How does it negate exactly? It IS pay upfront, but just with options to suit all kinds of creators. Bots are made by humans and are created to make the skimming process easier and less time consuming for them. They automatically re-post content to sites that make our content free for non paying customers. It’s no different than if someone skims your patreon blog by hand and shares the content. (Also, Captcha’s and other such things aren’t fool proof. They arent impossible to crack. And some of these bots start as a human signing up and then just letting the bot do the automated skimming for them to get past such measures anyways.) Actual people who pay and pay to share the content do exist for sure but they are far fewer and there are some other threads on these forums that actually have new security features being made to help combat this so it’s not a lost cause, it’s just generally a smaller issue for most people as many skimmers don’t want to pay for content at all, period, hense bots and general skimmers.
We may just have very different experiences as mine stem primarily from bots/people who don’t pay but can still see my stuff because i cannot use the pay upfront feature as it is currently. I’m not okay with screwing over my patrons to use the feature.
The issues with the current iteration of the Pay upfront feature (in my opinion) is that is it limited and the “cons” are pretty terrible in how it treats me and my patrons overall. Since i have no reasonable suggestion to help combat humans that sign up to steal, as you really can’t gauge their intent upon signing up, my solution to that is to allow creators the option to just not have their content viewable to those who haven’t had a successful payment because it will make it easier to figure out who the paid skimmers are when you dont have a good chunk of bots to contend with. Not everyone cares about this but the option would be great. I run my patreon strictly on a monthly cycle so i don’t need people charged immediately and then charged again, i just need them to not have access to content until the next cycle and their payment goes through. If patreon isn’t capable of this, the other option is to have them have that micro fee right away just to ensure they are in fact a real person and not an account with fraudulent payment credentials. This would eliminated a lot of the fraud payment issues, though i realize not all but it would be overall easier to deal with.
I am very sad that the patreon competitor that was out there a while back is gone. I know its possible to have these options on a platform like this because the competitor had them. People couldn’t see content before they paid unless the artist chose to show things that way, there was an optional pro-rate fee upon joining (and it was clear about it when someone tried to sign up) artists could use if they wanted and there was also an optional historical fee for people who wanted to see content posted prior to joining. Again though, it was all optional, so that creators could do their content their way. Some people let people see previous content without a fee. Some people had all of these things turned on and honestly, i rarely heard of any subscribers complaining about it because it was clear upon signing up what the options were and it also makes sense that you pay for the content you pay for.
These are just my thoughts though and are just discussionary. Everyone’s opinions here help patreon make better products so I’m not putting down anyone who feels differently, just explaining my personal reasons and also trying to understand the other side of things as well because it’s all important.