Socratically has left SubStack

Farewell to bad management.

That’s it, I’m going to BeeHiiv

That’s right, folks, new site, new look, new me. It's the same old content, though; sorry about that.

The quick and dirty for those who don’t want to read further below for some internet drama and talk about morals in the consumption of media or participation in a platform whose own morals don’t match your own is that this site used to be hosted on a platform called SubStack, a platform for newsletters. Now it's hosted on a site called I love the name, honestly. Plus, their features matched, for the most part, everything I needed to keep the newsletter running while still accomplishing my long-term goals; that’s why I chose it. In terms of your content delivery, we will still appear in your inbox, and we will still be available for viewing on the web at If you wish to upgrade to a paid subscription in order to support my work, you can do that here via this handy button:

I can’t believe he wrote that to be on the internet forever…

It’s not my favorite task to sit down and completely redo something I had been getting quite comfortable with for the last 9 months. I started using SubStack after some really great recommendations. Shortly after, however, they have been embroiled in some controversies which you may or may not be aware of. The short of it is SubStack has some crazy Nazis on its site collecting subscription fees, and SubStack seems all too happy to continue to collect on those Alt-Right maroons and keep padding their bottom line with bigoted dollars. One of the Co-Founders, Hamish McKenzie, even went out of his way to top the crazy-o-meter with this self own of a statement:

Hi everyone. Chris, Jairaj, and I wanted to let you know that we’ve heard and have been listening to all the views being expressed about how Substack should think about the presence of fringe voices on the platform (and particularly, in this case, Nazi views). 

I just want to make it clear that we don’t like Nazis either—we wish no-one held those views. But some people do hold those and other extreme views. Given that, we don't think that censorship (including through demonetizing publications) makes the problem go away—in fact, it makes it worse.

We believe that supporting individual rights and civil liberties while subjecting ideas to open discourse is the best way to strip bad ideas of their power. We are committed to upholding and protecting freedom of expression, even when it hurts.

Hamish McKenzie via SubStack

Unclench your jaw now; yes, he did say that Nazis are worse when you silence them…

Why now? Why not a month ago?

This one comes down to a few factors, but the most important one is really just time and energy. I had to decide first where I was going to move this newsletter while still retaining the degree of “ease-of-use” I was depending on to keep my motivation high. Believe it or not, I have ADHD *collective gasp*, and this makes keeping the motivation to do things I even like doing very challenging. So this new hurdle was a boulder, to say the least.

The other factor was I was taking a very pessimistic defeatist approach to the situation. Meta has Nazis, and it’s fine to take their money, and I still use Facebook, Instagram, and very much Threads (follow me). YouTube often allows bigoted content creators to flourish or hide behind dog whistles before it ever considers taking down one of their top income generators, and I am still using YouTube as my primary time waster for content and even hosting some of my own memes/game clips.

What it really comes down to is v i b e s; no, really, stay with me, please. SubStack's own decision to just keep trucking as if nothing is wrong, no posturing, no big press release, told me they were not only fine with courting regressive and bigots, it told me they were fine to feed off of them and attracting more through their self-discovery network. They didn’t even want to put on a facade that they were against hate speech by removing some big names and making a big news story out of it. That's what Meta has done; that’s what YouTube has done in these situations, and prior to Ol’ Musk Rat taking over Twitter and making it a den of debauchery, that’s what they have done. Too little too late often is the case with these companies, but they are willing to bend to the public will more often than not when it comes to these situations. But not bending on this feels like there is more under the hood over at SubStack, counting too many racist dollars to notice the screaming mob, and that’s bad vibes.

Even still, I was willing to just continue as I was because it just didn’t seem urgent. As I stated before, I don’t think SubStack is wholly unique in this situation. Most companies seem to be completely fine to just sweep nazis under the rug and continue pretending there isn’t a problem. So unless I was going to unsubscribe my internet connection, it wasn’t going to be a very strong reason. This isn’t to say I didn’t care about what was going on, but really because I didn’t see myself as impactful in any way. Let’s be frank here, this newsletter is puny. I love it, you love it, we all love it. But it's not a big gang of folks, and not many of you are paid subscribers, which doesn’t matter to me, but it would have mattered to SubStack. So, I didn’t think we made enough of a difference to have an impact. I realize now, of course, that’s not the point. The point is I shouldn’t be proliferating a platform so blasé about bigots, and I really shouldn’t allow you good folks to contribute to my platform, inadvertently putting your hard-earned cash into Nazi sympathizers’ hands. Because that’s the rub here: for every dollar you sent Socratically’s way, 20% of it went to SubStack.

Change is hard and scary.

