Yesterday I had something like 18 negative claps on my stat page. I use the Medium Enhanced Stats Chrome Extension which provides, you guessed it, enhanced stats. In addition to the usual stats of Views, Reads, Read Ratio, and Fans, it also includes Claps and it keeps a daily tally of Views, Reads, Fans, and Claps.
That’s where I noticed the negative number of claps, in the daily tally.
At first, I thought that it was some glitch, but then I realized that it was actually occurring. Some of my fans have become former fans. This involves them going back through my articles, finding the undo clap button, and then magically sucking all of their claps and the joy they provided out into the void. Sometimes hundreds of claps in total are unclapped.
When claps disappear, so too do fans, as the stat is a record of how many people clapped for a specific story.
When I lose a fan, it hurts. I don’t have so many, and those who follow my work and frequently clap are rare indeed. Not that I make it easy to be a fan. I write about Christianity but from the perspective of a new religion growing out of Christianity. Just as Christianity grew out of Judaism. Some find my work fascinating while others find it blasphemous and some find it fascinating at first and then later blasphemous after they have had time to fully consider the implications.
I am the guy their pastor/minister/priest warned them about. It is only natural that some regret ever having associated with me. They undo their applause for my articles and unfollow my account. Full of repentance, they seek forgiveness for having been seduced by the vision of a deeper truth.