Notes, Quote Responses, and Troll Control

Medium Support
The Medium Blog
Published in
4 min readOct 12, 2015


Conversations happen on Medium. But with the increased popularity of Responses, we began to realize these conversations were being split between the Notes in the margin and the Responses at the bottom of the page.

Notes are bound by character restrictions and don’t appear anywhere beyond the original post itself. Additionally, we saw that a very low percentage of Notes were ever made public, and were restricted by the participation of the original author.

To fix this, we have changed the way these features work. In our apps and on the web, we launched a new and improved experience for “in context” responses, enabling you to respond to any quote or part of someone’s story. The context and quote always travel with the response, so they can live on their own in streams and profiles, always linking back up to the right spot and providing context for readers.

What is going on with Notes?

Notes are now private. They are meant to be a direct message to the author or a publication editor, primarily for copy editing, typos, and private communication. Publication editors will only be able to see private notes if that post is added to a publication they edit.

You can create a new note by highlighting a word or section of post and choosing the note option from the toolbar:

Leave a private note

The author will receive an alert of your note in their notification feed. Additionally, if they have chosen to receive emails, they will receive a notification in their inbox. They can respond to your note, you will be notified in the same way — it is a private conversation.

OK. But I used notes to footnote, annotate, or expound on a certain point, in context. You took that away!

Do you know about Quote Responses?

If you highlight a word or section in your post, the toolbar will pop up and you can choose to create a response based specifically on that selection.

Create a quote response

This will create a response linked to the exact word or passage you would like to expound upon. It will become a stand-alone Medium post, just like all Responses. You are no longer bound by the character limit of a note.

This response will also be available in the margin at the point of selection, marked by an asterisk:

What’s that little thing do?

Click that, and the response will be shown in context:


The response will also be in the list at the bottom of the post page.

The visibility rules for quote response visibility are the same as responses in general:

  • If the response is written or recommended by the original author of the story, it will be visible to everyone who views the post. So if you recommend your own quote response, everyone will see an asterisk in the margin.
  • Responses written or recommended by someone you follow will be marked with an asterisk in the margin.
  • If the original author blocks the author of a response, that response will not show up at the bottom of the post or behind the “Show responses” button.

What control do I have over responses, and how do I stop the trolls?

Visibility of both quote responses and regular responses is determined by the following rules:

  • If someone you follow writes or recommends a response, you will see it at the bottom of the post.
  • If the original author writes or recommends a response, you will see it at the bottom of the post.
  • All other responses are behind the “Show more” button.
  • If the original author blocks the author of a response, it will not be shown at the bottom of the post or behind the “Show more” button, regardless of whether you follow the blocked author or not.

This last point is how you can control what responses appear below your post, so let’s take a closer look. If you block the author of a response, it will not be linked from anywhere on your post, for anyone. It will still appear on the blocked user’s profile page with a link back to your post, and be available in search and other lists on Medium.

We are a free and open forum, and we respect your ability to influence what is shown below your post. We have rules, and if you find a response or any post that you feels violates them, please flag it for review and a real human will take a look.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please let us know at



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