Another big reason was I was really put off by the pushy, condescending nature of some other, larger creators who were screaming at SubStack users for still using the platform. People who were standing behind their moral high ground of having left Elon’s Twitter for Mark’s Threads.

“How could you still be on that platform after they said they were fine with nazis omg.”

At this point, if you’re still using Substack, I think it’s fair to ask why you won’t leave.”

When it comes to content creators, many of them are not financially stable, depending on the generosity of their fans for income. This creates a healthy fear that their audience might abandon them once there is a caveat or change in how the content is consumed, or just decide you aren’t the flavor of the week anymore and need to go away; it happens. So, any changes to how the content is presented, made available, or overall shaped could drastically affect your ability to keep making that sweet, sweet content for the hungry audience.

While Newsletters are inherently supposed to be consumed via email, that’s their intended purpose — a growing number of views are happening on the website the newsletter is hosted itself, often driven by either notification from SubStack or by social media posts by the author advertising a new post. So, while in theory, changing where your newsletter is hosted shouldn’t matter, it does. Gone are the days when you just had a manual mailing list saved and blasted out an email you drafted in a Word doc. Some may still operate that way, but it’s no longer the standard.

SubStack has bridged the gap between mailing list newsletters and social media, so for many users, it's also a point of consolidation, all of their favorite newsletters in one place with a built-in notification system and social network. This means taking that away is taking it away from your audience. That’s not to say it’s a reason to stay, but it is a reason to pause. I think we all hoped SubStack would get its head out of its ass, but unfortunately not; I gave them all of January to hear the outcry and decide who they want to cater to. It clearly wasn’t Us, so I decided it was better to leave.

You know who didn’t make that choice easier? A whole lot of social media reactionaries.

Not an excuse but a consideration; Don’t be a dick

Once it was made clear that SubStack had a Nazi problem and was fine with keeping said Nazi’s some folks took it upon themselves to demand answers from creators who were still using the platform. Understandably, you want to make sure your favorite creator isn’t also in support of that mentality and want to ensure that the money you are spending to support the creator isn’t also going to SubStack themselves. That’s how boycotts work; you stop the flow of money and business.

However, when you become antagonistic to creators about why they haven’t upended their entire livelihood, it gets a little personal. It can’t be stated enough how much the internet is run by bigots who don’t care about who you hurt as long as you bring them money. So there is a degree of apathy that happens where people just don’t see what the difference is; Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and The site formally known as Twitter—all have similar issues to SubStack. So why would these creators suddenly upend their platform to what, move to another platform in 6 months when it turns out their new home is just as soiled as the others? Difficult pill to swallow when some of those loud voices are also creators themselves, propping themselves up on Twitch, YouTube, Podcasts, and TikTok. All platforms with arguably worse issues whose creators are more than happy to contribute content to feed the ad revenue the platform survives off of.

Now I realize at this point you probably noticed I don’t have examples here of who has been on the attack in this space; the reason I am not putting examples is as much as I want to name and shame offenders here, it would be against my point. I don’t want to name and shame creators for making a hard decision that affects their livelihood, and I won’t do the same to the agitators lest I give them more air to breathe. Don’t worry, I considered it. I got into my own argument with a few other creators over this issue. I was so confounded by the rage when these same creators were acting in what I saw as a hypocritical manner considering their chosen platforms were just as unclean. But I’m not helping anyone by turning this newsletter into a place to square up a one-sided petty squabble with internet weirdos.

The bottom line is this, don’t be a dick. We all agree with you SubStack sucks, but some people have to do a lot more work than just turning off an RSS feed or moving a list of emails. Sure, some of these sites, like the lovely BeeHiiv, have some great tools and support teams to assist in migration, but it’s not perfect, and it certainly isn’t painless. Just moving free subscribers is the easy part; it’s those pesky paid members that complicate the whole thing.

Paid subscribers on SubStack use Stripe, the popular payment processor. The accounts are associated with SubStack, so migrating users who have paid and retained their subscriptions is a delicate dance between you, Stripe, SubStack, and you’re chosen home. There is a large margin of error where you don’t do things in the right order and end up double charging your users or do it in the wrong way and lose all of your paid subscriptions entirely, hoping instead that after an update, users will manually re-subscribe on the new platform.

That’s all for today.

Well, that’s sort of the end of it, I suppose. This whole thing really did a number on me. The turmoil of the platform made it a lot harder for me to feel good about making any new posts. So I apologize if I was a bit absent through the holidays. I promise with the new year, we should be back on the right track; I have a few topics I want to discuss in the next few months, so there shouldn’t be a shortage of content any time soon. Adding to that, I also write occasional articles for the Marvel Snap fan site So, if you want some more of my flavor but for a considerably small niche, maybe check it out.

Join the conversation

or to participate.