Easiest solution would be to stop displaying the number of claps publicly, but that’s not going to happen. Like every other social platform, Medium relies on social proof to get eyeballs and interaction.
If no one but the author could see the number of claps (ie; stats) people would be less swayed by “popular” opinion. But, the sad fact is that if every story had 0 visible votes, a lot of people wouldn’t know what to read because they rely on herd thinking to tell them what to read and clap for. Not a popular opinion I’m sure, but studies show us that’s how it works.