Here’s another example showing why you can’t trust and rely on the major content publishing and social media websites these days. Two days ago I received an email from Medium that they suspended my account (which I’ve had at least since February 2016). I didn’t receive any warnings beforehand nor a chance to possibly correct any mistakes. Here’s the email they sent me:
From: Medium Support <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 2, 2019 7:30 PM
Subject: Your account on Medium
After review of the account linked to this email address, Medium’s Trust & Safety team has found it to be in violation of site policies:
As as result, it has been suspended from the platform.
Medium Trust & Safety
I replied asking them if they could specify exactly which part of which article violates which ones of their policies, but got no reply from them as of right now. It seems that completely censoring my content and deplatforming me is more important to them. What’s also important to note is that I can log into my account and see all my content on Medium, but other people can’t. So what they did is a form of shadow banning (Facebook, Reddit and others also love to do this), but not exactly, since they did send me an email about suspending my account. But there are other cases online of people whose accounts were suspended and they didn’t even receive a notification about it; the only way they found out — sometimes after many days — was because their followers and fans told them that their content wasn’t accessible.
Fortunately I wasn’t relying on Medium’s “service” in any way so for me it’s no big deal. Other people, such as this example, were less fortunate:
Our Manage Comics blog was recently suspended by Medium for no justifiable reason. To date the only explanation we have been given is that we were accidentally caught in their spam filter.
This caused a huge impact on our business, saw our page rankings plummet, created dozens of orphaned links from sites that had referenced us, and left us scrambling to solve a problem that our vendor has not been able to give us a reasonable explanation behind.
Because of the negative effects on our business, and Medium’s lack of a reasonable explanation for what happened, we have removed all content from Medium, and we are firmly advising our clients against using Medium as a blogging platform.
The Manage Comics blog was down for a number of days, with no notice to us, and we have no idea how or why. Worse is the fact that all of that organic traffic that we’ve built up over months to the blog, has all vanished. Our blog has all but disappeared from the online world, and now we have to build that traffic from the ground up.
During the two weeks that our blog was missing from the internet, Google delisted dozens of blog posts that were generating organic traffic for us. It took us a year to build up that traffic, we did significant outreach to comics press, released press releases, and were featured in a number of different places. All of those links have been delisted, and Google has no way to know that we are back and didn’t simply vanish.
This has fundamentally broken our trust in Medium, and we will not be using the Medium platform for any of our content, and we strongly advise our clients, and anyone reading this, not to use Medium as a blog platform for any content that you use to build online equity in your brand.
I’ve also been advising my clients not to rely on any social media and content publishing websites online for a few years now. For example, sometimes clients tell me that they don’t want a website since they are satisfied with having just a Facebook business page. And I hope that you can see why that’s extremely dangerous. You can be active on social media and content publishing websites to engage with other people and expand your reach, but you should always have your own self-hosted website/platform that’s fully (or as much as possible) under your control, and let people know about it so that they know where to reliably find you.