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Not everyone is “clapping” for Medium’s new plan to save media

Medium unveiled its new system to buck the digital ad system in the media business today: Claps. Claps are Medium members’ way of showing love to an article, like how we “like” a post on Facebook. The idea is that if a member-only article is more popular–gets more claps–then that author will receive better compensation for their work.

Sounds like an overall egalitarian way of doing business until you really think about it. Ariel Robinson, a privacy and security writer, tweeted her reservations about the move, saying this route would likely lead the company astray. Medium founder Ev Williams tweeted back asking why.

So Robinson explained:

In short, Robinson fears that by letting an algorithm, which is predicated on popularity, dictate content’s worth, it creates the conditions that helped fake news run rampant.

Medium is trying to create a new system for the media business, one that rewards content creators for their work and isn’t at the whims of the fluctuating digital ad space. But, as Robinson fears, this model could create some of the same old problems.

You can read the entire Twitter exchange here.CGW