Paid-for newsletters on Substack were a great innovation, but the way it has changed means I will no longer be writing for it, writes Annalee Newitz

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14 April 2021

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ONE of the breakout social media stories of the past year has been Substack, a start-up that specialises in helping writers get paid for their newsletters. But in recent months, the company has become infamous for secretly providing financial incentives to a small group of people to write some of the biggest ones on its platform.

It was the kind of tale we are used to in the gig economy age. In 2017, Substack was a baby start-up on shaky ground. Nobody was sure newsletters could compete with Twitter or other platforms.

But Substack’s …