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  • To answer the first question, most web hosts, even the low-end ones, have one-click installs for WordPress. To answer the questions about WordPress becoming another Facebook, privacy concerns and sensorship, I’ll give you the short and long answers. The short answer is that WordPress is self-hosted, unless you specifically choose to use WordPresscom, which I’ll discuss in a minute, and therefore you are in complete control of what gets installed, not only with WordPress core but with WordPress themes and plugins. Here’s the long answer. We do not store any of your data at WordPress.org, and we don’t collect telemetry of any kind or anything similar. This has often been to our detriment, because it means that we are at a serious disadvantage when it comes to data-driven decisions. We can’t reach in and control your content. As a practical example of the not controlling your content thing, we know for a fact that terrorist organizations, for example, like Isis, are making heavy use of WordPress, and there’s not a damn thing we can do about it, no matter how many times numerous governments have asked or demanded or threatened. This gets hard to swallow sometimes because we know that these same organizations are using our software to plan, publish, and coordinate some truly evil and barbaric things, not to mention all the kiddy porn rings and crime syndicates that use our software. We can’t force you to install an update unless it’s a critical security update that’s pushed out for the branch you’re on, and to be completely honest, if you know what you’re doing, you can turn that off even with a simple line in your configuration file. If your host goes squirrelly, you have the ability to take the entire install including the database and files and move it to another host. To address connections with Facebook or Twitter or any other closed platform, let’s say you want to do what I’m doing and syndicate content to these services and pull reactions back in. Let’s further say that one of these platforms, for whatever reason, decides to remove a piece of content. They can remove it from their side, but they have no ability to remove it from your website/WordPress installation. If you go with the hosted solution at WordPress.com, they don’t sensor unless the entity asking for sensorship can provide indisputable proof that the content in question was directly responsible for violence, and Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, is extremely aggressive when it comes to things like not complying with frivolous DMCA takedown notices. You still have the ability to completely export your content, but you don’t have the ability to install plugins unless you pay for it, and even then the plugins are curated. I tell people that if you are opposed to any kind of content moderation/removal for any reason, then use the self-hosted version, because while WordPress.com is extremely permissive when it comes to content, they can’t keep the content up if, for example, the U.S. government passes a law that would concern some type of content. Automattic can and does shield self-hosted WordPress by providing lots of room for plausible deniability in legal settings, but it can’t directly break laws, even if it believes those laws are unjust. This typically plays out with regard to patent claims and disputes, as well as DMCA takedowns, at which point they either join the fray and countersue on behalf of the user, or in the event they lose the countersuit, (hasn’t happened yet), assist the user with exporting content and migrating it to somewhere else. I think I’ve covered everything. This is actually a very involved, complicated set of issues, and we’ve spent a lot of time racking up victories against governments and corporations and lawyers, so I can’t possibly provide a complete list. But I hope this helps, and if there’s anything specific that I haven’t covered, leave another comment and I’ll add that when I get some time.

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