Thanks for sharing this - quite disturbing - experience, Al. Glad it ended up well for you!
I think you pointed out a major problem that many of these platforms, including Medium, have right now: How does a platform balance the needs of the customers, who are providing cashflow, with the needs of the creators, who are producing the actual goods?
Big socials like Twitter and FB trade "exposure" and "audience reach" in exchange for valuable content and keep the (ad) cashflow mainly for themselves. Medium indeed shares the membership fees with the content creators, but looking how the past years went here algorithm-wise, are still struggling to find a balance between catering the readers as the customers, but also keeping it attractive for writers to keep producing high-quality stories.
Same goes for freelance platforms like Fiverr: How do they make sure to provide a great experience for buyers, but also don't alienate their sellers?