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I don't think it is right to regard UpWork as a "nascent service". They have had plenty of time to make better policies if they felt it was necessary, but it's hard to assume other than it is not "worth it" to them. UpWork's antecedents Elance and oDesk have been around for 18 years and 15 years respectively. From outside observations it is not hard to come to the conclusion that they care little beyond "working the numbers", as long as their sales pipe is full they probably won't change.

As you suggest bringing this to your local trade body and making a formal complaint is probably the way to go. It will take a long time and a lot of complaints to get there though. In the mean time avoid them, both the buy and sell side.

I think it's very clear the parent was not referring to Upwork as a nascent service. They were speaking generally about the process that leads to a culture of ingrained behavior over time, which starts from that nascent service context.

You can derive that is very likely the case based on the intelligence and composure of the rest of their post. You can also derive it directly from the full paragraph text, which is not referring specifically to Upwork, rather it is referring to Silicon Valley broadly, and why "things" developed the way they did with how SV firms have tended to treat customers/users.

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