What a load of twaddle. I clap fifty times for articles I read, and once for comments. I've been doing that from the moment I discovered that one could clap fifty times, which was long before I heard of ILLUMINATION.
And where is the evidence for this? If it's some instruction going out to the thousands of writers for ILLUMINATION, then it can't be too hard to find a link.
And it's meaningless. Medium changed the way writers get paid, and it's no longer number of claps. Whether a story has zero claps or a million, the reward is based on reading time, which makes a lot more sense.