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As some of you may remember, late last year I briefly considered running ads on this website, but soon decided against it because the ads seemed too trashy or boring, and therefore distracted and annoyed me. I assume that many regular readers of our webzine had much the same reaction. I’ve never been fervently opposed to advertising, just the wrong sort of advertising.

However, I was recently contacted by someone interested in advertising a new Free Speech-oriented Social Media website called Slug.com.

Given the increasingly severe censorship at Facebook, Twitter, and most other leading Social Media companies, providing such an alternate venue for discussion seems like a very worthwhile project. I don’t use Social Media myself, but I’m sure that the vast majority of the readers of our website do, and this information should be useful to them.

The ads were also quite tasteful and blended well with both the design and purpose of this website, so I gladly accepted the offer to begin running them. Therefore, you may now have noticed their appearance, whether on the Home page, the Sidebar, or interwoven with the comments on discussion-threads. Since this is new to our website, we may make a few adjustments going forward.

Anyway, feel free to provide me your perspectives on the matter.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Censorship, Facebook, Social Media 
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  1. Well, there I draw the line. I’m fine with whoever looks at my screen while I’m browsing the Unz Review seeing articles titled “The Hoax of the Twentieth Century”, but I’m not fine with them thinking I’m into fisting upon seeing that ad with the closed hand that was obviously originally skin colored and then made dark cyan with the fill tool in Photoshop.

    • LOL: Kent Nationalist
    • Replies: @Jack McArthur
  2. checked it out. It’s

    the usual (((alt-lite neo-con))) herd.

    • Replies: @Jett Rucker
  3. I suggest accepting and running unobtrusive, curated, paid advertisements which would be of interest to dissidents and defray your own operating costs.

    Advertisements of interest would include but not be limited to free speech social media, alternative payments technologies, independent media publishers, and privacy software.

    Because the ads would be curated, you would be able to bypass traditional advertising software and thus ad blockers such as uBlock Origin wouldn’t necessarily block these ads.

  4. anon[427] • Disclaimer says:

    I’m ok with ads, however imo you should then prohibit E. Michael Jones from merely publishing part of an article here and trying to charge for the rest. That greedy bastard is almost as bad as the Jewish usurers he’s always whining about.

    • Disagree: Dan Hayes
    • LOL: Thorfinnsson
  5. Muse says:

    Hope the ads don’t clutter things up too much. Will you allow the ads to load beacons and trackers? I assume that you are providing the ad space free to advertisers that support the mission of the Unz Review. I contribute via patreon and am generally willing to pay for content, but less likely to pay for content with advertisement, thus I have never paid for cable TV. If the ads are truly more like a public service sans trackers I have no qualms. Your clubhouse though. Ultimately you make the rules.

  6. Max Payne says:

    This is what they call ethical advertising. Relevant and aesthetically unobtrusive. If only Google Adsense understood this concept….

  7. @Thorfinnsson

    Because the ads would be curated, you would be able to bypass traditional advertising software and thus ad blockers such as uBlock Origin wouldn’t necessarily block these ads.

    I corroborate. I’m using Brave (Adblock-included-Chromium-build) and this was like the first real ad I’ve seen (or noticed) this month.

    (Generally speaking, adblocking people usually are not stressed about advertising as they’ve already forgotten what it looks like.)

  8. I should think that acceptance would depend upon:
    1. The site functionality and reach.
    2. Its beneficial owners/operators/

    I’m sure someone will do the necessary poking around

  9. Speaking for myself, ads all over the place are a bit much — but some are okay.

  10. Anonymous[401] • Disclaimer says:

    I trust your judgment, Mr. Unz. You don’t seem to personally need ad money, but if you allow some tasteful ones to defray costs: fine.

    Plus any ads that promote free speech are good.

    Interestingly, I just heard the female rep from (I think) Tennessee talking about tomorrow’s “grilling” of Zuckerberg and Dorsey. She said she wants to make it easier for free-speech startups to compete with FB, Twitter, YouTube, etc. on the Interwebs…specifically citing newcomer Parler.

    I also heard that Fox News is hemorrhaging subs after emulating Drudge and turning against Trump. Republicans now watch FN only for Hannity and Carlson, seeking new news-sites elsewhere…like Newsmax and One America News Network (OANN). Slug might be worth a shot, too.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    , @willem1
  11. joe2.5 says:

    Another new thing with Unz, apart from the reasonable opening to selected advertising, is really irritating. What does the newfangled fashionable phrase “going forward” mean, as in “we may make a few adjustments going forward”? And yes, I know what the trendy crowd that uses it uses it for.

