Readers know that I’ve been using SubscribeStar to host subscription-based content—like SubscribeStar Saturdays for $1 a month subscribers, and Five Dollar Fridays and Sunday Doodles for $5 a month subs—for over a year now. It’s a fairly rudimentary blogging platform, without some of the robustness and customization options of WordPress, but unlike WordPress, it’s leadership is not inherently left-leaning.
In other words, there’s very little chance SubscribeStar is going to shut down a “star“—their term for their content providers—over groundless accusations. That’s one big reason I signed up for their service: I had confidence that they wouldn’t shutter my blog posts simply for thinking critically and questioning the prevailing orthodoxy.
Now, to be clear, I’m neither a big enough fish or controversial enough to have WordPress shut me down. However, the way tech censorship is going, where even benign figures like Stefan Molyneux are getting the ax, it’s more a question of “if” than “when” a conservative writer will find himself persona non grata in the blogosphere.
So I was heartened over the weekend to find a post from SubscribeStar reiterating their commitment to free speech and expression. The post, “Misinformation Alert!,” refutes allegations that SubscribeStar is “a ‘one-stop-shop’ and a safe haven for neo-Nazis and fascists of all sorts.”
Here is the full statement, which is worth the quick read:
We have been recently accused of being a “one-stop-shop” and a safe haven for neo-Nazis and fascists of all sorts.
We would want you all to know that we are not.
Furthermore, some of our grandparents gave their lives while fighting with the real Nazis, which we all remember every day of our lives.
And while some accusations can be easily disregarded as a mere violation of journalistic ethics, others feel more politically charged and strongly biased toward well know political groups and parties. Such stories and rants do look to us as a hit piece ordered by a cartel of tech giants to eliminate any fair competition.
With that said, we follow the Freedom of Speech principles and will consistently protect our customers and ourselves from any such mob attacks.
The “Nazi” label—not unlike being called “racist”—is bandied about so much that it’s lost all meaning. The SubscribeStar Team makes a great point—many so-called “Nazis” are the descendants of folks who actually fought the real Nazis. The number of actual Neo-Nazis in the United States today is probably about the same as actual gender dysphoria sufferers—a fraction of a percent of the population.
The other key section that sticks out to me is from the fourth paragraph:
[O]ther [accusations] feel more politically charged and strongly biased toward well know political groups and parties. Such stories and rants do look to us as a hit piece ordered by a cartel of tech giants to eliminate any fair competition.
The allusion to the Democrats and their various BLM/Antifa/SJW shock troops is pretty clear, as well as their progressive allies in Big Tech. I have no doubt that SubscribeStar would host a progressive blogger without any compunctions, for the same reason they’re going to host a right-wing one: the company genuinely values free speech.
Libertarians often ludicrously argue that all conservatives have to do is “build our own” Internet, social media sites, etc. (Parler is rapidly becoming that). But here’s an example where a company actually is offering a compelling alternative to left-leaning platforms.
Of course, that “cartel of tech giants” intent on eliminating “any fair competition” means we can’t take SubscribeStar‘s existence for granted. The service stopped using PayPal because the payment processor was demanding that certain content be removed from the site. PayPal banned Laura Loomer, so it’s refreshing to see SubscribeStar take a bold stand here. Rather than bend the knee to PayPal’s demands, they resisted and found an alternative for their users.
Naturally, I recognize my hypocrisy here—just below this post I’m soliciting PayPal donations. But if PayPal ever comes to me and says, “Take down these blog posts,” well, I’ll stop using PayPal on the blog.
Thanks to the good folks at SubscribeStar, other content creators and I finally have an option to do so without facing substantial financial loss. Thank you, SubscribeStar!
If you want to support my blog and the good folks at SubscribeStar, considering subscribing to my SubscribeStar page!
Donate to The Portly Politico
Support quality commentary on politics, education, culture, and the arts with your one-time donation.
4 thoughts on “SubscribeStar and Free Speech”
Nice post Tyler. One of these days I’m going to monetize my blog and I’ll probably be following in your footsteps. My four grandsons are all remote learning from high school to pre-K. Luckily their mom was a teacher so there is some help there.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks, photog. Before I decided to pay up for a WordPress plan, the only way to monetize my site was to use a third-party service like SubscribeStar. I have been very happy with them. They do require (at least, they used to require) a minimum of five subscribers before enabling the auto-renew function for subscribers, so that’s a critical barrier. Otherwise, you’ve got to keep reminding people to re-up every month.
Let me know if you decide to go with them, and I will definitely subscribe.
[…] to support content they like (myself included!), especially conservatives. Platforms like SubscribeStar help give conservatives and dissidents a voice, but those platforms are oases of freedom in a […]
[…] been a week for shout-outs to other commentators and platforms, so I figured I’d continue with that theme and recommend some of my blogger buddies to you. […]