i have several responses. If I agree with the article's point and it's well written, i'll give it 50 claps. If the author writes more than one of these articles, i'll follow them. If I agree with the article's point but there are things I don't like about the article, like research or writing, it gets 10 claps. If I read the whole article but don't connect with it, it gets 1 clap. If I can't make it through the article, it gets 0 claps. If I really disagree with the article's point, I may mute the author if I think they're unlikely to ever write intelligently. If it's a topic that I never would want to read about, like How I made $1,000 in my first twenty minutes on Medium, I'll dismiss the article. If the title and subtitle are too long to fit on the Medium front page, I'll dismiss the article.
None of this matters to payments through the Medium Partner Program as far as I can tell.