One Clap Doesn’t Always Hurt You

It may not ever hurt you

An anthromorphic iPad clapping with great enthusiasm
AI image created by ChatGPT from my prompt

If I clap once for a Medium story, I really and truly did not like it and want the author to know it. I hardly ever do that, but sometimes a post is just so wrong, wrong, wrong!

That’s me. People who don’t understand the 50 clap thing may not even realize they can click on the little hand more than once or hold it down and watch it climb. You might get one clap from them and it may mean they liked your story just as much as I did when I gave 50 claps.

Medium knows this. Here’s what they say about claps (bolding by me):

When ranking stories, our system will evaluate claps users give out on an individual basis, assessing their applause for a particular story relative to the number of claps they typically give.

Assessing their applause relatively means that their single clap can mean just as much as 50 claps if one is what they typically give. You shouldn’t feel offended by that. Unless you get one clap from me, because I usually give fifty.

There’s some fuzziness to Medium’s explanation. What if a person almost always does one clap but then does two somewhere? Does that make his singles worth 40…



Anthony (Tony/Pcunix) Lawrence 👀
E³ — Entertain Enlighten Empower

Retired Unix Consultant. I write tech and humor mostly but sometimes other things. See my Lists if your interests are specific.