Posted originally on The Conservative Tree House on January 10, 2021 by Sundance
Parler CEO John Matze appears on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo to discuss Parler.Com being deplatformed by Amazon and Big Tech.
Beyond the issues with Amazon controlling the server system for Parler, Mr. Matze outlines how the interior tech network, architecture and all subsidiary vendors notified Parler of their walking-away at the same time as the server notification from Amazon.
This interview about the challenges confronting Parler contains some context for the move CTH was able to accomplish in less than two weeks in November. Remember, not only did we have a time crunch, we were also determined to be anti-fragile with CTH 2.0
The key to Treehouse 2.0 was/is recognizing we are building something within a system that wants to see us removed. Being proactive made us better stewards for our conversation. Remember, YOU are the important part.
Despite some tech issues with the disconnect and migration from WP/Automattic servers to our own proprietary server system, we succeed. God and Angels on our shoulders.
Some background reminder so everyone can understand the big picture issues. Obviously WordPress/Automattic wanted us gone; however, in hindsight the unspoken purpose and motive behind our eviction is now making a lot more sense.
Based on insider information, there were two distinct issues that merged; sunlight upon them is against the interests of massive multi-billion dollar organizations, but at CTH the truth has no agenda, so here’s the inside explanation as it appears.
♦ Ideology – As they said in their post-election notification to deplatform, the “content” of CTH was against the terms of WordPress/Automattic:
…”given the incompatibility between your site’s content and our terms, you need to find a new hosting provider and must migrate the site by Wednesday, December 2nd.
This is not really a surprise as Big Tech looks for any obtuse or obscure reason to silence voices that are not in political alignment with their goals.
The decision by WP/Automattic is not surprising even if they would never publicly admit it. Quite simply, this battle has been going on for years and now it is at an inflection point. Alternates to the grip of Big Tech are starting to emerge, slowly.
♦ Business – In addition to the ideological nature of the motive, there is another element which has gained significant clarity in the past few weeks. Our CTH community did something WP/Automattic never expected… we were too successful.
The scale of the CTH reader and commenting community literally was/is a rebel alliance reeking havoc inside a host network that didn’t like our voice. Simultaneously, we were chewing up massive amounts of their server space and capacity. This is very interesting.
According to insiders who have reached out and shared their opinion, what CTH evolved into is far more than a simple blogging community. Essentially the metaphor provided is this: “you took a blog platform and built a mini FaceBook social media enterprise within it.” The CTH community, our extended global family of ragtag misfits, was/is using CTH as a network of like-minded friends to share and discuss information.
You might say well, isn’t that what a blogging community is all about… and the answer eleven years ago was a simple: yes. However, our assembly became much, much, much larger than a simple community.
The scale of having up to 25,000 simultaneous users is way beyond a simple blogging platform. CTH became a social media enterprise. Discussions, information sharing, networking and contact with each-other is what social media was all about.
The FaceBook social media model is essentially operating in our site. That’s an awesome outcome, but one WP/Automattic did not expect. In essence CTH hijacked the platform to create a social network.
All of that engagement costs the host (WP/Automattic) server space and massive amounts of bandwidth. Despite my paying for their hosting services (business plan), we were essentially living cheap, almost rent free, inside their platform. Once we realized this was also an element of concern, some prior work by WP/Automattic to control CTH made sense.
There is an interesting conversation happening in the coffee shops of Big Tech about this issue… WordPress/Automattic can never admit the unique financial problem that CTH created for them.
The business model for WP/Automattic is to sell the potential outcome of exactly what we achieved. WP/Automattic pitches their business plan by saying you can build a blogging community and share your voice.
Well, we took them up on that offer ten years ago and we built the biggest community within their system; a massive community. We did exactly what the marketing people at WP/Automattic say is possible… except we did it bigger than they ever imagined. Our success at achieving the scale of community created a problem they can never admit.
If WordPress/Automattic were to be honest now about the financial impact of users -like CTH- achieving success, they would be undercutting the entire marketing/advertising plan of their hosting platform.
The honest sales approach from WP/Automattic would be to say: we can provide you a platform, up until you achieve significant success; and then, it is in our financial interests, for you to leave. Obviously WP/Automattic would never sell their product if they were honest… so they look for reasons, any reasons, to control or eliminate the community. THAT appears to have been a big part of what drove their decision.
It was not a surprise that WP/Automattic kicked-us out immediately after they went into the market to get more money to expand operations. CTH was costing them money, perhaps a lot of money. As a consequence not only were they hosting a voice against their ideological interests, that voice was so big it was costing them money. Combine both factors and you get the insufferable excuse “your content” is against our interests.
Believe me, this financial ‘cost to host‘ issue is a big topic in the background of conversations in the tech industry. The hypocrisy of selling a product they do not really want to see succeed is a very interesting conversation. Sunlight upon this motive in the world of tech is kinda funny. The Automattic members can never allow this to be widely known; but the people within the machinery know exactly what the issues are.
♦ So, what does that mean to CTH 2.0? Well, we have a big server network hosting us right now – and it ain’t cheap (by a long shot). To give you an idea of how unique this situation is, they cannot calculate cost until they see the Content Delivery Network (CDN) data-results for scale.
This is uncharted territory. Our commenting community, specifically the number of simultaneous users, is essentially like a mini Facebook inside their server network. No-one has any idea how to manage this outside of pre-existing social media platforms that generate millions/billions in upfront revenue and construct proprietary and dedicated server farms.
It’s a good problem.. so everyone says.
It’s a good problem from the perspective of those who would love to monetize our network/community. However, that is not the purpose of our assembly.
To the extent our community will need money to securely exist and thrive safely, publicly and with privacy protections on an independent platform, that is ok. However, we will not collect any data on users at any time. The true value in our community is our fellowship and the search for the truth.