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I Went Nazi-Hunting On Substack. Now I Ask: Whose Nazis Are *We*?

Something we should ask ourselves. Since a lot of speech is protected, ugly or not.

Just call me Simone Geezernthal, Nazi Hunter.

The Atlantic has been preoccupied with an alleged ‘Nazi problem’ on Substack. If you’re not familiar with the hubbub, Bub, they and their fellow journo lackeys keep writing about how Substack is infested with Nazis. Last fall some guy named Casey Newton on some popular tech newsletter I’m not familiar with left Substack quite raucously in a PR-fueled blaze of incandescent virtue signalling, huffing and puffing that Substack refused to do anything about its ‘Nazi problem’. The Guardian announced that he took ‘more than 170,000 subscribers elsewhere,’ which is a bit hyperbolic as probably most of them stayed put, while following Newton elsewhere for his work, unless they wanted to join the flamboyant anti-Nazi parade out the door. What actually materially departed was Newton’s paying subscribers, which is how Substack makes money.

The Nazi naysayers hightailed it to Ghost, a famously highly-decentralized platform which, as Freddie deBoer pointed out, allows for no central moderation which means it’s pretty surely a hate-orgy free-for-all. Nor, as he notes, is it easy to tell whether a content provider is using Ghost or not, so for all Newton knows, the next time he goes Nazi-hunting, he may not need to leave his own ‘hood. Newton is almost certainly now in the company of far more Nazis and other unsavouries than he was on Substack.

I learned about the fascism flap after finding an open letter to Substack encouraging the urge to purge. I was like, “I didn’t know we had any Nazis.” It was probably news to most, and, like me, figured it was just woke snowflake brains melting down over a deadnaming or a positive comment about Tucker Carlson.

But no, The Atlantic and other Nazi hunters were talking about real Nazis, people who voice standard Nazi points of view even if you can’t find the verboten N-word in their publications. One pub, from The Atlantic story, and run by a genuine white supremacist, had a Nazi ‘sonnenrad’ profile image (it looks like the world’s most hideous spider). These weren’t woke ‘Nazis’ defined as ‘anyone who disagrees with us’.

Substack, in response to the journalistic frenzy, did in fact purge a few genuinely Nazi accounts they claimed violated their Terms of Service, brought to their attention by The Atlantic’s story.

I had encountered one pretty suspiciously Nazi dude already, but he found me. He’d called me a ‘kikesucking Zionist asswhore’, responding to a comment I’d left somewhere, sympathetic to post-October 7 Israel. The guy’s response was rife with antisemitism and what I can pretty confidently call some genuine expressions of hardcore, old-school, unquestionable Nazi sympathies.

He’d gone through all the comments on the article and flamed others too. I calmly blocked him and had a lovely breakfast with my fellow Zionist asswhores.

If there were any other Nazis on Substack, they didn’t show up in my feed.

Substack's Terms of Service

Like most blogging or social media platforms, Substack feeds its readers undiscovered content based on their tastes. Since my own skew heavily toward rational liberal and conservative thought, I don’t see extremist content. Not even woke crap, which I criticize regularly. Substack really does function rather effectively as an intellectual/ideological bubble. Most Substack writers and readers won’t see nutsy Nazis either.

What us First Amendment lovers love about Substack is it’s one of the few blogging platforms left that doesn’t politically censor speech. Every platform has to censor at least a little. But Substack’s idea of protected speech more closely resembles the Constitution’s rather than their more authoritarian ‘woke’ competitors, like Medium, Substack’s biggest competitor. Where the woke rule is where free speech goes to die.

Substack’s ToS states, “We host and celebrate a diverse range of thought and discussion,” and as far as I can tell, except for violence-spewing Nazis, that’s true. I’ve not once been called down, taken down, or excoriated by Substack for anything anti-woke I’ve written, and my articles critical of misogynist transactivism would melt down half of Medium memberships’ brains.

Substack’s policies on ‘hate speech’ read like most other platforms’ with one key difference:

Substack cannot be used to publish content or fund initiatives that incite violence based on protected classes. Offending behavior includes credible threats of physical harm to people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability or medical condition.

What’s different is its definition of offending behavior as ‘credible threats of physical harm to people….” Credible threats. Like, “Kill all the gay blind left-handed Mexican trans-plumbers for Jesus,” not criticism of transactivists, Black Lives Matter, atheists, religious fundamentalists, LGBTQ, Fox News, Antifa, or people who love Israel/Palestinians/Hamas more than you think they should.

