I have an important ask for you all at the bottom of this post. But to get there from here we need to ask and answer the question, what is a MailChimp and what does it mean for GraniteGrok?
We utilize a number of social media outlets, in addition to this blogsite, to get our messages to our readers. In addition, we also have an e-blast mechanism for our Daily ‘Grok. We use MailChimp, a bulk emailer, to gather a number of our posts from our RSS feed and about 1 pm every day to, well, a lot of people. And that number of recipients is growing. Not quite as fast as I’d like but still growing.
Think of it as a digest of the last 24 hours sent directly to your inbox. If you like what you see in the email, click on the post (heck, click on ALL of them!) and you’ll be brought to that particular post.
But I just received an email from MailChimp and I’m no longer certain of how well they will, like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and others, tolerate our Freedom-loving Conservatarian “speech.”
We are seeing, every day, that Big Tech is squelching such content daily – and the amount of it is increasing while their threshold for any “blatant” oppositional viewpoint is decreasing.
You get the idea. And then from that email:
We’re writing to let you know that we’ve updated a number of our legal policies to comply with applicable law, ensure transparency, and better align with our practices. We invite you to read them in full, but below are some highlights. With these updates, Mailchimp reaffirms its commitment to data protection, compliance with applicable law, and the safeguarding of our and our users’ data.
Which policies are changing?
I kinda figured, given the current political environment, what I was about to read. I was right, so I emailed them (my part slightly edited):
Oh, wait! That email also had this:
What do you need to do? You do not need to take any further action upon receiving this email. The new updates are effective January 1, 2020, and by continuing to use our service, you agree to the updated policies.
From: “Skip” <Skip@granitegrok.com>
Sent: 10/29/2020 11:27:12 PM
Mailchimp doesn’t allow accounts that promote or incite harm toward others or that promote discriminatory, hateful, or harassing Content. To this end, we may suspend or terminate your account if you send a Campaign or otherwise distribute any Content that we determine, in our sole discretion, contains either of the following:
- …Hateful Content. This means any statement, image, photograph, advertisement, or other Content that in our sole judgment could be reasonably perceived to harm, threaten, promote the harassment of, promote the intimidation of, promote the abuse of, or promote discrimination against others based solely on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, disease, or immigration status.
We also may suspend or terminate your account if we determine, in our sole discretion, that you are either:
- an organization that has publicly stated or acknowledged that its goals, objectives, positions, or founding tenets include statements or principles that could be reasonably perceived to advocate, encourage, or sponsor Hateful Content or A Threat of Physical Harm;
- a person that has publicly made a comment or statement, or otherwise publicly made known a position, including by membership in an organization as discussed above, that could be reasonably perceived as Hateful Content or A Threat of Physical Harm; or
- a person or organization that has acted in such a way as could be reasonably perceived to support, condone, encourage, or represent Hateful Content or A Threat of Physical Harm.
Mailchimp also does not allow the distribution of Content that is, in our sole discretion, materially false, inaccurate, or misleading in a way that could deceive or confuse others about important events, topics, or circumstances.
If you violate any of these rules, then we may issue a warning to, suspend, or terminate your account.
Hateful Content. Who decides what is Hateful or not? What is the Standard of Measure for that decision-making process? We’ve already been attacked by the Left as being hateful – simply because we differ in political outlook and we keep to traditional American values (which more and more, ARE called hateful by the Left). So I emailed their Legal Department below and included the above:
I am not a lawyer, nor do I attempt to try. In reading the above, I have one significant issue to ask which is along the lines of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”; I don’t see any mention in the above of what is and what is not Protected Speech as defined by the US Constitution. Can you elaborate, please?
It has become quite clear that a saying on the Right (for we are political bloggers on the Right of Center):
“we want the Left to keep on talking and talking and talking. And then talk some more. The Left, however, wishes to Silence their opposition”.
We see this playing out in real-time; there are several on the Left (including NH elected officials of the Progressive persuasion) who have sought to have us shut down simply because of political differences. It’s as if the First Amendment protecting Free Expression (and NH’s Constitution Articles #22 and #30) never existed. I dryly note that in neither the US or the NH Constitution is Speech ever defined as Hateful or non-Hateful.
One of those elected officials is NH State Rep Jan Schmidt called us out for “hate speech”. She did have one blog site shut down because they simply believed in traditional marriage (she, of course, thought that was homophobic). She even reached out to our hosting company – they said what she was bringing up were First Amendment issues and, thankfully, turned her down.
Thus, I ask – please define Hate Speech (which you call Hateful Content)? What is allowed? What is verboten? What topics? What specifics?
Sometimes, the “other side of the aisle” aren’t always “reasonable“. How will you decide – how will you define – when something would be “hateful” (and I don’t know what that entails) and simply differences of opinions between traditional and woke sides of issues?
So, what does this all mean? Right now, I do not know. I have not heard back from their Legal Department. Nothing may happen or we may get cut off now; who knows?
Our webmistress also consults with others that are also Conservative in nature – she has advised them to think of backup plans for their email communications before I had asked her for alternatives. There are some but she feels they may feel they may also be “feeling the heat” so moving might just be temporary as the SJW morality (such as it is) is beginning to be like a ravenous beast.
It may be time for me to put away my blogger hat and put on my software development hat for a while – for both a custom email app…
…and a ‘Grok Mobile App which will free us, to a point, from relying on Big Tech.
I’ll have my hands busy for a while – new technologies and a lot of planning. I know that a number of you have tech backgrounds – if you have the bandwidth for suggestions and, if I may be so bold, some hands-on software engineering, I’d be much obliged.
I always hate this part – asking for money. But I must – if you can donate so that we can purchase/subscribe to development tools, I’d also be much obliged…
…to keep the signal on.
Thanks, my friends!