We Need Kryptonite to Deal with Rotten Behavior on Medium

How do we write honestly and fearlessly in an uncontrollable situation?

Martha Manning, Ph.D.
4 min readJun 13, 2022

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Photo by Yogi Purnama on Unsplash

Yesterday, I didn’t have to read for very long before hitting one angry post, and then another, and another. The authors were frustrated, hurt and enraged. They covered issues of plagiarism, borderline negative comments, outright horrible comments, and things people do to jack up their numbers. For myself, I would add the tabloid streak of the rabid coverage of the Depp/Heard fiasco, and others like it.

When an idea catches fire with a writer, at issue is not only the content, but the process, the style, the unique approach to the material. And make no mistake about it, a comment is not the same as a post.

My reactions

I am often made uncertain, uncomfortable and “creeped-out” by a writer’s work. The emotions, the images, the jagged edges may be tough to take, but I continue to read because there is something that grabs me. And I learn something — about writing, or the subject. Even if I’m a bit uncomfortable.

Other writers explicate areas of general interest to me. Their posts would get an A in Comp 101. But they are boring.

There is a wide streak of writing that springs from the author’s “intuitive” sense of the 3 easy steps of mastering some difficulty I’ve wrestled with my whole life. Although they are nice and helpful, the undercurrent of many of these how-to posts is quietly disrespectful of the depth of the struggle. It amazes me how many writers award themselves advanced degrees just because they “feel” understand.

Comments vs. diatribes?

I admit to being pleased when I get a response to my writing. In fact, sometimes I’m so hungry for feedback, that I’ll tolerate disagreement with satisfaction.

But there’s this other group, composed of subgroups, that is frequent and sturdy, unresponsive to reason, reality and respect and undeserving of comment.

  • Subgroup 1 — There was a word embedded in the title, and that was all the reader needed, to go off to the races. It is ironic that such little attention is given to the text, and so much to the vitriol about

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Martha Manning, Ph.D.

Dr. Martha Manning is a writer and clinical psychologist, author of Undercurrents and Chasing Grace. Depression sufferer. Mother. Growing older under protest.