The Perils of “Hope Labor”: How Patreon Is Failing Starving Artists
Saul of Hearts


Very well said. That a few people are rewarded by playing the game doesn’t mean that the game isn’t rigged. Exploiting the little guy in the culture industry is nothing new, but the problem here, as you point out, is that platforms like Patreon promise to democratize participation and share the wealth, but this promise is not borne out in the way they actually operate. The founders may be well intentioned, but when the platform is a VC-backed startup, incentives are not aligned in the direction of maximizing social benefit. That is true regardless of the type of platform we are talking about.

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