I was contacted by someone who said there are simmering complaints in the comments sections at Patheos — some are seeing heavy-handed filtering, in particular, that comments discussing Beliefnet or Patheos itself are getting blocked. You can see some of those concerns expressed in comments to this post by Ed Brayton. I don’t comment on that network, so I haven’t seen it myself.
Interestingly, there is a precursor to this concern from 2017. Several Patheos bloggers jumped ship back then, concerned that the religious conservatives who owned the network were meddling with the content.
Yvonne Aburrow, one of the writers who left Patheos, summed up the feelings of some of the writers: “If there are to be blog aggregators or multi-blog hosting sites, they need to be independently-owned, collective, and egalitarian. I (and many others) are just not comfortable with the corporate world being able to control our content, especially if that corporate world is too closely linked with the evangelical Christian right.”
Huh. Interesting. We recently killed the advertising on Freethoughtblogs (which was managed by Patheos!) because it was pathologically annoying and getting in the way of our ability to just write, at the expense of all of our revenue…yeah, we’re writing for you for free right now. I guess we’re living the dream of Ms Aburrow, but it also means we put a damper on any expansion plans for a while.