Since the founding of the Huffington Post almost 13 years ago, it has relied on contributions from unpaid bloggers. However, on Thursday, the HuffPost said that it was immediately dissolving its self-publishing contributors platform. With almost 10,000 current writers, this is one of the largest changes made by its editor in chief, Lydia Polgreen.
“Now, there are many places where people can share and exchange ideas,” Lydia Polgreen wrote on the website. “Perhaps a few too many: One of the biggest challenges we all face, in an era where everyone has a platform, is figuring out whom to listen to. Open platforms that once seemed radically democratizing now threaten, with the tsunami of false information we all face daily, to undermine democracy. When everyone has a megaphone, no one can be heard. Our hope is that by listening carefully through all the noise, we can find the voices that need to be heard and elevate them for all of you.”
Many critics of the platform believe that the content was just optimized for clicks and to generate traffic. While this might have been true for some of the content, there were still many people who were submitted useful content. Because of the lack of credibility, it is possible Polgreen wants to reduce the amount of content and focus on quality rather than quantity.
The unpaid contributions platform was responsible for 10 to 15% of the site’s traffic. In its place, HuffPost will also include two new sections where the blog will be paying for contributions in Opinions and Personal.
The UK version of HuffPost will continue with its unpaid blogger platform, though it will be decreased in size. It is not known what other outposts will be doing in regards to the platform.