Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

“Final week, we caught some warmth after Chris didn’t settle for the phrases of a query from a podcast interviewer about how Substack will deal with bigoted speech on Notes,” McKenzie stated. “It got here throughout poorly and a few individuals sternly criticized us for our naivety whereas others questioned how we’d discourage dangerous behaviors and content material on Notes. We want that interview had gone higher and that Chris had extra clearly represented our place in that second, and we remorse inflicting any alarm for individuals who care about Substack and the way the platform is evolving. We messed that up. And simply in case anybody is ever in any doubt: we don’t like or condone bigotry in any kind.” (Emphasis ours.)

However McKenzie nonetheless doesn’t precisely specify how that bigotry might be moderated on Notes or how Notes moderation will evaluate to Substack e-newsletter insurance policies. As an alternative, like Greatest in his Decoder interview, McKenzie questions the “default assumption that aggressive content material moderation is the reply to the issues it’s supposed to unravel.” He argues that regardless of having massive content material moderation groups, Fb, Instagram, and Twitter haven’t diminished bigotry or solved issues about misinformation.

Substack’s declare is that it may possibly remedy these issues through the use of a distinct enterprise mannequin centered on paying writers as a substitute of “consideration that’s harvested by algorithms” for adverts. “We give communities on Substack the instruments to ascertain their very own norms and set their very own phrases of engagement quite than have all that handed all the way down to them by a government,” McKenzie says. (This sounds lots like Reddit’s coverage of letting individuals run their very own moderated subreddits, though Reddit remains to be largely ad-supported.)

Proper now, these instruments are nonetheless of their early levels. Notes lets individuals block and conceal customers and delete replies, and McKenzie stated Substack is experimenting with methods to restrict replies to subscribers. And sooner or later, “we are going to design Notes in order that customers can outline the particular phrases of engagement of their group as soon as, or solely often,” McKenzie stated.

McKenzie additionally acknowledges that Substack could should make modifications alongside the way in which. “The reality is that we all know Notes is a brand new house, and that it has some essential variations from the core Substack platform that folks have come to know during the last 5 years,” he writes. “We totally count on to should adapt our content material moderation insurance policies and strategy because the platform evolves.”

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