    Also, it would have been very nice to have some “social” (or even asocial) media that, just like Unz, hosts any speech, across the whole political range, that is banned or blocked by the reigning powers. Not just the reactionaries.

  12. Ron, good luck with your new advertising endeavor so long as it does not feature annoying video ads. Over at TAC ( remember them? ) they have had for a year some pointless video of that hillbilly Vance guy giving a speech that pops up over every single article. So obnoxious.

    • Agree: Chris Mallory
  13. @Thorfinnsson

    The slug.com banner gets through my ad blockers. The only thing else I can think off hand getting through are those ads on reddit that are disguised as posts.

  14. nsa says:

    Please no ads for pecker pills, ineffective vitamins, inedible freeze dried bunker chow, bullet proof vests, etc.

    • Replies: @Rev. Spooner
  15. Slug is not free speech site. It bans people for controversial speech.

    • Replies: @Quai Smryna
  16. Dan Hayes says:

    Slug.com ads provide relatively unobtrusive breaks. Bring ‘em on 😎

  17. @Anonymous

    Anonymous[401] wrote:

    Republicans now watch FN only for Hannity and Carlson, seeking new news-sites elsewhere

    Martha MacCallum and Shannon Bream make a real effort to get news out despite the corporate suits. It was actually rather fun on election night seeing Bream and MacCallum trying to explain some basic facts to their dimwitted male counterparts.

    And Mollie Hemingway is almost always on target and seems to have an impressive memory for actual facts. Her reaction shots when one of the morons says something idiotic are priceless. I record several Fox News shows just to skim through them to see if Mollie is on. Sue Ferrechio is also good, though I wish she would be more assertive.

    I am getting the impression that all the brains at Fox, aside from Tucker, seem to be among the ladies…

  18. @joe2.5

    “What does the newfangled fashionable phrase “going forward” mean, as in “we may make a few adjustments going forward”? And yes, I know what the trendy crowd that uses it uses it for.”

    I take “going forward” to mean simply “in the future, henceforth”. Do trendy people mean something else by this phrase?

    Another usage I have noticed in recent months is the intransitive verb “drop”. From context, saying that something will drop soon means that it will be released/made public soon. Did this usage exist ten years ago?

    • Replies: @joe2.5
    , @Polemos
  19. Miro23 says:

    Personally I don’t mind ads. Any advertiser who is OK to be publicly associated with Unz review is fine by me. I would probably go out of my way to buy their products.

    • Replies: @Anon
  20. JackOH says:

    Ron, I think Playboy used to run occasional ads of its own in its issues on the the theme, “What Sort of Man Reads Playboy?”. Full-page ad, photo of studly dude surrounded by hot babes, and maybe 50 words or so sketching the reader demographic: younger single guys, good mean incomes, purchasing intentions, that sort of deal. The idea was to lure shy advertisers to buy a spread.

    I don’t know how you’d do something similar for UR to draw in the quality advertisers you want. Online questionnaire while trying to make a judgment call re self-selection?

    • LOL: Emslander
    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  21. We should get some ads for parler too.

    Disclosure: I’ve never visited parler.

    • Replies: @Jett Rucker
  22. Ron, you may be interested to know that about a month ago C Span started running ads, at least when programming is accessed on-line (I don’t have TV or cable, just view C Span via internet).

    C Span advertisers include a roofing company; local branch of a state university; a gadget called a Saker, etc. that take the opening 30 – 60 seconds of any program or segment opened. It interests me that C Span might think it needs to improve its revenue stream. Is the C Span project over-extended? Are subscribers dropping cable, squeezing C Span’s “public service” cable network sponsors? (C Span lists at least a dozen cable companies, from Spectrum to Verizon, who support C Span as a “public service”.)

    Your site, your call as to running ads, and the multiple presences of the ad boxes are not objectionable in terms of occupying space, but aesthetically I find them obnoxious: SLUG and a fist do not persuade me I’m going to view well-thought out, even if alternative, media.

  23. Anon[192] • Disclaimer says:
    @Miro23

    I kind of do this with Tucker Carlson’s advertisers. I know he has had trouble keeping advertisers, so as soon as My Pillow or whatever airs their commercial on their show I go to their website. Hopefully they will make the connection and keep their sponsorship of his program up. Really, the only way people who value truth like Carlson, Unz, and their viewership will survive these dark ages is to support each other, if not monetarily, then at least by simple gestures here and there. Overlook ideological purity and support who you can when you can.

