I would imagine the idea is for the filter to pull particles through the mesh and disperse them more gradually into ambient air, or along later stages of the filter.
Since users are reporting full clogging of the first half of the filter and a clean looking second half, this makes sense as a viable option. Particulate matter is experiencing cohesion (sticking to itself) and clogging the already small openings in the filter. Keep hitting air against those clogs, and some of them may break, releasing the excess particulate into the later stages of the filter.
If that is the case, then cranking the filter up to run at higher power should also serve as a life extension for the filter (prevent the initial clogging, and break clogs better when they do form).