How Substack CEO Chris Best Sees Newsletters as a Way to Defend Press Freedom

”There’s some things in there that are that are off-limits, but we take a very broad support in general,“ Best tells TheWrap

As newsletter upstart Substack emerges from a stellar year, co-founder and CEO Chris Best said he wants the platform to become a one-step shop for writers — and to continue being a space for freedom of the press.

Substack aims to allow writers broad editorial freedom — as long as the company’s broad content guidelines are respected — while getting support for legal threats. The 4-year-old company’s hands-off approach to moderating content is inherently different from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter: Substack’s customers are choosing to pay for a newsletter or read it for free. Yet earlier this year, the company faced some criticism after some users pointed out that it was hosting and paying advances to authors regarded as anti-trans and anti-women. Some writers ultimately chose to leave Substack over the issue and migrate their work to competing platforms.

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Antoinette Siu

Media and Tech Reporter • • Twitter: @antoinettesiu