  24. @Thorfinnsson

    It’s entirely reasonable for Ron Unz to run ads to defray his operating costs. I’ve tangled with the guy before, but he need not forever act as a charity, and fair is fair.

    FWIW, I am using a hotel computer. When I clicked on one of the slug.com ads here on Unz, I get a message stating that the site has been blocked by the Cisco “administrator” because it is pornographic. This seems entirely and obviously wrong. Bullying censoring creeps. I’ll access slug.com on my own tablet and see what the story is.

    Also, when I enter “slug” into google, I cannot find the slug social media site even after looking through pages. Must be a coincidence.

  25. JackOH says:
    @Morton's toes

    Well, they laughed, I get that–yes, I do–that the UR readership and commentariat ought to be “sold” to prospective advertisers to help underwrite the costs of this site and its possible expansion. (LOL!)

    Still, it’s one way how things are done in real-world publishing, which is where, I think, Ron wants to go.

  26. gay troll says:

    So the brand is Slug, and their emblem is a clenched fist, evoking combat to be connoted by free speech, sort of like the “Fight Club” ethos at ZeroHedge before Michael Snyder became editor in chief and sold his apocalyptic pom poms to Google. Now problematic comments on ZeroHedge get memory holed faster than you can say “oy gevalt”. For the record ZeroHedge began their purge of non shills by banning gay troll on 4/31/20. At least there’s still one Jew on the internet who still lets insane people say crazy things. Thank you, Mr. Unz! The pen may be mightier than the sword, but it can also be infinitely more loving. We don’t always have to punch each other.

  27. I’m sure Ron would know better than myself what the best decision would be from the POV of managing the website, but, speaking only in terms of reader experience, I find this unfortunate. One of the things I always found charming about the Unz Review’s website was the lack of advertisements.

    • Agree: Chrisnonymous
  28. Anonymous[279] • Disclaimer says:

    Well, I joined Slug just to check it out, and in registering it gives you a choice of not two but four genders, as if that were actually a real thing rather than a “woke” psychosis. The list of interests it asks you to check is very bland, full of suburban Democrat-type stuff. Ditto fields of work. No listing for the armed forces, for example, or the trades or construction, ranching, farming, etc. Basically white collar office worker stuff. Oh, and it specifies no nudity, drat.

  29. Ads the way this Slug ad is configured aren’t much of a problem. Even a sidebar ad would be fine. Please, please, please no auto-play video ads or pop up ads.

    • Agree: Chrisnonymous
  30. Tom Verso says:

    FYI

    Confessions of a 77 year…

    Given Ron Unz’s recommendation, I did not hesitate to go to the SLUG site. The page that came up, I thought was links to other websites. Accordingly, I signed up. It least I thought I did. I keep getting e-mails asking me to complete my sign up.

    I not only have no idea what else I’m supposed to do; but more importantly, I now find that SLUG seems to be some kind social media. Thousands of notes from hundreds of people.

    I’m not on Facebook or Twitter or ‘whatever’. I just read articles on the net such as those on Unz. Maybe there is something intellectually substantive on SLUG … but, it involves far to many mouse clicks for my geriatric brain.

    Each morning I ‘click’ on the Unz icon in my favorites list, and ‘click’ on the article I want to read. End of conversation: two clicks is my limit.

    If I want to kibitz; Ron has made the comments section geriatric friendly.

    I’m sure the young’uns will understand and enjoy SLUG.
    What I’m wondering: if they will learn anything.

  31. Jett Rucker says: • Website

    This is the camel’s nose. These ads are … OK, at least for now (says Ron).

    No.

    No camels.

    No noses. A tsunami of other … OK ads presses.

    No.

    No.

  32. Jett Rucker says: • Website
    @Mike Pierson, Davenport Rector, Midfielder

    Only seems fair.

    And there are lots more where that came from …

  33. Jett Rucker says: • Website
    @Haxo Angmark

    (Withheld) ad revenues are what brought the mighty Zuckerberg to his (censorious) knees.

    Hate to see the same thing happen to our Ron (and Website).

  34. Anonymous[289] • Disclaimer says:

    Ron, I have another worthwhile group you might accept running banner ads for:

    I mean, social media free speech causes are great and everything, but for the love of G-d, when we have starving Holocaust survivors to worry about…

    • LOL: Realist
  35. @Priss Factor

    If Ron Unz himself were to join Slug and post some of his most controversial opinions there, do you think they would they ban him? If there’s one type of ad that the Unz Review should absolutely not run, it’s one that makes false claims of promoting free speech.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  36. Hi I’m from Australia, I just want to let you know that it appears that Cloudflare is blocking access to Unz.com. I’ve tested this in Firefox and Chromium to make sure it sin’t something on my side. However, when I use the Tor browser, everything is fine. I’m not sure what time it is in America, but this is occuring now and the time here, in Melbourne, Australia is 4.24 pm.

