In the open

writeas is a publishing platform built on preserving privacy and enabling free expression. Everything in our platform is built to back this up, from our policies to our infrastructure.

We collect as little personal data about you as possible and, as outlined in our privacy policy, we scrutinize every request for user data that we receive. We encourage compliance with legal procedural requirements, and will object to requests as appropriate. has enabled 50,000+ people to publish over 250,000 posts since we first launched in 2015. But 2018 was the first year we received requests to have content removed from, or for user data. Now that these numbers are non-zero, we'd like to publish our first yearly transparency report, where we regularly share information about what requests we receive from governmental and non-governmental entities, and how we respond to those requests, so you can know exactly how your data is handled on

Going forward, you can browse all annual transparency reports here: #TransparencyReport

In short, we received zero requests to disclose or preserve user data from any governmental or non-governmental entity in 2018. We received 1 user data request and 3 content removal requests from private parties.

Requests for User Data

While we're a platform built around minimal data collection, governments, corporations, and individuals may seek to gather any non-public identifying information we have about the writers on our service. We are very conscious of the potential for abuse by these actors, including entities seeking to de-anonymize writers and governments conducting dragnet surveillance. Thus we require certain legal conditions to be met before divulging user data.

In 2018, received one request for user data from a non-governmental, US-based entity. As the private entity cited merely “slanderous” content without any supporting evidence or formal legal demand, did not comply with the request.

Requests for Content Removal

In addition to guarding confidential user information, we want to ensure that speech is not removed by powerful governments, corporations, and individuals aiming to silence certain voices.

In 2018, received three requests to remove content from non-governmental entities, all from outside of the US. One request came from the Czech Republic and two came from Australia. All requests cited “defamation” or “slander” without supporting evidence or a legal ruling, and some cited non-US laws as reasons to remove the content. Some also claimed copyright infringement, but never filed a DMCA take-down notice upon receiving information on how to do so. In the end, did not comply with any requests to remove content.

#transparency #writeas

We plan on making a change to Casual and Pro accounts sometime in the next few days: reducing the number of blogs / identities included with your subscription, while giving you the chance to add more for a small fee. There are a few things driving this decision:

First, the generous number of blogs per account is a relic of the early days of our business model. Back in mid-2016, we didn't have all the Pro features we have today, or the large audience on Read, so we offered more blogs to make the plans worth their price. Today, however, writers enjoy a full-featured platform at (what many people say is) a reasonable price, so this isn't as necessary.

Besides that, many people request discounts on our subscriptions because they don't actually need all the blogs we offer. We used to give those discounts, but again as we've added features and become more useful to more people, that's come to make less sense.

Lastly, we've been considering increasing the price of our Casual subscription (out of necessity), but also looking for ways to avoid it. After all, its cost is meant to be accessible to as many people as possible, so more people can have access to our permanent, privacy-respecting home for their writing. We'd like to keep it that way, and this is how we'll do it:

Soon we'll be launching our marketplace, named Extend Along with the recently-launched Labs, we'll be offering new add-ons through this channel that help people customize the platform to fit their exact needs.

One of the first things that'll launch on the marketplace is the ability to purchase an additional blog. It'll be available for everyone — even if you're not a Casual or Pro subscriber — and will cost $12 per year, per blog. With this change, Casual accounts will come with 1 blog (instead of 3), and Pro accounts will come with 3 blogs (instead of 10).

As always, existing subscribers will keep their current blog allowance for as long as they hold a subscription. So if you'd like to get the current allowance at a great price, now is a great time to upgrade! Otherwise, you'll be able to add as many blogs to your account as you want sometime within the next few days — and again, help us ensure we're around for decades to come.

Have any feedback? Let us know what you think on the forum.

#pro #casual #changes #writeas