Is Medium’s Algorithm Implicitly Biased or More To The Point, Culturally Relativist?

Adebayo Adeniran
3 min readApr 24, 2021

Some questions need to be asked….

Markus Spiske’s Image via Splash

This is an article that I have wanted to write for a very long time, but hadn’t done so for a lack of testicular fortitude. But reading Dr. Mehmet Yildiz’s experience with the medium survey, allied to going through the exact same thing, too, has somewhat emboldened me.

Reading Ev Williams’ article, yesterday, announcing Mariam Naficy’s appointment to the Board of directors, while burnishing the social justice credentials of the other board members such as Colin Kaepernick and Biz Stone, you are left with the distinction that all is well with the medium world, in the aftermath of its recent restructuring

But is it?

Even though I have had a decent number of articles curated on this platform on different subjects and I was sent an email stating that I am a top writer in politics and economics, there’s the lingering impression that besides the opacity behind the stories which are thrust to the forefront of the platform, if you aren’t of a certain demographic, there’s a limit to how much exposure you get on your articles.

You take two articles on the same subject, one written by a white female and the other by a Black male with a foreign sounding name and I guarantee you and I am prepared to put my mortgage on this, that based on the algorithm, on medium, the foreign sounding name, however qualitative the work, will end up playing second fiddle.

Watching the social dilemma on Netflix, One of the participants defined algorithms as opinion built into the codes. Knowing that medium is American, It’s bound to, more than anything else, to cater to its American audience, before the British, Australian, Indian, Sri Lankan, South African and Nigerian audiences.

But why is this the case? why should the american audience be catered above the British, or the British ahead of the Australian, if they are all paid members?

Is medium’s algorithm saying that American needs are culturally superior to everyone else’s?

I read an article, here, a few months ago, in which a Black writer’s words were plagiarized by a white editor of one of the major publications and even

Adebayo Adeniran

A lifelong bibliophile, who seeks to unleash his energy on as many subjects as possible