I don't think that is true. When I look at the people that were selected for the first $500, these were not people who wrote about themselves. And when I look at the people who were selected for the Creative Fellowship (or whatever Medium is calling it), these are not people who are writing about themselves.
I think the publisher is moving away from this, because it's costing the magazine credibility.
The people who are encouraging this are not the staff of Medium.