    More accurately, Cloudflare in Singapore and cloudflare in hillsboro – meaning iyour ban is beginning to promulgate across cloudflares servers – blocks access to unz.com in Firefox. That must mean you’ve been knocked out of the entire S. E. Asia and Oceanic region via Cloudflare.

    Note: It appears that Tor circuits that run through Cloudflare also block unz.com. Other Tor circuits keep working.

    Youseriously need an .onion address.

  37. I thought you should have kept the ads last year.

  38. chuckywiz says:

    Nothing wrong with with slug.com. I found this name on your site and bookmarked it to check later. The quality of information is what attracted me to UNZ.

    I always believe “you build the field he will come and play”

  39. Bumpkin says:

    Ron, be careful about linking banner ads and other ad tracking images or scripts that are hosted by these advertisers, as they can be used to track and identify your readers. I examined the HTML source for this web page and I see that you’re hosting this Slug banner ad image at unz.com, so not a problem yet but something to watch for.

  40. @Quai Smryna

    If Ron Unz himself were to join Slug and post some of his most controversial opinions there, do you think they would they ban him?

    That, I don’t know.

    But Slug banned me for posting stuff about black crime from Colin Flaherty and criticizing Jewish Supremacism. (Btw, I posted nothing pro-Nazi or ‘holocaust didn’t happen’. Just condemned Jewish Supremacist control of media and foreign policy. But that was enough for Slug to ban my acct.)
    Slug’s stance on ‘free speech’ is ‘free speech that is backed by facts’. I guess black crime is not a fact, and Jewish Power isn’t real either.

    https://www.bitchute.com/channel/4u5pMggbpv1R/

    • Replies: @Quai Smryna
    , @Dissident
  41. I would like a little box (Unpaid) with new links to the YouTube bloggers/vloggers now banned by YouTube. These could be The last American Vagabond, Know More News, Tru News, Brother Nathaniel, David Irvin, etc, etc. There are many, the sky is the limit and I know many who miss them and will be grateful to connect with them again. Thanks

  42. @nsa

    I’m guessing you’re an InfoWar veteran.

  43. @kyle12424554

    Use Opera as your browser and in settings, block the ads.

  44. joe2.5 says:
    @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    Correct, that’s what the trendies use it for.

  45. I was recently struck by the conspicuous absence of ads on unz.com. It seemed like a miracle that such an abundance of content would not be monetized. I want to see this webzine succeed, even if that requires some ad space.

    Mr Unz, thank you for the wealth of content you have systematized and distributed over the years. I can’t imagine the internet with unz.com.

    • Replies: @Tyler Durden
  46. David says:

    Way back in 2016 when Kellogg’s took a political stance I resented, I stopped buying their products. But today, it’s impossible to boycott every company that hates me and my culture.

    So any company that was willing to have their name added to a list of UR supporters, even if I had to click through to see it, would get as much of my custom as my consumption habits would make practical.

    Who wouldn’t want Buzz managing his investments? I personally would need investments first, but you get the idea. I think Unz readers would reward advertisers if they possibly could.

  47. willem1 says:
    @Anonymous

    In a saner time, I’d have said that Fox actually decided it would try to live up to its old “fair and balanced” slogan. They have some that seem to have taken a serious left turn, but still quite a few genuine conservatives to balance that out. Even given the recent anger at some of Fox’s commentators, I’d still challenge those complaining to find even one voice like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, etc. on ANY of the other MSM networks.

  48. willem1 says:

    This website has an amazing amount of great content, and has always been ad-free. You either have some generous contributors or some deep pockets. I’m fully on board with anything reasonably unobtrusive that you can do to monetize your site. Sidebar and in-body ads are fine by me, and always easy to ignore or block. I only take websites off my list when I find they have annoying pop-ups, auto-play video, or similarly irritating stuff that my blockers don’t work on.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Agree: MEH 0910, Muggles
  49. MarkinLA says:

    Accept any ads you can to get as much money as you can. I won’t care since I probably won’t visit or buy anything from them. The only issue is: are you like so many once excellent web sites going to eventually do what the advertisers say and end up becoming just another neo-con site or will it stay as it is.

