Some Thoughts on Substack


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January 28, 2024

7 Takeaways is no longer on Substack. If you were a Substack subscriber, your subscription has been migrated to Aweber. If you were a paid Substack subscriber you should have received a pro-rated refund.

Again, thanks for your patience and understanding.

January 21, 2024

It’s my current plan to leave Substack at the end of the month.

  • If you are a Substack subscriber (the from: address is “Leo Notenboom @ 7 Takeaways <>“), I’ll migrate your subscription to my alternate provider (Aweber). You may want to add “” to your safe-senders list or contact list.
  • If you are a paid Substack subscriber, it’s my plan to process pro-rated refunds. If there are obstacles, I’ll update this page and/or contact you directly.
  • If you’re not a Substack subscriber (the from: address is “Leo @ 7 Takeaways <>“) you need do nothing, as nothing’s changing for you.

If you want to support 7 Takeaways, you can do so here. Sharing 7 Takeaways with your friends is another great way to help.

I’ll certainly continue to read Substack newsletters, and include items as takeaways when it’s appropriate. I’ll even still support some publishers (thought the bar has become higher). I don’t expect anyone to change their behavior if they don’t feel the need. While I realize it might feel performative, I just don’t feel comfortable with the possibility that my being on Substack might inadvertently expose you to hate speech in the form of their social-media-like recommendations, and that some percentage of the money for paid subscriptions might further enable them. Substack was a great place until it wasn’t.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

January 14, 2024

While Substack made a few weak concessions, their content moderation is still not up to what most publishers really want, and there’s a very real risk content I find objectionable, or that my readers might find objectionable, could be recommended alongside 7 Takeaways.

Unless I hear of more significant improvements, I’ll likely follow some major newsletters in leaving the platform, probably at the end of January.

Stay tuned.

December 30, 2023

Substack is in some controversial territory because of their unwillingness to deplatform Nazi and Nazi-adjacent publications, in clear violation of their own terms of service. An excellent overview, if you’re not familiar, is perhaps Phil “Bad Astronomer” Plait’s write up here. It includes a letter to the publishers endorsed and republished by over 100 other Substack publishers.

I’m not leaving Substack yet, but there’s a possibility. I’m hopeful this will be sorted, as I find Substack’s discoverability to be helpful to this newsletter’s growth. However, growth has never been this newsletter’s primary goal. If I leave, I lose little.

I also already have a fallback. I publish 7 Takeaways in two places(*): Substack, with archives there, and via a direct mailing list powered by Aweber, with archives at There are subscribers on both. If I leave Substack, I’ll fold all subscribers into the direct list.

If you would prefer not to support Substack, I totally understand. You can subscribe to the direct mailing. The subscribe form on the right of this page is for the non-Substack, direct list. (Subscribe forms elsewhere on the site remain Substack forms).

There are many great writers on the platform, many of whom are relying on it for income. I’m certainly not going to shame them, or their subscribers, for staying.

But I’m hopeful Substack will do the right thing. Nazis are a non-starter that, if not dealt with, I cannot support, even indirectly.

(*) You can tell which list you’re on by clicking on the title of any 7 Takeaways issue in email. If you land on a page, you’re on the direct list. If you land on a page, you’re on Substack.