NekoWeb

Posted on 2024/6/17

Yesterday, on June 16th, I announced that I was going to move my website's host from Neocities to NekoWeb. I became a donator, joined the Discord server, and I was excited. The perks I was enthusiastic about were the freedom of filetypes on websites, and the ability to add other users to work on your site together. I was a little upset that connection with GIT was locked behind a paywall, but I shrugged it off. Having the freedom to upload whatever file on my site that I choose without being met with a paywall, unlike Neocities, would have been a huge benefactor for me. I don't have a whole lot of money and the donation perks were cheaper than Neocities.

I've since walked back on that announcement starting today. I want to provide what is an explanation and my thought process for this decision. I also want to stress that despite what I say about the opposing parties, I am not innocent in this situation either; I will touch upon that at the end.

Discord

When I join any Discord server, I look around in the server's history and chatlogs to understand the general vibe of the server. I want to make sure that if I partake in the community, I'm not asking about or bringing up anything that isn't a part of the rules but are silently enforced. This is how I operate in public spaces as an autistic person. However, I ran into talks about Palestine and Israel. For the record, I will keep as many people as possible anonymous.

User A, a minor, had a week or two ago been facing harassment. The topic they were being harassed for was because of a button they had on their website, with the text "BRING HOME THE HOSTAGES!" and a link to a pro-israeli website. I was shocked and upset, and read about the conversation. User B, who was jewish and pro-Palestine, tried to explain the issue with the statement; Israel focuses on Hamas and the hostages as a front for the genocide against palestinians. They have even killed their own hostages, not caring that they were free from Hamas. For clarification, this does not mean Hamas is innocent, but this does not justify the eradication of an entire nation. It is zionism, which is a form of fascism. Unfortunately, user A said it was anti-semetic to call zionism fascism, and that the killing of their own hostages was an accident. Others tried to explain, but user A did not listen and fell back on the fact they were being harassed. While I wish the minor was not harassed, falling back on it was really upsetting to see.

Dimden, upon seeing what happened, was upset upon seeing people fight and enacts a new rule for the Discord server; no political debates. However, they left it at that. I took this as silence and neutrality on an ongoing genocide, and because of that, I felt I could not continue to switch to NekoWeb. I made my stance clear politely and left. I encouraged user A to educate themselves before I took my leave; that "bring them home" is a dogwhistle for pro-israelis.

Twitter

This is when I made my tweet expressing my issue with NekoWeb and the handling of this situation. Many of my friends that I talk to about indie websites would not be happy with this, and I wanted to talk about my issues with how the situation was handled respectfully. I made sure to say that while I was not sure of Dimden's specific views, that the lack of action really upset me. I also clarified to not interact with them because of this, as it would not help. Half an hour later, I recieved messages from Dimden on Twitter.

dimden

breh i dont even support israel, i just dont want to fight with ppl and i can accept ppls opinion even if i disagree with them

9:49 AM SuperKirbylover

sorry but i cannot accept someone's opposing opinion on a genocide. please educate yourself

9:51 AM

i mean its your choice to accept or not, but dont act like if i dont immediately block ban and kill them with hammers then it means i support them

i hate how i cant even exist without doing anything without offending someone

keep in mind that neocities hosts much much worse stuff on there

as a webhost you have to accept things you dont agree with

9:53 AM

I was really upset upon reading the four messages after my initial response. I was implied to be a hypocrite because I hosted my site on Neocities, one of the only options to hosting my website for free. Yes, it has issues. It hosts nazi websites, pro-israel websites, anti-queer websites. I know this. Unfortunately, other options for hosts include forking over my savings. I cannot afford other options. I also know that yes, as a webhost, you do need to accept things you may not agree with. However, in my opinion, there is a difference between an opinion on media versus hate speech. This felt like a strawman towards me, especially when I heard "i can't even exist without doing anything without offending someone," which I have heard used against me in the form of ableism and homophobia. Not to say that this is what they intended upon saying that, but this is what my mind (perhaps unfairly) had jumped to.

SuperKirbylover

you think im not aware of that? i don't have other options without draining my bank account. im just disappointed in you as someone who is indie and has the power to be progressive. im not asking you to ban anyone im asking to not be neutral in a genocide

9:54 AM dimden

im not neutral tho? fuck israel i dont support their shit at all

9:55 AM

did not seem like that im going to be real

9:55 AM

from what i saw and read in the entire server i only saw a "idk much" and a blanket "no political debates" which isn't great when it comes to. well. genocide. i mean no disrespect, but this is how i feel and i don't appreciate you trying to imply im hypocritical because im on neocities when that's my only option.

9:56 AM

you're being very aggressive and i can understand it if you interpreted my words as accusing you of being supportive, of israel, and i apologize for that. ive made clear i didn't know your stance outside of what ive read and seen as you being neutral.

*supportive of israel

phone moment, i am at the doctors

9:58 AM

i just dont want ppl fighting and all that stuff, i understand your stance on this though

9:58 AM

thank you for understanding

9:58 AM

After talking with some friends about the situation, I believe I understand what Dimden was getting at. I do not support any form of censorship, and I understand wanting to permit free speech and not wanting to draw a line when it comes to that. However, as Dimden also explained, Neocities hosts a lot of hateful content. I was under the impression that NekoWeb would avoid hosting that kind of content. Their Acceptable Usage Policy states that NekoWeb does not allow anything against the law in Germany, and that it does not accept harrassment, bullying, witch hunting, or doxxing. Perhaps it is my fault for expecting hate speech to be phrohibited, and I say it earnestly. It is also important that condemning Hamas isn't hate speech towards Palestine, however in my experience, many pro-israelis will use Hamas to justify their hatred. It's a complicated topic. Hamas is not a group full of saints, but their actions do not justify a genocide against palestinian people.

I do want to apologize for potentially pushing the notion that Dimden and Nekoweb supports Israel and their actions. My intention was to express my upset about what I felt was a lack of action towards potential hate speech. Apologies if my wording has implied otherwise; my wording is not the best and I strive to continue to improve it.

As of right now, I don't think I will switch to NekoWeb. If it outwardly phrohibits hate speech, then perhaps in the future I will reconsider. But for now, with this incident between me and the founder, I will likely stay away from it.

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