  50. @Priss Factor

    Things don’t seem to be adding up. This site regularly posts content that would have gotten one banned from polite society 25+ years ago, let alone from a woke social media site today. People outside the mainstream not only seek expression but also privacy in order to sidestep the cancel culture. So now we have advertisements here for a new “free speech” social media site that seems much more Parler-esque than Gab-ish. And as soon as you create an account with an email address and password, it immediately asks for some personal info: Zip Code and age. Then it asks for some more.

    Yet Slug and Unz seem to be co-promoting each other. Maybe we should all make new accounts over there and start posting about our favorite American Pravda articles (in detail). Then let’s see how long we’re welcome. Or maybe not. They seem much too interested in our personal data.

    • Agree: Chrisnonymous
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  51. Dumbo says:

    I personally find it distracting and annoying.
    And what is that symbol meant to be anyway, the fist of a non-white (blue) man slugging white people?

  52. On ads in general:

    They are fine, but please make them tasteful and unobtrusive:

    No pop-ups, ads requiring close-button click, videos, especially auto-play videos.

    Preferably, text-based ads, but if not text-based, then white-background ads within the Unz Review color scheme.
    Preferably, only in the sidebar, and not multiple ones interspersed in the comments.

    About SLUG.com:

    By allowing advertising on Unz.com, you’re kind of endorsing SLUG. That’s my impression anyhow. But I agree with the commenters who are skeptical about its data collection. I won’t sign up for anything now that wants my phone number or other identifying information. SLUG won’t even let you access its groups to read them (let alone comment), which tells me they really want my email and personal data.

    Ron, if you know something in more detail about SLUG, please let us know. Otherwise, I won’t sign up for it even though I would love to have a Reddit clone with the freedom of Unz Review.

    Also, the site is ugly, ugly. It is to Reddit what Bitchute is to YouTube. These big, successful companies have already gone to the trouble of tweaking their graphics in order to be most usable and attractive to the most people. Just freakin’ copy these layouts and features and manage the sites without censorship. That’s all! Success!

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    , @Muggles
  53. Dissident says:
    @Priss Factor

    As a number of others before me have already pointed-out, this whole SLUG thing– from the crude name and logo, to any number of aspects of the site itself– is odd, off-putting and more than-a-little curious, suspicious even.

    But Slug banned me for posting stuff about black crime from Colin Flaherty and criticizing Jewish Supremacism. (Btw, I posted nothing pro-Nazi or ‘holocaust didn’t happen’.

    And yet this very site, Unz Review, abounds with views– both in the articles as well as in many of the comments that are posted by readers– that explicitly and emphatically defend and even praise the Nazis and deny them of culpability in genocide and other mass atrocities. Heck, Ron Unz himself has even endorsed such views (at least the latter part) in his American Pravda series. As for black crime, last I checked, one of the featured, highlighted blogs here is exclusively dedicated to the topic of black-on-white crime.

    As Quai Smryna wrote in his reply to you,

    Things don’t seem to be adding up. This site regularly posts content that would have gotten one banned from polite society 25+ years ago, let alone from a woke social media site today. […]
    And as soon as you create an account with an email address and password, it immediately asks for some personal info: Zip Code and age. Then it asks for some more.

    Perhaps most curious, from https://slug.com/about

    Slug.com is a member-focused organization that doesn’t charge anything, have ads or sell your information to anyone, nor are we directly affiliated with any public figure.

    Who, then, is behind this SLUG endeavor? And how is it funded? If this information is provided anywhere on the SLUG site, I have not found it.

    • Replies: @Muggles
  54. STORYBOARD [To the background of In a gadda da vida]

    Slug.com emerges within the sheen of emetic beads hurled onto a wall
    whereby a new name is born representative to all lame huddled masses of grey matter yearning to be freeeeee ….gibs me dat silvery trail of slug

    okay Ron let’s sell it: SLUGGO …? FIFTY SHADES OF DUMBO …?

    HEY ! Let’s TALK with our you know what an don’t drop the flag in your other one, bro

    hey……HEY ….. u stupido phuck …..I’m aMURRICAN…u eer me? [ click ].

  55. Polemos says:
    @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    Another usage I have noticed in recent months is the intransitive verb “drop”. From context, saying that something will drop soon means that it will be released/made public soon. Did this usage exist ten years ago?

    When testicles drop, they become publicly accessible/released?

  56. So, Ron, here’s a problem.

    I’m not going to join anything I haven’t looked at, but when I clicked on your ad it tells me I can’t look before I join.

    No thanks.

    Do you really want to support this sort of web site?

