MailChimp as an email marketing service for bloggers sounds good at first glance- it’s free for the first 2,000 subscribers, and we all like free.

Like many bloggers, I used MailChimp for the first few months of my blog.

That was way before I knew anything about the suprising information I’m going to share with you in this article.

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MailChimp for business

Is MailChimp good for email marketing?

Here’s the thing: MailChimp may work fine for many websites and businesses, but MailChimp does not support the voice of all it’s customers.

What no one ever tells you is that MailChimp can and might deactivate your account if they don’t like your content.

And not just free MailChimp accounts, but paid MailChimp accounts, too.

Whether your account is free or paid, MailChimp can deactivate you without reason or notice for violation of “Terms of Use”.

This is perfectly legal, and I’m sure there are times when it makes sense to cut ties with a customer, such as a customer engaging in illegal activities. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.

MailChimp has singled out and deactivated bloggers’ accounts for no clear or good reason.

Author Martin Geddes had his MailChimp account deactivated without notice after almost 10 years as a paying customer.

MailChimp censorship

Check out Martin’s work for yourself:

wwg1wga.martingeddes.com

http://thestorm.martingeddes.com

http://qanon.martingeddes.com

Does it seem ethical to you that Martin’s account was deactivated?

And he’s not the only account being censored. Just search for the hashtag #mailchimpcensorship on Twitter and you will find many more examples.

Do you value Americans’ first amendment rights to free speech?

I’m going to guess that yes, you do.

You may not be blogging about anything controversial; most bloggers aren’t. But I will bet you enjoy being able to say what you want on your website.

Whether you are writing about wellness, religion, or parenting, in America we have something called free speech.

Apparently, MailChimp didn’t get the memo.

MailChimp removes anti-vaccination activists as customers

In June of 2013, MailChimp removed a handful of anti-vaccination activist bloggers citing violation of MailChimp’s “Terms of Use.”

According to MailChimp, anti-vaccination newsletters from bloggers are “prohibited content.” Why would that be?

Interestingly, MailChimp is “partners” with the CDC. As a partner to the CDC, MailChimp must “demonstrate opportunities for return on investment for public health, CDC, the CDC Foundation and its partners.

But why on earth is MailChimp partnered with the CDC?

How are partners such as MailChimp expected to contribute to the CDCs’ bottom line?

Those are questions that will lead you down a very deep rabbit hole. So buckle up, buttercup.

Removing activists concerned about vaccine safety was just the beginning.

MailChimp for bloggers- what about freedom of speech?

Whether you’re pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine, Democrat or Republican, etc- that’s not the point.

The issue we have here is free speech.

Why does MailChimp deactivate bloggers that express alternative beliefs and facts related to healthcare? Why are they policing their customers who are doing nothing illegal? Why wouldn’t bloggers use their critical thinking skills to write what they think or know?

Writers gonna write, right? (LOL- sorry, lame joke- it just came to me!)

No harm is done to anyone by expressing alternative health beliefs, posing questions, and discussing different health options.

That’s how progress is made.

MailChimp and censorship- the bottom line

We need free speech to make progress. We need different viewpoints and freedom of information.

Ultimately, when you use MailChimp, your freedom to blog about what you wish is subject to their approval. And unfortunately, MailChimp’s approval record indicates they deem critical thinking unacceptable.

I say that the censorship of information is unacceptable.

MailChimp alternatives for bloggers

Although they have a “Termination at Convenience” clause, ConvertKit may be a better choice for bloggers that value their first amendment rights.

I have not heard (yet) of ConvertKit censoring anyone or inactivating any bloggers’ accounts. So far, they certainly have a better track record than MailChimp when it comes to not censoring people, and seem like a better MailChimp alternative.

I currently enjoy the freedom to blog about curing my own insomnia, or about losing 50 lbs easily and curing chronic pain with a simple diet change. Will ConvertKit ever deactivate my account if I write about other health and wellness ideas that go against the CDC or other mainstream narratives? And also, do I own my email list with ConvertKit?

I reached out to ask ConvertKit directly, and here’s what they told me:

(Disclaimer: I could have done better writing my questions all in one ask.)

****Here’s that link for you:

https://help.convertkit.com/en/articles/2502527-compliance-with-gdpr

At this point, the associate answering me needed to check on my questions to get back to me with a response.

Convertkit then responded with a copy of their Acceptable Use Policy. I read through and still wasn’t sure my question was answered. I’m not so good at reading fine print…. my eyes kind of glaze over and my brain stops working. I may be allergic.

So I sent one more email and received one more response, as you can read below:

Here is Converkits “Terms of Service” page:

Terms of Service

 

It should be noted that ConvertKits “Terms of Service” says: “ConvertKit may terminate this Agreement, or suspend or terminate your access to the Website, at any time, for any reason.”

That’s fair. Everything they have is legal, of course.

The bottom line here for me is that I have not heard of Convertkit engaging in any form of censorship, or of being unsupportive of diverse opinions. Convertkit is still a better choice than MailChimp in this regard.

ConvertKit as a decent MailChimp Alternative

If you’re thinking about a MailChimp alternative, or if you haven’t made a decision about which email marketing service to use, ConvertKit may be the better choice if you care about freedom of speech issues.

Convertkit does have great ease of use and terrific marketing features designed specifically for bloggers. I really like ConvertKit and hope they don’t ever let me down by blocking alternative opinions or playing any part in censorship.

Conclusion

I don’t like throwing anybody under the bus, but this topic was too fascinating not to explore and share. Who knew that a company that you would imagine to be benign politically would be involved in unethical anti-free speech behavior?

What do you think about MailChimp policing their customers and terminating contracts for no valid reason other than alternative information and disagreement with mainstream political and/or health care narratives? It’s legal… but is it ethical?

Have you ever heard of any related MailChimp complaints?

Do you know of any other good MailChimp alternatives?

Please let me know in the comments!

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