Ad Free Medium

We’ve been putting our energy at Medium into improving quality — hosting more thoughtful and carefully written content, and improving the reading experience. We want to eliminate distractions that get in the way of reading flow and reduce distortions that could undermine your trust in what you read on Medium.

To that end, we‘re adjusting our policies related to commercial content.

Ads, Promotions, and Marketing

First, we’ll be restricting some kinds of commercial activity that have been allowed in the past, such as sponsorships and links that are mainly promotional. Medium’s business has been ad-free for more than a year now. But some “ad-like” remnants that had value in the past are now less aligned with Medium’s model of using subscriptions and a metered paywall to provide the best quality user experience. This means eliminating certain features that are superficially free, but for which you pay with attention.

So, as of September 1, 2018, our policies will include:

  • First-party promotion is allowed. You can promote your own work or goods and services you provide, like a link to your website or your book. For posts or publications run by a company (like company blogs), you can promote goods or services provided by your company.
  • Third-party advertising and sponsorships are not allowed. You may not advertise or promote third-party products, services, or brands through Medium posts, publications, or letters. This includes images that indicate brand sponsorship in a post or letter, or as part of a publication name or logo.
  • Images functioning as third-party ads are not allowed. Inline images or embeds that link out and function as banner ads for third-party brands will no longer be allowed.
  • You must disclose affiliate links or payment for a post. Affiliate links, such as link out to Amazon with your code, or any other link out where you will receive a commission or other value, are allowed in posts. But, you must disclose somewhere in the post that it includes affiliate links. If you have received payment, goods or services, or something else of value in exchange for writing a post, you must still disclose this fact in writing within your post (as FTC Rules and Guides, and Medium Rules require).

Embedded Content

Second, in preparing to comply with GDPR (the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation), it led us to step back, take a fresh look at our privacy practices, and renew our efforts to make Medium trustworthy. It raised questions about what types of data collection we should and should not allow through Medium. And in other cases, it led us to think about how to channel third-party data collection on Medium to make sure our users understand as clearly as possible what information about them is captured, by whom, where it winds up, and how it might be used.

As of September 1, 2018:

  • Embeds that directly collect data through form fields will no longer be allowed.

This includes embeds that facilitate the submission of email addresses and other personally identifying information through forms (such as Upscribe or Rabbut) and the submission of credit card information (such as Gumroad). We understand that this might make life harder for writers and publications who want to collect information directly from users. But, we believe this change is necessary to ensure that Medium readers know where their data is going and how it will be used.

Going forward, if you want to collect information from your users, you will need to link out from your post on Medium to a form hosted elsewhere that makes it clear to a user that they are no longer in the Medium network. We are working with Upscribe, Rabbut, and Gumroad so that their services function in line with these Medium policies.

We will continue to allow embeds that display content, such as YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, GitHub, and others, as explained in our Help Center. Our Privacy Policy discusses in more detail how we treat this type of embed.

Thank you. We’re grateful for your continued use of Medium and appreciate your working with us to make Medium a place for thoughtful, high-quality stories.


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