Yesterday, I noticed Substratum quietly removed the link to its team page in the footer of its website. After a quick search through Archive.org, it appears Substratum removed the link sometime between March 31 and April 13. I've reached out to Substratum regarding the removal of the link, but haven't received a response. Considering the lackluster quality of the project's communications department, I don't expect to receive a response unless the team is in the mood to make another round of excuses. Since Substratum isn't interested in responding to inquiries, let's engage in some light speculation.
Was it an Accident?
It's possible that Substratum accidentally removed the link from the footer menu, though I really don't know how that would happen. Substratum uses WordPress for its website. In order to delete a menu item in WordPress, someone from the Substratum team would have to log in to the WordPress dashboard, click on the Appearance menu, click on the Menus menu, click on the corresponding menu item, and then edit or delete the menu item. That's a total of five distinct steps.
The other possibility is that Substratum purposely chose to delete the team page from the footer menu. This makes the page, which is still online, difficult to find for anyone visiting the Substratum website. So, now the question is why Substratum would want to hide details about its team – the very team that is supposedly developing a software tool that will usher in a new era of Internet freedom. The most obvious reason I can think of is that Substratum as its own entity is trying to distance itself from CEO Justin Tabb.
Over the past two years, Tabb has successfully turned Substratum from what many considered to be a leading project in the space to a complete s***show of false promises and consistent delays that culminated in the delisting of the SUB token. Nowadays, SUB has been relegated to third-tier exchanges like HitBTC and COSS with daily trading volume hovering around $2,000.
If I were on the Substratum team, I would be the first in line to push for Justin Tabb to step down. Unfortunately, it appears that the Substratum team has a long history of being friends outside the company, so I can't imagine a situation where Abram Cookson, B.J. Allmon, and Christian Pope would force Tabb out of the company. However, based on Tabb's lack of presence of social media since the Binance delisting, it does seem like he has been told to stop talking for the time being – at least until SubstratumNode V1 is released.
What's the easiest way to prevent people from associating Justin Tabb with Substratum? Completely removing the team page from the website would cause community panic and result in “exit scam” accusations. The alternative is simple – tell Tabb to stop talking about Substratum, and remove the direct link to the team page from the website. If you're wondering why, just do a Google search for “Justin Tabb Substratum” and look at the first five results.