Thanks for your responses, Tim. To clarify about how something gets monetized — at the top of the page, when writing a piece, you have the option to switch it to monetized mode. So any author can monetize a piece at any time — though receiving payment does require you give them payment information, such as a debit card #.
I also avoid reading and engaging with pieces I dislike or find abhorrent because I don’t want to fatten their wallet. I believe we should all take this approach in general — when you hate-read an essay on another website, you’re generating advertising revenue and clicks that only encourages the site to publish more content of that type. It’s easy to get drawn into a fight in the comments sections, or to find oneself compelled to read writing that you know will enrage you, I still fall prey to it all the time…but when I remember that doing so just increases the demand for work like that, it does help curb my hate-reading habit. Of course, the downside to this strategy is that it might keep me from reading a challenging viewpoint that is well written and cogent and worth being exposed to — and that’s really unfortunate.