Via a blog post, Medium says those who respond to your blog post will still have their comments show up on their page. It will also link back to the original post — it just won’t show up on your blog.
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Posts that have responses hidden will have a message at the bottom notifying readers, and the poster will not be notified of any responses that are generated. Responses will still show up as referrers, though.
The move is likely meant to dissuade people from being unkind, but it strikes me as passive-aggressive. It could also cause more anxiety than it’s worth, if you feel your post may be incendiary in any way; seeking out responders may also be time consuming.
If you later decide you do want to show responses, the elipses settings menu has a toggle you can activate.
➤ Hiding Responses [Medium]