I’m guessing if anyone’s whining to Substack that ‘Grow Some Labia is literally killing transpeople!!! with her g̶e̶n̶d̶e̶r̶ ̶c̶r̶i̶t̶i̶c̶a̶l̶ transphobic articles,’ that Substack support staff, whiskey tumblers at their elbow, are ignoring them, or explaining that I haven’t violated their ToS by literally killing or urging others to literally kill transpeople.

I’m an old-school free speech advocate. I want its boundaries to be as narrowly interpreted as our Founding Fathers, and Substack does. My no-nos include “From sea to shining sea, America will be free—of n——rs”, “We’ll pull another Jan 6 if Biden steals another election and this time we burn the fucker down!”, or “So-and-so is a pedophile,” (when they’re not).

I got to wondering where the remaining, ToS-abiding Nazis are on Substack.

Where have all the Nazis gone, short time passing?

I began with the Nazi guy who’d flamed me at Thanksgiving. I found his publication and he is, so far, the most unquestionably blatant Nazi I’ve found. His pub features a hook-nosed Jewish cartoon character with a crazy-ass GIF incorporating a spiral, Satanism, Judaism, and Hillary Clinton. His music tastes indicate I’m not the only ‘kike-sucking Zionist asswhore’; count Miley Cyrus in my company.

Substack’s Nazis tend to keep a low profile. Several are sparse on content and subscribers. I kept searching on popular Nazi and white nationalist keywords for ‘posts’, ‘people’ and ‘publications’ and couldn’t find much. I found a few via the original Atlantic/bandwagon-jumpers feeding frenzy.

One publication claimed to be “a small professional team of pro-White advocates centred around a single mission: bringing a pro-White perspective to analysis of both foreign and domestic policy.” Lots of anti-Israel content and ‘replacement theory’ white nationalist crapola. Their recommendations led to another publication which complains about wealthy Zionists and the left and offers a dissection of Jewish power. Another recommendation led me straight to a genuine Fascist newsletter, which included book recommendations for the budding Fascist, an article about Christianity and Fascism, and promises analysis and discourse on Third Positionism, a neo-fascist political ideology.

The easiest way to find Nazis on Substack is to dig up a Nazi and follow his Recommendations links.

Two more goose-stepping goobers I found via the Atlantic article were described as practically dripping with antisemitism. I didn’t delve deep into the dismal dregs of Deutschblütig drek, and I did find some pretty straightforward antisemitism but I wouldn’t exactly call it a SwastikaSturm. I’m not defending it, and I wouldn’t mind if the Substacker effed off and took his shit to TruthSocial, but finding these and other Nazis was sort of like exploring the city you live in and finding a gang of skinheads in some far corner of town where you never go and probably could never find again unless you saved the coordinates in your GPS.

Another publication was run by the notorious white nationalist Richard Spencer and denigrated Einstein as not being all that bright, frankly, while claiming that Aryans were mostly responsible for producing geniuses. There were also some podcast hysterics about Jews in caves in New York, a big not-news story if you missed it, about one actual tunnel underneath a Brooklyn synagogue that had the right wing hyperventilating all over social media.

The publication that caused similar respiratory distress for The Atlantic, the one with the big ugly spider image, described itself as a ‘pro-white think tank and publishing house’, denies that valuing and writing about one’s own race is ‘dangerous’ or ‘supremacist’, and notes that Indigenous Americans regularly rally around and support their own communities. What The Atlantic failed to mention was how sparse that publication was, with an interview with some white supremacist dude, an ‘about’ page and another hook-nosed Jew caricature.

I’m not sure how much of a ‘Nazi problem’ Substack ever had, really; supposedly, some publications gone bye-bye had thousands of subscribers, including a considerable number of paying ones. I suspect Casey Newton’s departed paid subscriptions hurt more than the Nazi lucre Substack shut down, but I could be wrong. Substack spokescritters have stated they don’t like Nazi content but if it doesn’t violate their Terms of Service they’ll leave it be. That won’t make anyone who viscerally loathes Nazis happy, especially Jewish readers and writers. But it does mean a lot other speech is protected. Including Jews’. And ours. Because we are all someone else’s ‘Nazis’, and some of them are more powerful than The Atlantic.

Whose Nazi are you?

This is important because censors never stop with genuine Nazis: Eventually, we all become their Nazis.

