I Won’t Read Articles on Medium by Anonymous Writers

Have an uniformed or biased take? Show your face, or keep it to yourself

Stacey Curran

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Photo by Jonas Jaeken on Unsplash

One of the worst parts of Twitter is the way people tweet absolute garbage at fellow human beings anonymously. I’ve nearly left several times because of it. But I have found many wonderful Tweeters who crack me up, inform me, and connect me to other hilarious people, and scholars.

So I stay. I try to learn, laugh, and avoid the insanity.

But now I’m seeing similar “writers” on Medium. I am running across poorly written, obvious propaganda pieces more frequently. I’m not talking about the error strewn pieces that have been here the whole time I have been using the site. Many of these articles have bait-y titles and get eyes. Good for those posters. It is not for me. They can write about inspiration and motivation, and how to make money on Medium, and not claim expertise, just their experience. They show what might be their name and face. I skip their stuff, and move on.

I’m looking at the pieces on mental and physical health, fitness, politics, economics, and more, written by supposedly credentialed people. Today I saw an excoriation of a person who may or may not be dealing with mental health challenges. But to read the article, you’d think this supposed mental health professional was their doctor. It was unsourced, and complete opinion. But by putting the proper licensure after their anonymous avatar, and clearly communicated pseudonym, they may seem credible to some people. I haven’t researched enough, and fake names make it harder, so I can only allege that these are the kind of articles paid for by PR firms looking to influence public opinion. And they can place them here to millions of readers for free.

I am a former journalist, and proper sourcing was the hardest part of the job. People who claim to be legitimate sources will tell you just about anything to get you to run off with an assumption about someone they don’t like. And it can taint the way you interact with someone when you seek comment on the first person’s allegations. You have push away anything that you were told by others to be sure that the truth emerges. You ask the same question, you use public records, you re-interview, you ask anyone else…

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Stacey Curran

Former journalist; few N.E. Press Assoc. Awards, few Boston Globe Magazine essays, @TheBelladonnaComedy @Slackjaw @BostonAccent, @WBUR, grocery lists.