  57. jsigur says:

    I actually thought that was Unz’s operation

  58. Usura says:

    There are very few things I would use absolute power to implement, but one is to immediately make all advertising of any kind illegal. My memories are saturated with residual corporate trash. Jingles, slogans, flashing neon signs, one insidious claim to ownership of my mental landscape after another. This is a form psychic trauma unique to the last 200 years of human history; I have always resented the incessant drumming of Denham’s Dentifrice, and have sought to escape it my entire life. This was a place to which one could escape and I’m sad to see that end.

    However, I will admit I didn’t immediately recognize the Slug banner as an ad, just a network which the site owner wanted to join. My perception is that this particular ad is rather benign, but that this could gradually shift, and is obviously a vector for possible outside pressure on the site. The world is filled with platforms which started out ad-free, with a heterodox and intelligent user base, and ended up boring corporate audience farms; let’s hope Ron knows what he’s doing. I won’t stick around if ads expand.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  59. You might do better to start up your own Top-Level Domain (Amazon already took .free, but you might still be able to snag .freedom) and start your own Domain Name Registrar and Web-Hosting services for all the conservative (BTW, .con is available as a TLD) and anything-right-of-Centre-left websites that will be de-platformed in the coming months.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  60. Ron, what do you call a commentator on SLUG?

    [MORE]

    A sluggard!

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  61. Prajna says: • Website

    I don’t object to the banner, though I was a little surprised to see advertising on UNZ and I share with other commenters some unease regarding it’s design and even name. I’d like to know something about who owns the site and can’t seem to find anything. If it presents itself as a free speech site then to be anything less makes it entirely untrustworthy.

  62. @Thorfinnsson

    ad blockers such as uBlock Origin wouldn’t necessarily block these ads

    … unless the viewer spends 5 seconds identifying and blocking the specific element.

    NB– I only mention this for completeness: I have UnzReport whitelisted in uBlock Origin. (Contrast this with ZeroHedge, where I block both sidebars and all ad-containing elements, and their ad suppliers are pi-holed: I’ve gone off ZH over the last few years).

    It was weird seeing an ad.

  63. slug will have the typical problem getting to scale without being infiltrated.

    Since I’m cynically realist, my prior is that it has been set up purely to be acquired by a bigger player. We are in an environment similar to the early 2000s… big tech will acquire startups based on audience growth.

    Protip: use a disposable e-mail address, because its userdb will leak the second it’s big enough to be interesting.

    The backend will have been configured by someone who got their db-hardening prowess from uDemy and YouTube. That’s just how shit goes these days.

    This is my oft-thumped tub (but still not often enough): everyone skimps on back-end because they view it as cost, when it should be treated almost like insurance.

    Backend is more important than insurance: insurance cover can be adjusted as the business grows, but trying to fix an amateur-hour backend on-the-fly is a mug’s game… fixability rests on the premise the adversary couldn’t escalate credentials.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  64. @kyle12424554

    I’m in Straya too (Vic/NSW border during the recent Melbourne Concentration Camp), and have never had an issue accessing Unz (except when the site has actually been down – i.e., inaccessible through ping or tracert).

    It might be being blacklisted at an ISP level at your end.

    I’ve used a couple of different ISPs over the last few years (TPG; Kogan; Telstra; iiNet) without a problem.

    Then again, I don’t use their DNS servers: I use 8.8.8.8 (Google), but only because I can’t get 1.1.1.1 (Cloudflare) to work with my VPN (for Pommie & French TV sites, and torrents of course)

    I’m generally running Firefox latest-stable (currently 83.0 64-bit on a Win10 machine). I just checked in Chrome, and UnzReport is not blocked there, either.

    My guess is that the default DNS config for your ISP uses a DNS blacklist. ISPs that use a DNS blacklist deserve to have their entire client-db posted to pastebin: they are a bigger PITA than Microsludge’s ‘negative enhancements’ to hotmail – which now routinely misidentify mail as junk all the fucking time (and you can’t switch the fucking junk filter off if you POP-fetch into a better client, as I do). Pay dotheads $7/hr, get shit code.

    One last thought: sometimes you have to configure the DNS gateway in the router settings, not just in the network area of the OS. I can’t recall which routers ‘comandeer’ the DNS gateway like that.

  65. @The Alarmist

    This would be a very sensible thing to do – and something I have not kept abreast of since about 2010 (when there was a brief flutter of activity around opening up DNS when WL was unavailable to a lot of people because of blacklisting).

