• Richie Crowley

Why You Should Reply To Every Comment

One of the most honorable things we have is our word.

Medium is a platform dominated by words. Each time we click publish we invite feedback, support, criticism, and debate. It’s a beautiful arena for respectful exchanges.

But what Medium does not have is any sort of regulation that requires authors to provide evidence for their claims. Or, as Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic wrote, “Medium doesn’t appear to have any ethical constraints.” Dangerous.

Recently, I read a piece titled I’m Not Updating My job On Linkedin by an author with a suspicious 60,000 followers. I’m not going to link the piece because by simply reading the piece in full you’d be rewarding the writing, and I’d be complicit in the rewarding of writing I strongly oppose.

Call me petty.

After reading this article, I was so upset (maybe I should have meditated more) by the careless and suggested deception that I left a comment. Not just any comment, but a brilliant, thoughtful, passionate response.

It was also feisty. Still, I stand by it.

Now, there is absolutely zero expectation of engagement whenever I do leave comments, but I wanted one. I felt I had written a compelling enough response that I deserved one. I thought I deserved one, emotions aside, at least as an opportunity for the author to support his claims or defend his actions.

You see, on Medium, I often see writers share opinions as if they were facts, an attempt to create truth, or writers sharing facts without linking the source, the study, or science. I know Medium isn’t journalism, but I do believe we are a respected group of writers that should not attempt to deceive each other and should provide evidence when making audacious or even simple claims. (See how I linked The Atlantic article? Simple.)

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube have cracked and allowed lies and misinformation to seep in, spread, and be interpreted as truth. I don’t want to see this on Medium.

So that’s why I call writers out in their comments and welcome it the same on my writing. We are responsible for the content we post, and as Medium’s Terms of Use say:

“This means you assume all risks related to it, including someone else’s reliance on its accuracy, or claims relating to intellectual property or other legal rights.”

When reading this, I believe we must expand our interpretation and as a collective hold each other accountable. If you want to write something controversial, write the hell out of it, but be prepared to defend it. Medium has created this brilliant arena for us to have respectful debate, and I hold on to the idea that we will honor that.

So that is why I’ll call bullshit when I see it and expect it as well. My responses and my writings have no ego, they are complete invites to engage or as my bio says, to feel, something.

We shouldn’t reply to comments just because Gary Vee tells us too.

We should reply because it is an opportunity to express gratitude to those who admire our words.

We should reply to defend or support a claim we’ve made.

We should reply to honor our words.

Richie. Human.


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