Did Medium’s New CEO Just Call Me “Divisive” and “Under-Informed?”

It sure sounds that way.

Jessica Wildfire


Photo by Karen Cantú Q on Unsplash

My 5th-grade English teacher accused me of plagiarism. My 8th-grade English teacher accused me of plagiarism. My 10th-grade English teacher accused me of plagiarism.

My college anthropology teacher accused me of plagiarism. My graduate thesis director accused me of plagiarism.

Each time, the burden of proof fell on me. The only evidence they had was that it was “too good.” So, I had to narrate my writing process. Sometimes, I had to show them drafts.

These days, I don’t get accused of plagiarism. I just get accused of seducing readers with my “under-informed” viral clickbait. It’s the same thing, just different phrasing.

It never ends.

Medium’s new CEO wonders if I’m “divisive.”

Recently, I said I was thinking about leaving Medium, because the platform had made a very decisive turn against writers like me. It’s reminiscent of the days when male self-help writers dominated with catchy, superficial listicles that enshrined their own personal worldviews as life advice. My piece generated quite a response.

It even caught Tony Stubblebine’s attention.

Among other things, he wrote:

Is Jessica a divisive writer who generates a lot of these [hides/unfollows]? I don’t know the answer…

We have a lot of very credible writers who get swamped by under-informed, but more virally crafted content.

I think Tony does know the answer to the question he posed. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have asked it.

He thinks I’m under-informed clickbait.

Now, did Tony come right out and say I was under-informed clickbait? No, of course not. He implied it, after taking a very long time to explain why I was “wrong.” When Jessica has problems, maybe it’s because she’s divisive. When “very credible writers” have problems, it’s because they’re getting swamped by clickbait. By the way, “divisive” and “under-informed” just happen to be how a gang of bitter self-help writers have been describing my content for the last year.