The reason Big Tech seems so powerful is wrongthinkers keep making the same stupid mistakes. I’m not going to detail those mistakes, but it boils down to one thing: relying on a known enemy’s services. Relying on the very same companies that you just saw deplatform someone else is the height of foolishness. It’s like marching your army into an enemy minefield and just hoping they won’t command detonate the lot and wipe you out in one effortless strike.
It’s hard to say why people keep making that mistake. Is it laziness? Lack of knowledge of the alternatives? Addiction to “free” platforms that makes them unwilling to pay someone to build a custom platform? I don’t know, because every time I bring it up online I get minimal feedback.
But the “build your own platforms” reminder-hammer struck again yesterday when a rogue employee inside Amazon temporarily knocked all of Castalia House’s ebooks offline and even deleted their customer data from the live database, delaying the reinstatement of their account.
This post is only a tiny bit of what I’m doing with the motivation the attack spurred in me, but the comment I was going to leave at Brian Niemeier’s place became far too long and I need to post it somewhere. So, here are some things to think about when building your own platform.
- The location of the providers is relevant. Some countries/states have very strong protections, or have favorable legal options for dealing with attacks. I don’t know enough about this to give advice and I am not a lawyer, but it’s an obvious thing to consider.
- Bake redundancy in. Buy multiple domains. Set up multiple servers mirroring your key content. Do not reveal your redundant measures ahead of time and the enemy won’t even know to attack them. Use whois protection on your domains to prevent a reverse lookup.
- Redundancy isn’t just about copying data. Buy your domains from multiple companies. Set up your servers with multiple hosting companies. That not only makes it much harder to seriously attack you because they need to put pressure on a number of companies at once, but makes it harder to figure out what to attack. If you buy a bunch of similar domains and they’re all pointing to the same IP as your main site, it’s pretty obvious they belong to you.
- Do not use a single company as the host and registrar for a site. You do not want to make it easy to attack your data and your domain at the same time, and it’s a common sense hedge against problems with the company even if you aren’t explicitly attacked. Domain gets attacked? Point a new domain at the server and send out an email and social media blast telling people to go to the new URL. Host goes down? Just redirect DNS to a live mirror or spin up a new server and restore your data. You can be back up in anything from a few minutes to a couple hours.
- DO NOT rely on enemy-controlled services like Paypal, Stripe, or crowdfunding platforms, whether directly or indirectly (don’t use a friendly platform that relies on an enemy service either, e.g. FreeStarter). Go directly to the payment processors. Have multiple payment processors set up, ready to fail over if the lead processor is persuaded to cut you off. How was payment processing done 10 years ago before all the turn-key Silicon Valley crap existed? Do it that way. Those options are still available. There are literally dozens if not hundreds of companies offering payment processing, and besides, there’s always the paper option. My mother runs a small business and 90% of her income comes in the mail in the form of checks and money orders. I’ve personally done loads of long distance business with money orders because the Silicon Valley middlemen don’t like guns. How do the gun companies do business? How do the porn companies do it? Do some research.
- If you are attacked, fight back! Have a plan ahead of time. If you’re dealing with serious money, you should have already talked to a lawyer and planned contingencies to deal with the likely attacks the SJWs will launch. These SJW shitheads get away with deplatforming people because the victims rarely bring legal challenges against them. They just cry online and give up.
That’s basic stuff anybody can do with a little work and planning, and other than talking to lawyers, it’s not very expensive. You can have a very robust system in place for less than $500 a year for domains and hosting if you can manage your own servers. If you need someone else to set up and manage your servers, you should carefully select software that isn’t complicated and/or fragile so your expenses are minimized. You probably don’t realize this, but WordPress is massive, fragile, resource-sucking overkill for most blogs (he says, on a WordPress blog).
I’m not going to make many specific recommendations about companies right now, in part because I haven’t done the research myself lately. I will tell you to stay away from any hosting company owned by EIG. I’ve personally experienced the joys of having my hosting company acquired, and destroyed, by EIG. I even lost control of a domain in the process, a domain I’ll probably never get back short of taking legal action because someone is squatting on it. Avoid the pain.
Anyway, I’ll have more to say about platform building later on. Right now I’ve got a story to start.