That's obviously what it is. Same reason why they keep so many of their stats vague. They don't want members to know how much money the company is making off their writing and they don't want people to game the system unless they choose you to be one of the lucky ones.
The lucky ones being the writers that are paid to be here like Susan Orlean and a few other professional writers. They get paid something in the thousands a month to post a few articles a month that the site then boosts across the platform, puts in trending lists, etc.