only do I believe Jude in this specific case, but I’ve learned a lot and improved my own online life a lot by paying attention to who is being shitty to him, and disengaging from those people. I’ve broken off some long-lasting online friendships over that and never regretted it once. I know Jude didn’t sign up to be a lightning rod, but I thank him for his service anyway.

Never trust a platform not to sell you out. It is probably for the best that only about a tenth of the people who followed my old Facebook Pages joined this Substack mailing list. My next communication through Substack, when it arrives, will be an announcement of where I’m moving to. I expect only about one in ten of my Substack subscribers will follow me to the new place, whatever it is, so I might as well take my sweet time with it. I didn’t say anything for a whole year and it was fine.

Part of my platform-proofing efforts has always been to crosspost, preferably to sites that I own, such as this blog. It’s fine for some content to be ephemeral, but this is probably of more lasting value as a snapshot of where I am in March 2021.

Further reading: Annalee Newitz at The Hypothesis (currently still on Substack, but I expect that will change), argues that Substack is pretty much a publishing scam and all of us who posted our ‘content’ without pay from them are the suckers, who paid for big advances for a select and rather unsavory group of marquee writers. Annalee does name names, so their comments are predictably made unreadable by flying monkeys.