Today media has been publishing stories regarding the deplatforming of The Conservative Tree House, a website hosted on Automattic’s WordPress.com. For the sake of clarity and correctness, it is critical the reporting be clear that “WordPress” (open source software) is not used as the descriptor of the corporation that has deplatformed The Conservative Tree House. Automattic, the company which has created the WordPress.com hosting and website platform, should be explicitly named.
WordPress – the open source project – is software developed and maintained by a community of thousands. The WordPress Foundation manages the copyright for the software. This community is as diverse as you can imagine with people of all political ideologies. It powers almost 40% of the global internet. It is used by companies from brick and mortar stores in your neighborhoods to media giants like ESPN. Billions of dollars have been spent by all sorts of companies, organizations, and individuals on the left and the right on the political spectrum. Billions of dollars have also been invested in many companies that utilize WordPress. Lack of clarification regarding freely available code and a single organization may cause severe and undue confusion.
Note: This is not a personal comment on the issue(s) just a very needed reminder since reporting has not been clear.