Quick Clarification re. New York Times

The New York Times just ran a story by Ben Smith on the Substack wars, and my husband Danny’s decision to take a Substack Pro contract. I think it’s a well balanced piece, but I’ve asked Ben to clarify this one point:

I don’t actually think Substack needs to broaden its definition of harassment in the least. I think the framework for dealing with harassment outlined in the Substack Publishing Agreement (PA) is perfectly adequate:

I also think the guidelines on Hate in the Content Guidelines in the Terms of Use (TOU) are pretty good:

My only objection is that these standards are not being applied equitably in the case of Graham Linehan, who has repeatedly harmed people (including me), acted threateningly, abusively, and has published defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, and objectionable material. He has also published hate, and “call[ed] for” the “exclusion” and “segregation” of women “based on their” “gender.”

The problem’s not with policy, it’s with enforcement, as I’ve argued here.

Either Substack intends to apply its terms of use, or it intends to allow Graham Linehan to wage a one-man hate campaign against trans women. So far, it looks like the latter.


Update, 10pm.

The Times has edited the quotation as requested. I would have preferred “more aggressive about enforcing its own Terms of Use,” but one can’t have everything I suppose.