16 thoughts on “Alternative to WordPress”

  1. Just to clarify, WordPress.com is the site which hosts blogs.  It is operated by Automattic, Inc., a company founded by one of the developers of WordPress.  The WordPress software which we use at Ratburger.org is free and open source software developed by the WordPress Foundation, which is now formally independent of Automattic.  The ability of WordPress.com to deny hosting to blogs of which they do not approve does not affect users of the WordPress software like Ratburger.org in any way.  As open source software licensed under the GPL, we are free to use the WordPress software without approval from any third party.

    10+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  2. John Walker:
    Just to clarify, WordPress.com is the site which hosts blogs.  It is operated by Automattic, Inc., a company founded by one of the developers of WordPress.  The WordPress software which we use at Ratburger.org is free and open source software developed by the WordPress Foundation, which is now formally independent of Automattic.  The ability of WordPress.com to deny hosting to blogs of which they do not approve does not affect users of the WordPress software like Ratburger.org in any way.  As open source software licensed under the GPL, we are free to use the WordPress software without approval from any third party.

    Thank you. I was wondering how open source software could be censored.

    1+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
  3. 10 Cents:
    I was wondering how open source software could be censored.

    As John clarified, wordpress.com is a website and therefore can censor blogs, which it has done, most notably Heartiste.

    However, it remains possible for domains to be banned. Domain name registrars can refuse to do business with you. ICANN controls the domain space. An older article from EFF describes the problem. I’ve not kept up with what’s happened since.

    So, yes, even open-source-based domains can be censored.

    1+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
  4. drlorentz:
    However, it remains possible for domains to be banned.

    Not to get too deep into the weeds (when you’re dealing with Internet plumbing, it’s basically all weeds), but denying hosting to a Web site is a very different thing from pulling a domain name.  Suppose you use a domain name, say BLOHARD.COM (that’s one of mine), registered with an ICANN-sanctioned registrar—let’s call them Network Pollutions.  The purpose of that domain name is to map the name to the IP address(es) of the site: in the case of Ratburger 35.156.218.212 and 2a05:d014:d43:3101:89d6:6843:8e4e:3b15.  Now suppose the registrar decides to pull your registration.  That breaks the mapping of the name to the IP address.  People can still get to the site by specifying the IP address.  For example, you can get to Ratburger with:

    http://35.156.218.212/

    but the site remains accessible.  (You may have to do some fiddling with https: security, but that isn’t a big thing.)

    You can then try to find another registrar within the .COM top-level-domain (TLD) who will re-register the name for you.  As there are hundreds of them, unless there’s a concerted effort to ban you, you’re likely to find one.  If you’re completely blocked by all .COM registrars, there are hundreds of other country-based domains who may be willing to register your site.  You may, for example, have to move to BLOHARD.TO (.TO is the TLD for Tonga), but once your users are informed of the change you’re back in business.

    As it happens, I am a founding investor in the .TO domain registry, as I have been thinking about keeping such options open since 1996.

    The third vector of attack is going after cloud hosting providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) (which hosts Ratburger.org) and getting them to cancel hosting.  So far as I know, this has not happened except in cases of fraud or other criminal activity.  If that happens, you can move to self-hosting on Internet service purchased from a regulated common carrier.  This is a lot more expensive, but it is much more difficult for a common carrier to deny service based upon political views, as the very definition of a common carrier is that they provide service to anybody who pays.  I have such service to my facility here, which I used to host Fourmilab before I moved it to AWS in January of 2016, and I estimate it would take between one and two weeks to spin up a dedicated server here if necessary.  All of the backups and software configuration needed to do so are in my possession here and updated daily.

    4+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  5. I like it! I am part of  http://35.156.218.212/ “Hey, it’s free.” I can’t wait to see the graphic. 

    2+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
  6. John Walker:
    People can still get to the site by specifying the IP address.

    I understand that but it’s simply not a practical approach for most people. Also, no one new can find you this way. Sites would have to rely on word-of-mouth.  The same goes for all the other work-arounds. Yes, in principle, you can still have a website. If your website exists but no one can find it, does it still make a sound? Maybe the sound of one hand clapping.

    The efforts to de-platform and censor are not air-tight. But they do introduce a significant amount of friction that will mute most voices. The purpose of alternative media is to preserve access as seamlessly as possible. If the censors succeed in reducing us to using numerical IP addresses, they’ve won.

    4+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
    • avatar
  7. My anti-Islam posts over at RushBabe49.com are some of my most popular (since WP stopped the photo challenges), and they have not censored me in any way that I know of.  I still get random likes on my old posts, which makes me smile.  Last week while I was on the phone with Kay, I got notified of a new follower, due to one of my anti-Islam posts.

    1+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
  8. drlorentz:

    John Walker:
    People can still get to the site by specifying the IP address.

    I understand that but it’s simply not a practical approach for most people. Also, no one new can find you this way. Sites would have to rely on word-of-mouth.  …

    I doubt many people find Ratburger.org any other way than a word-of-mouth referral from a friend.

    0

  9. MJBubba:

    drlorentz:

    John Walker:
    People can still get to the site by specifying the IP address.

    I understand that but it’s simply not a practical approach for most people. Also, no one new can find you this way. Sites would have to rely on word-of-mouth.  …

    I doubt many people find Ratburger.org any other way than a word-of-mouth referral from a friend.

    There are other sites besides Ratburger; this is not just about us. Traffic is driven to many sites by search or other means. These sites (e.g., Heartiste*) had a million sessions per month, 10% of which came from search. That’s how larger sites get new users. If Ratburger ever got bigger, people would find us through search.

    *Higher (lower number) Alexa rank than Ricochet

    1+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
  10. RB49:
    they have not censored me in any way that I know of.

    You left out the word “yet.” They have not censored you yet because you’re probably not on their radar yet.

    2+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
  11. 10 Cents:
    What was Heartiste known for?

    For social commentary and for being pro-Trump. Historically, the site was about dating, the sexual marketplace, and evolutionary psychology. Sometime around when Trump began his campaign, the site pivoted to politics.

    One of the ladies of Ricochet pointed me to this site a few years back. I wish I remembered who it was.

    1+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
  12. drlorentz:

    10 Cents:
    What was Heartiste known for?

    For social commentary and for being pro-Trump. Historically, the site was about dating, the sexual marketplace, and evolutionary psychology. Sometime around when Trump began his campaign, the site pivoted to politics.

    One of the ladies of Ricochet pointed me to this site a few years back. I wish I remembered who it was.

    This reminds of Henny Youngman. “That was no lady that was …”

    0

Leave a Reply