Ev Williams
May 21, 2015 · 1 min read

Responses are not free-for-all comments

There’s an important distinction between responses and regular web comments — besides that they can be whole posts — that we probably haven’t made clear enough. While, unlike Medium’s sidebar notes, they are not author-moderated, not just anyone can come around and post something to the bottom of your story that others see.

Anyone can write something as a response and that response is public, meaning it has a public URL and can be shared. However, it’s only seen at the bottom of the original post if one or more of the following apply:

  • It’s from the same author as the original post
  • It’s recommended by said author
  • Or — for those logged into Medium — it’s written or recommended by someone you follow

In other words: No one will see shitty comments at the bottom of your post unless you recommend them or they follow the people who make the shitty comments (in which case, they might not think they’re shitty). And you can make sure everyone sees the good ones.

It’s not obvious, but it’s quite an elegant system. ☺

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