Running Total on Boost Nominations

Douglas Giles, PhD
2 min readNov 21, 2023
(Source: Piqsels)

Stats last updated 18 January.

  • Nonphilosophy articles I have nominated have a 76% acceptance rate (25 of 33).
  • Philosophy articles I have nominated have a 24% acceptance rate (7 of 29) including 13 straight rejected nominations in November.

30 November update: Another philosophy article was Boosted! Up now to a staggering 20% acceptance rate, 53 points lower than the acceptance rate of nonphilosophy articles.

23 November update: Coincidence or not, the curators finally allows some philosophy articles to be Boosted. Still, that completely absurd 13 rejects straight remains, as does the woefully lower acceptance rate of philosophy articles.

I am interested to hear about other Boost nominators’ experiences (please leave me a private note), but my recent experience has uncovered a very clear pattern of bias regarding subject matter. Not the quality of writing, not adherence to the quality criteria — the topic of the article.

This month, 13 philosophy articles that I have nominated for a Boost were rejected. Yes, 13 straight.

That’s a 0% acceptance rate. Nonphilosophy articles? Infinitely higher — 85% of my nominations over that same period.

I am selective in which articles I nominate, choosing fewer than one a day out of reading several dozen each day. I nominate only articles that exceed the stated quality guidelines. (Oh, and I’ve worked in publishing since 1995 so I know about writing and editing and how to select quality articles.) However, a clear pattern has emerged.

Here are statistics from the last five weeks of articles I have nominated for a Boost. The variable in the two groups is the topics of the articles. Same nominator (me) applying the same quality criteria established by Medium but with hugely different results. If an article has “philosophy” in the title of subtitle or it has the Philosophy topic tag, is is many times less likely to receive a Boost.

  • Nonphilosophy articles I have nominated have a 77% acceptance rate (20 of 26).
  • Philosophy articles I have nominated have a 22% acceptance rate (6 of 27) including 13 straight rejected nominations in November.

No clearer sign of bias can be shown. I tried to raise this issue with Medium, and I will characterize their response as unhelpful and unapologetic. It’s a shame, and I hope that someday this will change and Medium will embrace authors who write about serious topics, including philosophy.

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Douglas Giles, PhD

Philosopher by trade & temperament, professor for 21 years, bringing philosophy out of its ivory tower and into everyday life. https://linktr.ee/dgilesphd