There is a limit on claps. I have only reached it a few times. I could only leave comments because I had reached my max of claps for that day. I was an avid reader years before I was a writer on Medium and I still like to read a lot of articles daily and I clap often. Also, sometimes claps don’t register on my phone. I’ll clap on my phone and go back and see that none of my claps registered. I say this to say that just because someone didn’t clap doesn’t mean it was punitive because there are many reasons claps don’t happen. I’m sure the example you gave was punitive though.