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How This New Writer Made Barak Obama Comment — And Why She Can’t Celebrate It

  • 5 min read

This story shows anything is possible. Diane made it. Still, it’s not cool.

A few days ago, an interesting story on Medium by Diane Egan made my day. It shows anything is possible.

Diane is a Medium newbie and had around 70 followers when she wrote the post I want to tell you about.

Now she has gained around 160 followers! A plus of 90 followers within just a few days thanks to her article. Amazing, isn’t it?

To give you some background info. This is Diane Egan’s ‘About page’:

screenshot by Kristina God

Diane was brave enough to reach out to Barack Obama

When she saw that Barack Obama writes on Medium she was excited.

She started following him and read an article about his 2021 Summer Reading List and Summer Playlist. It had around 12k claps and 100+ comments.

In order to tell him she liked his list she reached out to him and commented:

This is way cool. I must have been under a rock because I didn’t know about your lists. Thanks for sharing!

Here’s a screenshot of her comment:

screenshot by Kristina God

When Barak answered Diane was thrilled

One day, she saw that her notifications had a reply from former president Obama (!). Exciting, isn’t it?

At first, she felt thrilled. This reply bruised her ego.

I couldn’t imagine what he wrote to me…a Medium newbie with 71 followers. I’m not lying when I say how thrilled I was at the beginning.

Only then did she realize that his first name was slightly misspelled. It wasn’t the real former president after all.

Gee… that lasted a whole three minutes. The first name was “Barak,” not “Barack.”


When he recommended Cryptocurrency Diane was shocked

Here you can see Barak’s comment and Diane’s reply:

screenshot by Kristina God

It’s a bummer. It was just spam and Barak (same profile picture as the former president) wanted to promote Cryptocurrency.

Unfortunately, Medium doesn't require unique names as in the early days, as Baskerville Old Face commented.

The former president could shill a crypro course, said Yannik Pieper (from Germany, welcome, my friend)


Watch out for scammers

7Photo by Stephen Mayes on Unsplash

Scammers are getting increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to get your money or personal details.

In fact, there are a lot of writers used to people trying to scam others using famous names on social media in general and Medium in particular.

Kim Zuch followed one of her favorite Irish singers on Instagram and was shocked when “he” followed her back, adding a private message.

I saw his name was slightly misspelled and immediately realized it wasn’t the real musician after all.

Baskerville Old Face reports:

I got that same thing from Jessica Wildfire and from Ethan Siegal.

Of course, when Diane figured out it was a scam she reported the fake.


Medium’s purge of fake accounts

This story shows anything is possible on Medium.

Moreover, you should watch out and report fake accounts to Medium.

Good news: in order to make this platform truly relational, a few months ago Medium started to toss fake accounts overboard.

That’s the reason why ILLUMINATION for instance lost 63k followers overnight. I also lost around 30 followers.

Medium says:

We’ll be removing spam accounts from your follower and following counts across Medium starting today. (…) You may see a change in your follower and following counts. However you’ll gain a more accurate sense of your audience size now that follower counts only contain authentic, quality users. Rest assured — this change will not affect your distribution or earnings.


Final Thoughts

Although it’s a funny story and really made my day when I read it, it shows a serious issue on this platform.

Be alert and protect yourself and others from being scammed.

Please help Medium and report fake accounts and scammers.

Well, here’s to hoping that Medium’s purge of fake accounts will sort scammers out and helps those of us who are writing on this platform seriously.

PS: Diane Egan I really hope the real Barack Obama will read Diane’s story or initial comment and will reply. At least his Communications / PR team.

What are your thoughts?


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