4 years ago I found myself bored at school and answered my first Quora question. I remember nobody reading it but I still answered another. Then my 3rd question suddenly got 100 upvotes and 1,500 readers. I was hooked.
From there I came back from time to time to answer questions and after getting my degree I made it something of a hobby.
I slowly built a small following as I answered questions about my passion, classical history. After a few years, I was the most popular writer in the following categories
- Roman History
- Greek History
- Classical History
- Roman Empire
- Roman Republic
- Roman Military
- Ancient History
- World History
- Military History
I had garnered a total of 3 million views over just 6 months and I was thrilled people cared about what I had to say. It was fun to speak about my passions without constraint.
Then I made a mistake- I diverted into politics.
First, nobody read my 1 political piece and I moved on. But then slowly I cam back until suddenly I found myself becoming one of the top 10 most popular writers on the topics of Democratic party, Republican party, and US politics.
I do not know if Quora is biased but I know people are. Politically I am a moderate Libertarian that tends to skew left socially. I describe myself as having a foot in both camps.
I never swore, I was never inappropriate, I tried to be objective and passionate, and I always stuck to facts. To many, this makes me the enemy and this started to cost me.
My content critical of the Chinese Communist Party and the Democratic Party started getting banned. Then my historical answers started getting banned. I would appeal, get denied, email Quora, and then get my answers restored because I ALWAYS followed the rules to a T.
Then yesterday I had 2 pieces of content banned.
- A comment urging people to stop worrying about the Washinton Redskins on the behalf of American Indians. Being 1/3rd native myself and having worked on around 1 dozen reservations over the last decade I am familiar with their plight and I was upset people focus so much on trendy topics like sports teams while ignoring the rampant poverty, desperation, and hopelessness felt by so many on the reservations. This was a passionate comment but it was in no way inappropriate. It was banned for swearing- despite there being not 1 swear word anywhere in the writing.
- My wife, a POC, and I dealt with a nasty case of police abuse many years ago. Given the times we lived in I shared the story publically. While I was willing to tell my half my wife kept hers quiet for years due to the nature of what she suffered. It took courage for her to speak up and it was banned after becoming one of the most popular pieces of writing on the website. When I pressed Quora they banned it for being “rude”. I have no idea who I was rude to and neither did the 75,000 people that read it in 2 days.
With that I just had it. I spent hours on this content only for it to be censored.
I did all this for free because I enjoyed it. I could deal with nobody reading my content- though as I leave I was getting around 1.5 million readers a month. What I cannot stand is putting hours of time into a piece only to have it banned for no reason, then reinstated after days of emails because a “mistake” was made.
I am not sure if this platform is better or worse. I heard good things and everyone said “go to Medium” so I will try and learn this platform and see if I cannot find a new outlet to express myself.