Blogging platform Medium, known for its interest in fostering intraplatform discussion, is now allowing writers to hide response posts.
Here’s how Medium introduced the new tool:
We live in the real world and recognize that sometimes you may not want to get in a discussion. Sometimes, you just need to come and post. We welcome that use of Medium as well and want to help you feel safe and comfortable doing so.
To hide responses, go to the options menu and select “hide responses.”
When you do so, a message will pop up at the bottom of your post expressing your desire to keep comments hidden.
It’s worth noting that hiding responses will not completely insulate the writer from responses — negative or otherwise. People are still allowed to write an answer to your story. Medium says it won’t notify you if someone responds to your writing; however, you will get pinged when someone refers to your story in one of their posts.
Allowing users to remove responses is a counterintuitive move for a platform that is geared towards inspiring discussion. But the Web can be a nasty place, and those sharing on any platform need to know they have recourse when they get attacked for their views.
Several social platforms that have failed to implement these kinds of safeguards have been bombarded with complaints and worse — user abandonment. Since Medium has become a place where people share personal stories, it makes sense the platform would want to offer writers a way to stem offensive retorts.
For brands it also offers an added incentive. Now in addition to pushing pretty press releases on Medium, they can ensure that backlash gets less of a voice.