Medium Swings Left, So What?
Write for posterity, not for popularity
Recently I was looking at ways to improve my Medium account. I just don’t want to increase the reads and claps, but I also want to increase the Medium Partner Payment (MPP).
The fun part of MPP is that you get paid for writing what you want. The reader is the judge of whether what you write earns or doesn’t earn. And that is cool. It makes you really see how much people enjoy your content.
I found a top Medium writer (and earner) in my search for how to get better. You probably know her: Shannon Ashley. I started reading some of her posts on writing tips from Medium. This article stands out to me among all of them. And it says something that hits home really hard:
Accept that Medium swings left
Just in case you don’t know what that is, I’ll explain briefly. The political media of the world divided the world in a spectrum of left to right based on their political ideas. The left consists of liberals, democrats, socialists, and so on. The right consists of republicans, populists, and so on.
So based on your political opinion, the media calls you right-wing or left-wing. For the most part of the last decade, left-wing ideas have thrived all over the world. But then, very recently, Trump and Brexit shifted the tide considerably.
However, because of the way it happened, it started this fierce ideological battle between the left and the right. Now, here is where the problem lies.
Most media companies and outlets are left-wing. Before now, they hide this fact in their sleek production. But presently, they don’t hide it anymore. It is quite sad that many of the respected media names have shown their true colors in raising propaganda only for the political side they support. Personally, I was stunned the most by CNN.
I do not live in the USA, neither do I live in the UK. So, when they get into this left-wing versus right-wing issues, some of us just get caught in the middle of it. Now, back to Medium.
It is said that the Founder of Medium is left-wing. He is also among the founders of Twitter. And in a Business Insider article, he was quoted expressing a form of regret that Twitter gave Trump the platform to reach out and win elections as he did.
When I saw this fact, I then began noticing a few other things that suggest (or affirm) that Medium is left-wing. The problem of that is articles or writers that appear to be “right-wing” may have their exposure suppressed. This is easy as they could easily be labeled “trolls” because their voice does not correspond with the accepted notions.
On the much bigger platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Google, the case is on with the various government bodies to determine whether they are biased or not. But there is a lot of evidence that suggests that already if you know where to look.
But on a platform like Medium, there is no such scrutiny. Moreover, it is a platform for all kinds of articles and not just political
Shannon seems to suggest in her article to also swing left in writing so that posts can do better. And that is where I differ.
When I saw that at first, I felt like just giving up on the platform. That is because, for one reason or another, my opinion posts happen to be kind of “right-wing” most times. Meanwhile, I am just someone who considers all sides of a case and picks a side most logical, rational and sustainable.
But I stopped for a while to think. What do I want to write for? What effect do I want my writing to have on the readers? What do I want? Ten thousand claps that say “I agree with you” or one that says “you have added to my perspective”. I choose the latter. I choose to add value, not say what the crowd wants. Even though these two can intersect sometimes.
And really, it doesn’t matter whether Medium swings left or not. This might narrow your expectations if you write right-wing and you want to earn a lot on this platform through MPP. But you must also be aware that a lot of readers on this platform are left-leaning in their opinions. Or so we are led to believe.
In conclusion, I’d say write for posterity. Don’t be so conscious as to whether your post is left-leaning or right-leaning. Express your heart. Say what you want to, in the most compelling and respectful way possible.
Don’t whine because Medium leans left, instead make your article so good that it is hard to ignore
This might not pay off immediately, but sometimes in the future, it will make a difference to someone important.
Write articles your great-grandchildren can be proud of
I rest my case.