Coach Tony Is Kicking Around the Idea of Paying 10 Cents for Each Story

And letting AI use them.

Linda Kowalchek
5 min readMay 1


Photo by Liza Summer for Pexels


I was settled in for the evening. I had endured my nightly coughing fit, which is now a regular part of my life as I battle the upper respiratory infection from hell. I was medicated with Robitussin, Mucinex, Prozac, Rexulti, and my mood stabilizers. And a multi-vitamin gummy. All was well in my world. Or at least as well as it was going to be.

I curled up in my cozy chair with my favorite blankie, grabbed my iPhone, and tapped the Medium app — time for my usual evening reading before bed. The first story flashed a headline that horrified me, but then it disappeared and brought up a slew of entirely different stories. I started scrolling to find the story with the frightening title. It wasn’t coming up. So, I ran a search. Finally, I found it. There it was.

I’ll be a sonofabitch.

According to the story, Coach Tony, Medium’s newer CEO, posted on Mastodon that AI companies would have to pay for “training data.” And wouldn’t it be a stellar idea if Medium acted on behalf of its writers (who supposedly continue to retain the ownership rights to anything they post on Medium) and got the writers approximately a whopping 10 cents per story for allowing AI companies to use the Medium writers’ work as “training data?”

And, by the way, the AI companies are already using bots to mine (steal) Medium content. The writers are being paid nothing, so wouldn’t that 10 cents be an excellent deal compared to the giant nothing-burger that the writers currently get from the AI companies mining/stealing the writers’ content?

But wait, there’s more. The money from the stories used for “training data” could be pooled and distributed to the writers based on the quality and popularity of their work. Wouldn’t that be nifty?

Here’s the post. Take a gander at this gem.

screenshot by author

I trust no one. Let me make this clear; I trust no one. Color me paranoid, but just because I’m paranoid, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t out…



Linda Kowalchek

Member of the typewriter generation. I write about the writer’s journey and things that happen to me. 100% AI free. Reach me at