On Friday last week, the website hosting platform called WordPress.com which is run by Automattic, abruptly shut down several well established feminist blogs that were hosted on their platform, without warning.
The "unapologetically radical feminists" group Women's Liberation Front, a.k.a WoLF were the owners of one of the suspended blogs, called GenderIdentitywatch.com. Another well-established blog called gendertrender, had eight years of posts wiped out by Wordpress & Automatticc. They received an identical email, after their content had already been made unavailable.
In an email titled "Important information regarding our wordpress.com account", Sal P of Automatticc states;
We received a report regarding the publication of personal/private information on one of your blogs. Specifically, the malicious publication of private details related to gender identity, including former names.
is listed here,
and is a recent change to Wordpress' terms of service.
In plain English, this means that you can not link and
discuss news articles like
this one about convicted sex offender Karen
White, formerly known as Stephen Terence Wood, in
this manner. Because apparently, Wordpress wants to
assist convicted sex offenders in their goal to assume
new identities not connected to their previous crimes.
It also means you can't talk about Bruce Jenner's Olympic medal, that Caitlyn Jenner wore while posing for the cover of Sports Illustrated. As Bruce, Caitlyn won the gold medal in 1976 Olympic Men's Decathlon. Ironically there was no women's decathlon.
Automattic's email suggests that the blog owner can download all of their data, and host it elsewhere using their download tool they make available "for a limited time." This useless tool is simply .xml files, which refers to links for the media files hosted on wordpress.com. When Wordpress shut down the domain at Wordpress.com, they also made downloading the media files impossible. Didn't think that through, did you, Wordpress engineers? It's so shortsighted, I literally headdesked.
With Wordpress now holding both content, in the way of media files and domain names connected to the accounts hostage, WoLF decided to take legal action.