AI Could Be Gaming Medium

Jonathan Morris Schwartz
2 min readFeb 4, 2024

I’m purely speculating, but it’s not so far-fetched

Photo by Cleyton Ewerton on Unsplash

This is an opinion piece. I have no scientific evidence anyone is actually gaming Medium.

I wondered what would happen if I asked a friend to join Medium under her name and that I would pay her $5 monthly subscription if she agreed to spend several hours a week reading and clapping for my Medium stories.

Could she — by spending enough time reading my articles — generate for me more than the $5 that I was paying for her subscription, thus creating a win-win where she gets a free subscription, and I was guaranteed some revenue.

She herself wouldn’t be generating any money, so Medium would assume she was a net positive, economically.

And if her reads generated, say, $6 a month for me, I’d be guaranteed $1 a month in net income from this one subscriber for whom I was paying.

Now, imagine I found 10 friends — or 100 — or 1000 — and paid for their subscriptions with the agreement that they, too, would read enough of my articles to generate $6.

I’m now making $100 or $1000 a month by gaming the system.

NOW, imaging AI can do this at scale — 10,000 or 1,000,000 fake subscribers automatically clapping and reading a predetermined number of author’s articles — generating just a little more than the $5 subscription — maybe just a few pennies.

Wouldn’t this be a problem for Medium?

How many of you writers out there are confounded and befuddled by articles that are short and not particularly meaningful, generating thousands of claps in a relatively short period of time — by relatively unknown authors.

Is this just jealousy on my part….or have some authors figured out some technical way of gaming the system?

Perhaps Medium is way ahead of me on this and is zapping these potential scams proactively.

And I’m not the sharpest crayon in the box when it comes to technology.

But something doesn’t feel right…

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Jonathan Morris Schwartz

Jonathan Morris Schwartz is a speech language pathologist living in Ocala, Florida writing about love, politics, philosophy, and consciousness.