NOTE: This is NOT a six-minute read. It’s about a three-minute read and the rest of the time is filled up by Medium’s rules. Thanks for being a reader and follower!
I got my wrist slapped by the Medium Gods. I found out that Medium likes whiny twenty-somethings, but they don’t like 60-year old men.
Let me explain.
A couple of days ago, someone, I can’t remember the name, posted a piece on Medium stating they were deeply offended by Snapchat’s new filter that made everyone look like they were Chinese (or was it Japanese).
Her post was ok — a little narrow minded and an exhibition of maybe having spent too much time in the “safe space” or whatever sensitive people go to these days. The person stated she was going to stop using Snapchat and boldly proclaimed as much in the title following by the admonishment that “You Should Too”.
Fine. You want to quit Snapchat? Go right ahead. I won’t stop you. I won’t try to use logic to tell you why you should — or shouldn’t — use Snapchat. Hey, It’s a free world!
But don’t dare tell me that I “should too”. I can make my own choices — thank you very much.
The “tone” in the post seemed to be whiny and written by a little twit. So I responded:
The person must have been offended by comment. This afternoon, an email from Gerald shows up in my inbox.
I hadn’t read the rules. I’m a guy. Generally we don’t read directions or rules. We just go from the seat of our britches. But I wanted to know exactly which rule I broke, so I went to the link Gerald shared and found this:
NOTE: The comments in italics are my thoughts.
Some parts of the Internet lack rules. This isn’t one of them.
Medium exists for people to share their opinions, thoughts, and ideas. People will inevitably write things other people don’t agree with. Sometimes this will enlighten. Other times it will frustrate. Ain’t that the truth.
Medium is a shared space. We want lots of different ideas to thrive here. So, we need a few ground rules. Not many. In fact, they can pretty much be summed up as: Don’t pee in the pool (metaphorically). In other words… I won’t pee in your pool, if you don’t swim in my toilet.
Things You Shouldn’t Do
Threats of Violence
Don’t threaten violence against anyone. We will do our best to look at what you write in proper context. But saying “just kidding” later does not make it a joke. No. I didn’t threaten violence.
We think free expression deserves a lot of leeway. So, we generally think the best response to hateful speech is more speech, not censorship. Still, we reserve the right to take down hateful slurs, which tend to silence others while adding little if anything. Hateful slurs? Ok. I can handle that. But I would like to have $1 for every slur I’ve been exposed to on Medium.
We don’t tolerate harassment on Medium. This includes:
- Posts that shame specific individuals, including images or altered images Nope. Didn’t do it.
- Posts with altered or unaltered copies of private communications between private individuals posted without the explicit consent of a party to the communication Not this one either.
- Posts with non-public, personal information intended to target, blackmail, or harass people Technically, all posts that are in response to a post are targeted, but I know what you mean. However, I’m not guilty of this either.
- Repeated personally insulting notes, responses, story requests, or writer requests Repeatedly? How often is “repeatedly?” But no, I didn’t do this either.
- Intimate or explicit images taken or posted without the subject’s explicit consent (including revenge porn) Nope. Didn’t post any porn; but if someone has some laying around that they want to send me, my email is at the bottom of this posting.
Medium supports parody, commentary, and fair use. Users may speak freely about matters and people of public interest. We support vigorous debate of substantive issues. However, we won’t tolerate abusive behavior directed at private individuals. In deciding whether someone has violated the rules, we will take into account things like the context and nature of the posted information and applicable privacy laws. I do believe Snapchat and the dust-up it is currently experiencing would be a great example of “public interest.” Would it not?
Harm to Minors
Don’t post anything relating to minors that is sexual or violent. Don’t bully or harass minors. Nope. No minors, small dogs or vegetables were harmed during the writing of my response.
Don’t spam. Don’t use deceptive tags or links or otherwise mislead others about what you’ve posted. Don’t embed malicious code in your posts. Don’t use deception to generate revenue or traffic. Don’t write posts aimed primarily at affiliate marketing. Nah. Didn’t do any of these either.
Mass Registration and Automation
Don’t register accounts or post content automatically, systematically, or programmatically. Again, nope.
Copyright and Trademark Infringement
Respect the copyrights and trademarks of others. Unless you’re authorized to use someone else’s copyrighted or trademarked work (either expressly or by legal exceptions and limitations like fair use), don’t do it. It’s our policy to respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement under our Terms of Service and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Again, I’d like $1 for every time I’ve seen an image used on Medium that did NOT belong to the poster
Don’t impersonate someone else to deceive people. Parody and ridicule are fine, but make clear that that’s what you’re doing. Nope. I’m innocent of this as well.
No porn. There are other places to post it. You know where they are. Please see my earlier comments about porn.
Don’t post content that violates others’ privacy, including personally identifying or confidential information like credit card numbers, social security numbers, or non-public contact information. Nope. Didn’t do it.
Phishing and Other Frauds
Don’t use Medium to engage in phishing or fraud. Again, nada.
Promotion and Glorification of Self-Harm
Don’t promote or glorify self-harm, such as cutting, eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia, and suicide. I’ve read more about cutting, eating disorders, sexual dysfunctions, anorexia, bulimia, suicide, dirty diapers and other “glorifications” on Medium than I have anywhere else online — including the porn sites.
If You Break the Rules
If it looks like you’ve violated these policies, we may send you an email and ask you to explain what you’re up to and why. Because, hey, we know context is important, and we want to understand the big picture. If you don’t adequately explain yourself or fix the problem, we may suspend or block your account or remove your content. We care a lot about fairness and do our best to act that way. But we reserve the right to suspend accounts or remove content, without notice, for any reason, particularly to protect our services, infrastructure, users, or community. We reserve the right to enforce, or not enforce, these policies at our sole discretion. These policies don’t create a duty or contractual obligation for us to act in any particular manner.
We also reserve the right to change these rules using the procedures in ourTerms of Service.
We track changes to our rules on Github so you can see how they evolve.
If you have questions or feedback, let us know. Like everything on Medium, it is open to discussion. There’s just too much wrong with this “Break the Rules” paragraph to even talk about.
There it is. The story of how I almost got put in the corner because I forgot that there are whiny little twits in the world that are in for a shock when they get out into the world and find out most people don’t give a damn about their sensitivities.
Jerry Nelson is an American freelance writer and photojournalist and is always interested in discussing future work opportunities. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and join the million-or-so who follow him on Twitter @ Journey_America.