Simply an excellent post.
Umair — as a former political digital “operative”, the greatest challenge was having to deal with the lack of constraints on communication. For every great use of a technology, there was always at least two great abuses of it.
Using blogs were great to engage in discourse, but became a regular source of “graffiti” by “trolls” who were slamming on the candidate. Use of a signage app to help supporters make supportive signs became a black-eye for the campaign when the other side started using it to put disgusting messages and supporters for the candidate while it stayed on our site.
There was a recent article about the Death of Comments in Wired just recently, and I revisited the pain it brought up as I read it. Nick Denton’s efforts on Kinja is absolutely a technological attempt to manage the commons. But rules and police are not the only solution — the reason why groups and tribes are created is to allow for the conversation to occur within the space of like-minded folks. Which is why there are sites like Yahoo Groups and Google Groups and Facebook Groups and so on.
And — just to let you know — I completely agree with the issue of QA — in our own team, we spend time discussing the development of our product in the context of the good and the bad — and the potential abuses we or others could make of it. And because of that, we spend a great deal of time working on the safety of our values to be baked into our solution. Hopefully, the core will bear the fruit that we intend — and that our users will appreciate.