I don't think claps and/or fans have anything to do with curation.
I've had many articles curated before even 10 people read them (including my most recent one, which was curated the moment it got published)
The amount of fans is an important metric to see how valuable your article is to the masses and I agree with your comparison. But it won't influence the chances of an article getting curated in the first place.
Curators look at the overall premise of an article. Is it free of errors? Is the title formatted properly? Does it provide actual useful info? An objective insight? Is it an "evergreen" article? Or is it polarizing enough to attract oppositions and incite discussion?
I think in order to grant every good article the same chance to thrive, curators ignore any pre-existing views, reads and fans. Else, articles that get published without a publication to back them up would drown with no exposure to carry them until they get curated.
If you publish an article and only 1 person read it (a curator) it still is evaluated the same as an article that already got 200 reads and fans.
A curator's mission is to expose great articles to the masses. And they have developed precise criteria to approve of an article for that matter.