    I like the idea of registering .wgzf (We Give Zero Fucks), or .zfg (Zero Fucks Given) or maybe even just zf… “We give zero fucks about what you say if you use this TLD“. None have been claimed yet (the same is true of the vanity plates in my state).

    Also being ZFG LLC as a registrar & host on the same basis: that under no circumstances will the registrar or host shut a client’s site down in the absence of a court order – and even then, only in the issuing jurisdiction.

    If they need a snowflake-compatible explanation for the mnemonic, I’ll think of something.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  66. @Usura

    There are very few things I would use absolute power to implement, but one is to immediately make all advertising of any kind illegal.

    No need to interfere with freedom of expression – just remove subsidies that skew business decisions.

    It advertising was made non-deductible, most ad-spend would disappear overnight. It’s not actually a valid expense in any meaningful sense of the word, because it’s not EPS-accretive – as any numerate analyst can show in five minutes.

  67. @Chrisnonymous

    Also, the site is ugly, ugly. It is to Reddit what Bitchute is to YouTube.

    That’s always a giveaway for me; if they’ve spent so little on UX/UI given how stupidly easy and cheap it is to get design right (or thereabouts)… imagine their datasec, which is moderately costly to get right.

    UX/UI is almost considered RG (revenue-generating) because of its effect on user engagement: that’s why startups overspend on ‘creatives’ instead of good backend. Backend is always considered NRG, although it’s an order of magnitude more important to risk mitigation.

    Gab, Parler, and Slug look like they’ve grabbed a dev version of someone’s work from github – or had the UX done through Freelancer.

    Reddit and YouTube look OK but their backends have already leaked.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  68. Frankly, I have to sift through hundreds of pages of utter rubbish every time I look for information. That means I have to see thousands of ads for penis enlargement and promises to become a “babe magnet if only “I Do This One Thing Daily”. For the quality of information Unz hosts, I can look at a few more.
    I mean, who in his right mind would not pay for articles by that guy deconstructing medieval history, or Anatoli Karlin, after reading “free” stuff by, say, that other guy that’s trying so hard to be ‘woke’?
    …and the ads may soothe my guilty feelings for all the fun I’ve had for free on UNZ.COM so far…

  69. @Kratoklastes

    A few minutes after posting that I thought it might be a good money-making idea for myself, but so far I’ve not seen any indication that the door has been reopened to issuing new TLDs aside from those in the pipeline from 2012’s opening.

    The registrar and hosting idea might still work, assuming you could get the approval of that sort of registrar past the internet’s increasingly biased gatekeepers (‘Yay, free speech on the WWW …” until the left dominates its gatekeeper roles). I could fund the registrar process and setup out my own pockets, but would need outside money for the hosting capability. I guess I could start a GoFundMe, but given its purpose, it would be disappeared in minutes.

    Gab and Parler are a great idea, but in a world where the WWW infrastructure is increasingly owned by the left, how long before they too are banished to the Dark Web?

  70. @Quai Smryna

    They seem much too interested in our personal data.

    If you’re not paying for a product, then you are the product.

  71. Nodwink says:

    The Tweet button is still not working. Still giving “Article Title” followed by “https://”, but no link. I’m not bothered by having to cut & paste the link, but it would be easier for the thing to work.

  72. @John Achterhof

    what do you call a commentator on SLUG?

    How about SLUGGER? Goes better with the fist.

  73. Muggles says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    Also, the site is ugly, ugly. It is to Reddit what Bitchute is to YouTube. These big, successful companies have already gone to the trouble of tweaking their graphics in order to be most usable and attractive to the most people. Just freakin’ copy these layouts and features and manage the sites without censorship. That’s all! Success!

    You seem to think that big internet and related tech companies do not fiercely protect their copyrights and trademarks. Or software patents.

    You might be able to copy/paste/etc. on a small site, but nothing big. The big guys as you say spend a lot to get the functionality they need and desire. A lot of this is legally protected. Apple, Microsoft, etc. long ago pioneered this lawsuit protection for graphics/interfaces. You could lose a lot if you ignore that.

    “Everything seems easy to an amateur.” If you are an experienced, paid web designer, site maker or an intellectual property attorney you might give useful advice. If just another bozo who wants to steal nice stuff for your site, or Ron’s here. you’d better find out whats what.

    There is a good reason why Amazon, Google, Yahoo, etc. all have different looks. Software can and is patented. Graphics copyrighted, etc.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  74. Muggles says:
    @Dissident

    Who, then, is behind this SLUG endeavor? And how is it funded? If this information is provided anywhere on the SLUG site, I have not found it.

