Substack is now a playground for your home

what Alex What do Berenson, Barry Weiss and Glenn Greenwald have in common? They’ve all lashed out against exclusion – whether it’s a Twitter ban or losing a job at a prestigious publication – only to find a new home and big fortunes on Substack.

cheerful newsletter platform, Founded in 2017 Described as an alternative way to move forward in the constantly struggling ad media industry, She positioned herself as anti-FacebookA place where quality and reasoning trump interaction algorithms. But some of its most famous writers are considered by many to be pushing harmful content. Successes like these raise an embarrassing question for new media darling: If Substack is the future, what future is it even making?

For Substack CEO and Co-Founder, Chris Best, the future cannot repeat the mistakes of the past. “The way we ended up, where we have this ad-supported, attention-grabbing social media that dominates how people spend their time and attention, has some really negative consequences.” Enter Substack. and Alex Berenson.

Berenson, formerly A The New York Times The writer, who was banned from Twitter in August 2021 for making false claims about the safety and efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines, has a thriving business on Substack. He earns an estimated $720,000 a year from his subscribers – albeit intriguing Not showing up on Substack Dashboard One of the great writers. Best says Berenson’s absence from the Substack leaderboard isn’t a conscious choice not to promote it but instead a “technical glitch.” Although Best could not say when the bug was identified or when it would be fixed.

Flawed or not, Berenson’s popularity creates potentially embarrassing tension for Substack, which presents itself as an alternative to the ad-driven model — and the major flaw in the attention economy. “We feel that the way the first generation of social media and the internet played it broke a bunch of things,” he says. While Best acknowledges that social media and the early internet helped connect people in new ways, he thinks it’s also broken Pre-existing business models For great writing in a way that is impossible to undo, even though there are a lot of posts, The nIt’s York Times Perhaps most importantly, they can achieve it big bucks of good writing.

Afzal believes that Substack is a new way forward for the media world, and a harbinger of a new democratic world. Social media has broken the press, and Substack is here to save it. When they launched Substack, Best and his partners, Hamish Mackenzie and Jayraj Sethi, drew comparisons with newspaper executives from 200 years ago, saying their innovations were of equal importance. It was designed to distance the media from what the founders saw as a vicious cycle of following clicks through anger as it spreads on social media. “The incentive structure created because of this does not support and reward great writing. It supports and rewards the things that make us crazy,” Best says. “And that is a failure, both for us as individuals who care about what we read and care about to have a good view of the world, and for society as a whole because it annoys us.”

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