Medium wants paywall. If your article is not pay-walled, then it is not starred (with some rare exceptions). Right now, I can see 30 articles pay-walled and 3 that are not (and from the 30 articles, half of them are not from my category). And I usually receive emails from articles that, again, are not from my category and they are paywalled.
Why medium wants paywall?.
So the use of paywall is not up for the writer, or put paywall or we tank your viewers.
Medium costs $5 per month. It is fine for somebody that doesn't want the burden to install their own site but for a developer, it makes sense to pay for a server and control all the settings.
Arguing that Medium makes it difficult to get noticed without the paywall is definitely a valid argument.
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