    Like others commenting here, you seem to think that every publisher necessarily endorses every business or product they run as advertising on their websites or even in print/video.

    Not in this world.

    Most will have some reasonable policy standards and allow some ads but not others. Ron is not here to be your Magic 8 Ball to answer your numerous queries. He is not your slave. Nor does he necessarily endorse every possible advertiser or their product(s) unconditionally.

    Considering the garbage and clutter on all too many right-wing/conservative/alternative blogs and websites, this little Slug.com is nothing.

    There is something about folks who whine and complain about free stuff they get that is very annoying. “No, you can’t legally buy beer with your food stamp debit card!”

  75. Anon[240] • Disclaimer says:

    The Harris Justice Department will be looking for justifications to shut-down this Unz webzine. If Slug ever becomes persona non grata, this webzine will be tarnished by reason of guilt by association. (The fist doesn’t help.) Furthermore, Slug will be described as “the only advertiser on Unz.” It will not be possible to argue, “We have dozens of advertisers and we can’t be expected to keep track of them.”

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  76. Ron Unz says:
    @Anon

    The Harris Justice Department will be looking for justifications to shut-down this Unz webzine. If Slug ever becomes persona non grata, this webzine will be tarnished by reason of guilt by association.

    Ha, ha, ha. You must be very new to this website and unfamiliar with the material we publish…

    As far as I can tell, Slug is some sort of free-speech oriented Social Media website, perhaps tilted toward the rightwing, but fairly innocuous.

    By contrast, for years we’ve been publishing some of the most controversial content found anywhere on the Internet. In particular, I think it would be pretty difficult for almost anyone anywhere in the world to match the incendiary nature of my own collection of lengthy articles. Just take a look at a few of them, and you’ll see what I mean:

    https://www.unz.com/page/american-pravda-series/

    White racialist websites such as VDare or AmRen are generally considered pretty controverial. But I’d say that many of my own writings are 30x or 40x as explosive:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-the-adl-in-american-society/

    https://www.unz.com/announcement/ideological-purges-and-the-lord-voldemort-effect/

    • Replies: @Anon
  77. Anon[240] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    Mr. Unz, the reason this website might well seem threatening to a canceling Harris justice department is because this website’s essayists and commenters are superbly objective, literate, thoughtful, engaging, well-informed, and clever. By citing your own American Pravda series, you make my point regarding these characteristics.

    The issue is whether the justice department will find the foregoing proficiency more concerning than skeptical or racialist material of far lesser quality appearing elsewhere. I believe that they will. One need look no further than the “refreshing” of the traditional Western canon in academia; or the denouncing of “objectivity “ in critical-race-theory mandatory struggle sessions.

    Finally, thank you for the citations intended to acquaint me with this webzine. But your assumption that I am a newcomer, while understandable perhaps, is incorrect. I have been here for a few years, for about an hour every day.

  78. Papirucho says:

    A miracle. In fact, it is incredible that there is a site with freedom of expression outside of the official one, if everything that bothers them is eliminated as SPAM.

  79. @Kratoklastes

    look OK but their backends have already leaked.

    They’re in good company. My wife says the same thing about me.

  80. @Muggles

    There is a good reason why Amazon, Google, Yahoo, etc. all have different looks.

    Yes, it’s called branding. Back before these major tech companies were all giants with virtually no competition, there was a lot of emphasis put on brand.

    Also, their designs all follow their different functional requirements, which is why Google is still basically just a search box while Amazon is a (very well-designed) morass of dynamic links, text, and images.

    Nobody can copyright color schemes that promote readability or clean lines or comment trees that don’t have pointless boxes… or sensible branding (what is SLUG?). So far, Parler is the only one of these sites that isn’t screaming “low class!” , “tasteless!” , “half ass!” just by its site design.

  81. @Kratoklastes

    Since I’m cynically realist, my prior is that it has been set up purely…

    Since I’m more and more conspiratorially-minded these days, and since I’ve been bothered by the questions of why a free speech website is called “slug”, with a fist graphic and of why a free speech site would be interested in collecting my user data, I am trending toward the idea that it has been set up purely to doxx people who engage in CrimeThink.

    I.e., ir’s “slug” as in “punch a fascist”, and it wants your personal information to identify you once it has collected a group of commenters that it can tie to other sites based on comment text analysis etc

    If I were an antifa/woke type trying to silence people, it’s what I would do… build a speech honeytrap and then advertise on a website like Unz Review to attract the flies.

    • Agree: Dissident
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