Hi Shannon Ashley! Curious if you clicked through and read the evidence presented in Tom Kuegler’s piece. He and I have had direct conversation and been investigating these very points for many weeks. He also believes a course correction is being made. While I haven’t been able to confirm with him directly yet, I believe the piece embedded is his discovery piece.
A couple of your points have validity.
It seems unreasonable, even a little slimy, that a writer who isn’t a member can lock a piece.
You’re also correct here, that claps don’t cost anything. We’ve pre-paid for them with our membership fee. The rhetorical question I’m asking in the piece is this: Do you want to direct where your money goes? As stated, it’s a choice. And, many don’t realize the ability exists. But, it does. And, I like to share information. Especially information that I’ve discovered through Medium and in collaboration with great writers. I haven’t gone off willy-nilly here. This is the result of weeks and weeks of investigation.
Additionally, as I’ve mentioned in some of the other comments, but haven’t stated in the piece is this. The membership is not Medium’s only revenue stream. It is the portion reinvested and stated in Medium’s guidelines. The other revenue streams aren’t as obvious and are not relevant to this piece.