Platformer, the tech newsletter started by Verge alum Casey Newton, is leaving Substack over its policies around and response to pro-Nazi publications using the platform.
Newton notes that after identifying seven Substack publications “that conveyed explicit support for 1930s German Nazis and called for violence against Jews, among other groups,” the platform removed one on its own along with five others on the list. The other thing that happened was that the platform’s co-founders asked to keep their conversations off the record and then leaked those conversations to another publication.
The issue has been building up over the past several weeks. After The Atlantic published an article saying that Substack had been hosting and profiting from pro-Nazi publications, more than 200 Substack writers wrote an open letter to the company asking it to clarify its position. On December 21st, Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie said it would not remove or demonetize Nazi content.
“This was the moment where I started to think Platformer would need to leave Substack,” Newton writes. “I’m not aware of any major US consumer internet platform that does not explicitly ban praise for Nazi hate speech, much less one that welcomes them to set up shop and start selling subscriptions.”
After soliciting responses from the Platformer community, Newton says that readers have been clear that the publication should leave Substack. Platformer is migrating to Ghost, and Newton says you won’t have to do anything to continue receiving the publication. “If all goes well, following the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, you’ll receive the Tuesday edition of Platformer as normal,” he says.
Substack didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.