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Thursday, May 16, 2019

WordPress.com deplatforms those critical of Islam

WordPress.com deplatforms those critical of Islam

MAY 15, 2019 10:45 AM BY MARC47 COMMENTS

WordPress.com has deplatormed those critical of Islam. I am very disappointed having been a contributor to the WordPress code in the distant past, and I have assisted in responsible disclosure of security vulnerabilities to them on a voluntary basis in the recent past. I did see it coming though.

While it would not be possible to restrict use of the WordPress source code which is publicly available and built by volunteers, and distributed at wordpress.org, its is “open source”.  wordpress.com is very different.  It is a commercial enterprise which has some free options, the codebase being very similar, but proprietary; and includes the hosting aspect as part of the package.

I am aware of 2 sites so far that have been taken down, with no warning Creeping Sharia and Muslim Statistics They were first brought to my attention in a tweet:View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Creeping Sharia@creepingsharia

After 11 years, thousands of posts and countless death threats, it was the cowards at @wordpressdotcom and @automattic who shut us down and banned us from freely sharing information. They'd rather submit to the #sharia than uphold the values of freedom of expression and speech.1894:56 PM - May 14, 2019266 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

Looking at this tweet, it appears that this deplatforming action was due to a complaint from Pakistan regarding breaking Sharia law.

Creeping Sharia@creepingsharia

A few weeks ago Twitter Legal notified us that this tweet violated Pakistan's (sharia) laws. @Wordpress notified us too...then they took our site down permanently. https://twitter.com/creepingsharia/status/950069682081533954 … @michellemalkin #SiliconValleySharia

View image on Twitter

Creeping Sharia@creepingshariaCharlie Hebdo: 3 Days That Shook Paris (Video) https://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/charlie-hebdo-3-days-that-shook-paris-video/ …We can't show you everything!We automatically hide photos that might contain sensitive content.Show Media897:37 PM - May 14, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy131 people are talking about this

This is despite their terms of service in section 4 stating:

We do not have any control over those websites and are not responsible for their contents or their use.

You can always reach out to Automattic to express your disappointment politely on twitter at @automattic at their arbitrary deplatforming of anyone without providing clear reasoning, especially from a platform built mostly by volunteers.

I would suggest anyone using wordpress.com (not .org) or for that matter blogger, dump them immediately, and migrate to a non-managed host using the open source version at wordpress.com, I say non-managed host, as managed hosting services seem to be far more likely to be pressured by hate groups such as SPLC into removing services. Non-managed hosting services would include AWS,  Linode and my favorite at the moment DigitalOcean (includes referral link).

You will also need to use your own domain name, as there is no mysite.wordpress.org as there is with the .com. there are many domain registrars to choose from, you can find a list here at a very useful site for wordpress users.

It’s fairly easy to manage your own WordPress blog, these sites all have extensive help documents, and surprisingly un-managed hosting services seem to have far less technical troubles than managed ones do. The WordPress open source community is vibrant.  It might be helpful not to interact using politically sensitive profile names. I mention this as someone I sent there to get help came back telling me they were unhelpful and ignored him. When I checked, I was not surprised.

You can import content from your wordpress.com and blogger.com sites into open source wordpress. While I can’t  get too involved in helping you out, if you have any issues, comment here, and I’ll point you in the right direction.

Golden rule when managing your own sites and blogs: keep it simple (20 plugins is not OK and use their default themes unless you have programming skills),  keep regular backups, and put them somewhere safe.

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