In 2021, Substack was attacked in the popular press for allowing ‘transphobic’ writers, and transactivists launched a campaign to pressure them to remove the writers they found offensive. Transgender Map listed many respected, respectable Substack writers who wrote ‘anti-trans’ (i.e.,, gender critical) content. Substack is one of the few platforms that refused to back down. It’s clear, reviewing the list of ‘anti-trans’ writers, that transactivists’ gripes also include simply anyone who writes contrary to ‘woke’ narratives in general; Jonathan Haidt’s After Babel is mentioned, and he never writes about transgenderism that I’ve ever seen. Transgender Map disapprovingly cites his founding of Heterodox Academy and promotion of ‘intellectual diversity’ and challenging ‘enforced’ academic orthodoxies, which it claims are ‘buzzwords’ for ‘people who want academic freedom without academic responsibility of accountability.’ They also spuriously link him to some sort of ‘cover-up’ of some alleged ‘fabricated case report’ linked to a transsexual researcher they don’t like without explaining exactly what Haidt had to do with it, if anything.

These are the ‘Nazis’ of which I am part: Transactivism-critical feminist, defender of free speech and challenger of ‘entrenched orthodoxies’, and who has been deplatformed by Medium, along with Vocal and X-Twitter wannabe CounterSocial for being too trans-critical.

We forget that offensive speech is also covered by the First Amendment, as evidenced by the ACLU’s most (in)famous court case, the right of Nazis to protest in Skokie, Illinois in the 1970s, where many Holocaust survivors lived. (They ended up marching in a Chicago park instead by mutual agreement).

Damn them all you want - and many of us did back then - but almost certainly, the speech the CensorNazis come for next is your own, and censorship has become much more fashionable for left-wing authoritarians in recent years. The ‘hate speech’ I’ve been banned for was for ‘transphobia’, meaning someone didn’t like my gender-critical commentary—absolutely protected by the First Amendment, but not required for public platforms to abide by.

There’s an uncomfortably prescient quote from the story I referenced about the Nazi brouhaha in Illinois nearly fifty years ago. The Jewish Anti-Defamation League argued against the Nazi demonstration in full regalia because it would cause Holocaust survivors to relive their emotional trauma. “We responded,” Nazi defense lawyer David Goldberger—yes, David Goldberger—wrote on the 2020 ACLU memoir of the case, “that no one who objected [to] the Nazis had to attend their demonstration and that if claims of subjective harm could shut down a public assembly then anyone who objected to a controversial demonstration could prevent it by asserting it would inflict emotional harm.”

Exactly like many arguments made by woke fragile flowers today to justify shutting down opinions or speech they don’t like, claiming the flimsiest of flimsy pretenses of emotional ‘harm’, as though they could be destroyed by an argument they can’t logically refute.

Some of them even believe words can murder, which is where the accusations of ‘literally killing transpeople’ come from, against people who would literally be in jail if they had.

Apart from clearly unprotected speech, like advocating violence against others, it’s too easy to say that this speech is fine, but that speech is not, and mission creep sets in. Holocaust survivors, and Jews overall, can argue genuine mental harm for having to tolerate Nazis, but less genuinely trans-identified males, themselves demonstrably abusive, now claim ‘harm’ from feminist resistance to their aggressive misogyny. Although I rarely run across actual transactivists on Substack, I did happen across a ‘woke’ one the other day bitterly lamenting Pamela Paul’s courageous article (for the otherwise trans-submissive New York Times) focusing on detransitioning kids and questioning whether their initial hasty transitions were justified.

Transactivists know the jig is almost up.

I doubt the whiny trans guy knows I even exist, and I’m not going to go poking his bear. I’m his ‘Nazi’, and on a different platform, he and his kind have successfully petitioned to censor this ‘transphobe’ writer and her ‘hateful’ content (all of which you can find here), as they have to so many others like me who offend not just the trans set but other cherished woke dogma.

The folks who want to deplatform Nazis are almost always the same ones looking to deplatform anyone who runs afoul of their extremist illiberal worldview. Nazis are the easy target but they’re only the first shot across the bow.

I blocked the kook-sucking anti-Zionist asswhore who besmirched our comment threads; he slimed back to the grody grotto he oozed out from. I’m done hunting Nazis and I’m quite grateful to Substack for upholding free speech standards. It’s comforting to know that unless the Woke Pod People leave pods in Substack’s founders’ beds one night, I’ll be able to snark my way through wokeness, MAGAs, transactivism, the Paw-Paws election, fluffy-brained feminism and even Hitler himself.

In fact, making fun of our enemies is the best way to take their power. 

Thankfully, Substack’s got our backs.

Real-life Jew Dick Shawn camps up hippie Hitler on stage in 1968’s The Producers, which made fun of Hitler and Nazis. It was made by a whole bunch of Jews including producer Mel Brooks, starring fellow Jews Gene Wilder, Zero Mostel, Kenneth Mars (who played the Hitler-worshipping ex-Nazi) Renee Taylor, and Jehovah knows who else.

Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!




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