More than a year ago, I wrote a post about what I called Medium’s “FREE FOREVER” Membership.
I addressed there the fact that it is incredibly easy for readers to bypass the platform’s paywall and that anyone can gain continuous free access to any and all stories that are supposed to be available only to paying members.
In fact, there are at least two methods that one can use to peruse Medium’s catalog — open a story in the browser’s Incognito mode, use a browser extension to do that for you, or read a story in Twitter DMs.
Any of these actions will allow anyone to read everything without paying a cent.
This results in writers not being paid for their content.
Now, workarounds exist for almost any type of platform, people will many times look for and find ways to get premium content for free.
That speaks about them.
But here there is no hacking involved — no cheat code, no unethical download or install.
Now people can use a flaw in the platform’s design and code to bypass the paywall.
So, the question is, after all this time, why is Medium still allowing it?
Why is Medium basically scamming writers?
Or, if they’re not scamming anyone/everyone, why aren’t they protecting the people who license their content to the platform, which allows Medium to charge for a subscription?
We own the content. We can post it freely everywhere.
But on Medium, it is the articles that we post that allow Medium to maintain a subscription model.
No continuous content, no need for people to pay for a subscription.
So why aren’t they protecting that content?
Sure, we can all post the articles we own, even for free on our own platforms.
But Medium’s strength comes from having this incredible collection of articles.
And we are the contributors.
Why would they want to discourage writers from licensing content to their website?
I fail to understand it.
All I know is that those people who aspire to make a career out of writing will likely be disappointed by the monetary rewards linked to Medium because of this botched feature.
It just doesn’t translate into a relationship of mutual respect and support. And that’s a shame since so many things function perfectly on Medium.
I still hope things will change in the future because I do not think the platform reached its full potential just yet.
It would be sad to see it collapse due to poor management.
Who knows, maybe changes are coming.
I will end on this note.