Stop Clapping for Articles You Haven’t Read

You cost the author real money if you do.

René Junge
2 min readFeb 10, 2021


Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Lately, I’ve seen a really annoying phenomenon more and more. I publish a new story, share the link on Manystories, Linkedin, and Facebook, and put up a tweet on Twitter. Then I wait half an hour and click on the article’s statistics to see how well it is received.

Often, the new article already has a few views. This is initially pleasing, but the very next moment, I see that there have been no reads yet. The mood is immediately at the bottom again. But it is only when I look at the last column of the statistics that I am regularly in a bad mood. Claps are displayed there, although there were no reads yet.

What the hell is that?

It’s certainly not an error by Medium. It’s other authors who want to draw attention to themselves. They are signaling with their claps that they have noticed my work and are now speculating that I will go to their profile and read through one of their articles out of gratitude.

This is stupid and brazen.

The trick works exceptionally well with people who get their notifications via the mobile app. I read the message that someone has applauded, I click on it, and I end up with a list of those who have applauded. I often then click on one of the names and see if I can find an article on their profile that I want to read.

Without Medium’s push notification, I probably would never have found those authors. This is exactly why authors clap for articles they’ve never read.

It ruins the statistics and hurts revenue

When Medium registers a high bounce rate on an article, that article is presented to fewer new readers. Views that do not lead to reads are worthless and increase the bounce rate.

If Medium shows my articles to fewer readers, it can generate less reading time, and thus I earn less money.

For this reason, it is antisocial and unfriendly to clap for articles that you have not read. Do you want readers for your pieces? Then take the time to really read other authors. Read the stories, comment on them in a meaningful way, mark a few passages, and only then can you also clap so that the author becomes aware of you.

How would you like it if someone did that to you? Not so good, I guess.

So stop with this crap. I hate it.

Thank you for your attention.

René Junge a published author writing on ILLUMINATION.

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René Junge

Thriller-author from Hamburg, Germany. Sold over 200.000 E-Books. get informed about new articles: