Why Is Medium Hiding So Much Information?

How many people can see a story in one day without anyone looking at it? The number might surprise you!

The strangest stats page I’ve ever seen on Medium just got much weirder. (photo by author)

Let’s start at the beginning

Here’s the story in question. It’s already had a strange life on Medium.

Putting infuriated pen to paper

“The United States Has Failed Its Most Vulnerable Citizens” was an article written in anger about a subject I’ve returned to many, many times on Twitter. I find it reprehensible that, ten months and 275,000 American deaths into this pandemic, we still don’t have a safety net for high-risk citizens.

Thanks for the honor, I think

That’s when things got a little odd. On August 18, 22 days after publication, it was curated in “Politics”, which had zero impact on its popularity. The day it was “chosen for further distribution”, it got eight views and four seconds of reading time. Two days later, one person spent two minutes reading it, giving me another nickel.

November 28, 2020: 1.3K views, 1.3K internal views, $0.00 earnings, 0 seconds of member reading time.

On November 29th, zero views.

The author begins to question the system

I have no idea what happened. Somehow, 1.3K people — a very vague number given their tracking abilities — saw my article without any of them reading a few paragraphs? That seems highly implausible.

Freelance writer and data scientist in Metro Detroit. Covered pro sports for NHL.com and the Associated Press before COVID-19. Mentally ill and not ashamed.

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