This is not true, for a very simple reason; Claps are not money. The mistake medium are making is to try and re-invent the wheel. Economics are a part of nature, and you can’t have “New Economics”.
People who write need to be paid. They will write what people will pay to read, if the price is correct. What has been missing on the internet is a way to pay people efficiently. We now have this in the form of Bitcoin.
No one who reads and enjoys Medium would balk at paying 20¢ to read a post. After it’s read, then you can “like” a post to give it prominence and further incentivise readers to read it. Bad writers not only don’t get likes, but they don’t get paid either.
If Medium becomes the biggest writing platform on Earth, writers can be paid a fortune from single articles, and junk writing is greatly discouraged.
All of this is simple, well understood basic fact. The only thing that is different now is that it is all happening on the web. Bitcoin was always the missing piece of the puzzle. Now there is no need for advertising at all, once the articles are priced correctly, and no, this should not be left to the authors to decide.
Claps are a perfect example of economic illiteracy. They don’t take reality into account, and I am guessing that an economist was not consulted when this system was designed. And no, Paul Krugman is not an economist, in case you were thinking of asking him.
We like Medium as a platform, but the idea that economics is something that you need to discover by experimentation is completely wrong. This is not a UX/UI problem; it is a problem of economics and until this is addressed directly, and all new age thinking is abandoned, Medium cannot come up with the correct model to express in software.
Once again, now that we have Bitcoin, there is no excuse for not getting this right.