this is my first post here and I know this question has been asked ad infinitum but I have given up at resolving it myself. maybe you have a bit more oversight and feel like making a recommendation.
I'm a writer and I'm looking to start a new blog. now you probably have heard all the 'controversies' that have gone around. the girl from dooce.com got canned because she blogged about work, thomas hawk got into trouble because he called a photographer a child abuser, there are a lot of things that can get you hotshot lawyers to send nastygrams to your hoster demanding a shutdown or deletion based on a simple entry they don't like. there are also many anecdotes of hosters fearing liability and just doing so instead of shrugging it off and letting the two parties sue each other. my buddy, who essentially wrote that the canon camera he just bought sucked and proceeded to shame the ebay seller, had such a case.
I would like to find a hoster who isn't going to kick me right away should I get some notoriety. also, I did manage to get my name onto two networks last month, resulting in my current webpage to crash and burn within an hour. my professional reputation being somewhat on my mind, I'd like to find a hoster who is able to handle an eventual spike in traffic every now and then, who could handle hosting photos and video content. I don't think I will require more than 1GB of storage space (this is thinking far ahead) and perhaps 1GB of traffic per month but I'm willing to buy 5GB right away to be ready, should the necessity arise.
I considered dreamhost but stopped after reading about their recent troubles, in spite of their stellar mea culpa post. (I do appreciate honesty a lot but the building situation sounds unresolved.) mediatemple seems to be in the same building and sounded thus just as unsound. and textdrive - well, I have read what their users write on their pages. they seem to have issues.
I'm not looking for the cheapest deal ever to be had. I am looking to find a hoster I know I can rely on. someone who will be dependable and direct. nothing beats having someone direct to talk to. (there is no hate speech or pornography involved, rest assured. but I will talk smack about the fries at the drive through being constantly cold.) someone who I don't have to move from within a year. someone who takes care of security issues without me having to worry all the time. it is my intention to make this a rather high-profile project.
Hmmm, I think that any host will avoid being drawn into a legal controversy because of something a customer posts on their site (regular site or blog).
Put yourself in the host's shoes, and I think you'll understand that.
That said, I think what you should do is pick a host that has a good reputation in general. This means they communicate well with their customers, which means there's a lower risk of having them "shoot first and ask questions later".
There are indeed some hosts that specialise in offer hosting for free speech, notably https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/ which I've not had any personal experience with, but I've heard good things about them.
so what is it your blogs are about if you need a host that will allow certain content? - just me being nosy :p
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first of all: civil issues are what I am thinking about, not criminal offenses.
CyberHostPro> imagine I write how disappointed I am by my cable company, which happens to be RCN. imagine I write that it's just not cool that the first ten channels are all home shopping and other unusuable stations and that networks such as cbs are banned to channels in the twenties. now imagine they google themselves, find that, don't like it and decide to sue. it's free speech, I have a lawyer and hey, I wouldn't mind the attention but it would suck if the moment the hoster found out about it he pulled the plug and the journalists I couldn't see my page. that is what I am thinking about, nothing more. it has happened multiple times to other people and all I want to do is plan ahead.
jedito> yeah, wordpress seems like the way to go here. don't care much about the os.
I think you shouldn't have any problems at any reasonably competent host, provided you have your own domain name. Most - though admittedly not all - of the horror stories I've heard about have revolved around places like Blogger or Blogspot. Most companies' lawyers seem to be savvy enough these days to send their cease-and-desist notices to the domain owner; it only seems to be DMCA notices that get copied in triplicate to everyone within a half-mile radius...
It also helps to configure WordPress correctly; there are a couple useful plugins that can significantly improve performance when one is Slashdotted, Dugg, or similar.
And, obviously, it also helps when you don't post things on your blog like "(the owner of my cable company) and all his (derrogatory term) are nothing but a bunch of (expletive) (anatomical improbability) (unnatural act) (unnatural act) (lewd agricultural reference), and given half a chance I'd jump at the (expletive) opportunity to (expletive)(lewd agricultural reference) his (impolite euphemism) after first (unnatural act)(anatomical improbability)" in the first place.
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