Don’t @ Me, Bro

With a few rare exceptions, this @mentions thing is getting out of hand

Holly Jahangiri
3 min readMar 30, 2023


Photo by Franco Antonio Giovanella on Unsplash

Mentions on Medium can be useful. You add someone’s username to your story, and they get notified, whether they’ve subscribed to receive notifications for all of your content or not. Perhaps you are writing a serialized story — you tag everyone who commented positively on the last installment, to let them know when you’ve published the next. You include a note: “Please let me know if you’d rather I didn’t mention you on future installments.” You respect that, removing them from the list on request, no questions asked. Terrific!

Perhaps you are responding to a story that another member has written. It merits more than a short comment. You @mention them to alert them to the response, rather than leaving a comment with a link on their original piece. First, have you embedded a link to their story in your response? Is your mention a thoughtful one? I don’t know of anyone who objects to a thoughtful, relevant relevant @mention that also promotes their contributions to Medium! In fact, this is what my publication, Reading Rhombus, tries to encourage.

Reading Rhombus — Medium

Sadly, that’s received no submissions in a year. So much for promoting others around here.

But what about those long lists of @mentions at the bottom of some stories — some of them taking up as much space as the story itself? That’s nothing more than “Hey, look at me! Lookit, lookit, lookit!!” It’s spammy. And it is, technically, against Medium Rules:

“Performing a disproportionately large number of interactions, particularly by automated means. This includes bulk or indiscriminate interactions, such as following of other accounts (follow spam) clapping, highlighting, or leaving notes”

That is under Spam or Site Misuse. Indiscriminate tagging of people just to get attention and promote your own stories is prohibited. Some of us will report it. (Maybe not the first time, but unless you get permission, don’t do it.) For more, see:

Medium Rules | by Medium | Medium Policy

Don’t @ me, bro…