Development of a product, and growth after it has reached maturity, are guided by internal feature roadmaps and user needs. Another compass that often goes ignored, or remains private, are the values of its founders. The following are the values I place the most importance in, and that I chose as driving principles for Lexic.
In the last few years, it has become increasingly hard, sometimes counter-productive, or even dangerous to write about certain subjects on the Internet. The ever-tightening grip of tech giants on what constitutes acceptable speech restricts creativity and flow of information.
When choosing a platform to express yourself on, you have to ponder the risk of losing accumulated work, as well as your audience and revenue, if you should suddenly become part of the offensive, the unacceptable, the politically-incorrect. Is it wise to bet on a platform that might censor your views because they differ from theirs?
Lexic intends to ensure, to the fullest extent of our capabilities, that no opinion expressed by an author will be restricted, censored or otherwise impeded on the basis of its political inclination, perceived insensitivity, or designation as "hate speech". There will be no "Trust and Safety council", no shadow-banning, no clever and shady algorithms to hide from you what we feel you should not see. The concept of political correctness has no place here.
Articles are updated, comments are edited. As a matter of accountability for their authors, and transparency for their audience, it's critical to me that a complete history of the changes be made available to everyone.
Authors & brand managers will always remain owners of the content they produce, that comes with responsibility. It'll be up to them to encourage quality interaction, and uphold our community guidelines. Moderation tools will be provided, but should be used sparingly. In the same way, it's up to readers to handle content they disagree with restraint: either discuss cordially, or move on.
Basically, I intend to treat members as adults, and expect them to behave as such.
I despise advertisement. It's the lowest, dirtiest form of monetization, and brings along a host of privacy concerns. I hereby swear that :
- No content produced and hosted on Lexic, nor any personal data of our users, will ever be sold to third parties for any purpose.
- Lexic will never resort to advertisement for revenue. You will never see an ad here. The platform will remain free for basic use, without counterpart.
Revenue & financing
Development of Lexic is financed out of pocket. I intend for the platform to be financed solely by paid subscriptions, in exchange for advanced features, or individual donations to support development. I don't want to, nor will I resort to VC funding, for a simple reason: I cannot trust that any investor holds the guiding principles outlined here more dearly than they value their financial stake. Compromising my values is not a risk I'm willing to take.
I take privacy extremely seriously. Lexic will never share any of your data with third parties that I do not trust with my own. I will make every effort to limit integrations & interactions with providers known to abuse user data (Google, Facebook...).
Analytics (article views, ...) are collected and stored in-house, and will not be shared with third parties.
Apart from the growing threat to free speech, one of my main motivations for developing Lexic was a general frustration with most available blogging/publishing tools available. I know the feeling, and I don't want any member to experience it with my product. In a future article, I will outline the available feedback pipelines, so you can communicate requests & ideas, and stay informed on development progress as close to real time as possible.
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