I see where you are coming from, I simply do not trust democracy as much as you do. With magazine editors, at least I had some trust it was made by people who had some idea what they are doing. Trusting the people, well, you’ll be left with what mostly appears on the ‘popular’ section and in my year on Medium, I wanted to read maybe 5 stories that managed to get into that list. For the rest you’re left with click bait and nonsense life hacks.
In the end even the most hardcore editor will have to bow somewhat to what people want to read. If they don’t people will simply cancel their subscription. In my mind voting with your wallet holds more ground than voting with heart clicks.
I do wholeheartedly agree with your statement that we’re still confused on how the content works. I spend some time reading and even called Ev out on his lack of communication skill. But, I’ve also already been asked what the fuss with miscommunication is about lol. It’s true, there’s just no pleasing everyone.