Farewell Github Pages, Hello Nearly Free Speech

Ever Moving Towards my Values

By on ::

If you speak you die, if you do not speak you die, so speak and die.
Tahir Djaout, Review of Meursault’s Investigation

, I wrote about Deplatforming. In that post, I mentioned that I used Github Pages for hosting my static site.

That is no longer true. As of , I’ve moved away from Github Pages. I believe I did the migration without any breaking changes. But let me know if you find any problems.

The motivator for the change? Github fired a Jewish engineer who, during the attack on the Capitol, wrote on Github’s internal Slack channel stay safe homies, Nazis are about. See Internet Archive’s paywall free copy of the news article.

And let’s be clear, there were Nazis prowling the Capitol building .

One photographed and now arrested Nazi insurrectionist wore a 6MWNE shirt; a violent anti-Semitic reference to the Holocaust in which Nazis killed 6 million Jews. The person wearing the shirt supported the idea that the Nazi Holocaust did not kill enough Jews.

Now, let’s get back to Github. In response to Github’s actions, I’ve seen people express concern and anxiety. Within Github’s policies (written or implicit) and HR 📖 procedures, Github chose no sympathy nor empathy for a Jewish person expressing concern.

If you are listening to any Black, Jewish, Immigrant, Indigenous, Latinx, Chinese, or even Asian-descent, you can hear their concerns for safety as white supremacy and fascism roars, strikes, and thrashes to assert its continued dominance.

It is unconscionable for Github to not extend grace for someone who has certainly endured endless aggression and must also process the unfolding nightmare of an insurrection and coup.

Maybe there’s a lot more to the story. But in these wicked days, managers and senior “leadership” must see the humanity of people. They must extend grace and empathy for what we are inidividually and collectively processing. And they need to understand the historical context; These events echo the path to the installment of Hitler and Nazism as a form of government.

So, I turn from hosting on Github to Nearly Free Speech, a hosting service with a fantastic privacy policy.

Any content host must also navigate the waters of hosting offensive content. Nearly Free Speech applies an adminrable policy to hosting content they find offensive:

When we find a repugnant site on our service, we mark the account. We receive reports about all payments to such accounts, and we take a portion of that money larger than the amount of estimated profit and we donate it to the best organization we can find. The best organization in any given case meets two criteria:

  1. The recipient organization does share our values.
  2. The recipient organization is as opposite (and hopefully as offensive) as possible to the site operator that funded the donation.

Examples of organizations that have received funding over the years include the Anti-Defamation League, the Southern Poverty Law Center, local chapters of the NAACP, the National Bail Fund Network, the American Immigration Council, the Trevor Project, and others.

I can get behind that.

Postscript

The migration involved:

  1. Generating a new account (and paying some money)
  2. Creating a new SSH 📖 key pair
  3. Pushing up my static site’s files to the new host (via rsync)
  4. Changing my DNS 📖

If you want more information on the process, let me know.