Medium should have a “downvote” button
In a time when fake news and shallow based information proliferate, medium is being used as a medium to spread them and the community has no power to fight it.
In a previous article I’ve discussed about the need of a certain criticism when reading articles on Medium, given its power to put people that has a lot to say together with idiots, ignorants and people that simple don’t know what they’re saying into pedestals and give them an appearance of experts. In this article I’ll propose a tool that can use the help of the community to mend this problem and, as a collateral, can boost articles with something really important and “mark” fake news or shallow based articles as such. A rating system.
Having millions of articles wrote everyday, I think to curate all of them before publishing them is a quite extensive task and can prove itself too expensive for the business model Medium sustains and a “private” internal curatorship could make Medium not as democratic as it shows today, giving the power of censorship to a couple of teams that would have the power to choose which ideas will get the spotlight and which won’t.
This model is already being put to proof and it’s already doomed to fail, as we can see each day on Fox News and CNN Brasil: TV channels have bias and with the minimum effort we can see their teams working towards an idea and giving the spotlight to “their friends”. It simply don’t work.
With its community growing as it is now, Medium has a “hidden”, democratic and eager community to help it get more transparent, more accurate and trustable: Ask this community for more help.
Today, we have the “clap” button and “to clap” can mean a lot of things: This is a good article, this was well written, I like your idea, I read your idea … you got the idea. But it’s too shallow. Sometimes when you go to a well hidden comment — yeah, comments are quite hidden, stored and shown far-far-away from the article itself — you can find reviews, opposite opinions, sometimes with more claps then the original article, showing that more people disagrees with the author’s opinion then agrees but, again, the “spotlight” claps are the ones given to the article. The “I don’t agree” claps are always hidden inside comments. This needs to change.
We, as community, need a tool to help other people know how this idea is taken by the community as a whole: Good, bad, inaccurate, has misleading information, was written by an unexperienced professional or it’s the old plain bullshit.
This tool could help Medium curate the articles will be sent to our emails and help us fight the “bad-information-pandemic” we were facing even before the corona one.
Stack overflow is a very good example where good insights are upvoted and rewarded while bullshiters or wrong answers just disappears out of thin air. 9 Gag, reddit and other “community blog” tools already use the power of their communities to help curate what will be taken into the spotlight and what won’t.
Adding a tool like this would only make Medium a more powerful and trustable tool, that could bring information in the morning, letting me know if I’m reading something coming from someone who knows their shit, if it’s a well guessed newbie or just a moron.
I think we deserve that.