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I've noticed a few projects that create "online communities" using commercial platforms (e.g. Chaordix), but these are designed for companies to control the community and extract value from them.

I don't think they are designed with any intention to empower "community" in any meaningful sense of the word...

For example, one such platform has the selling point: "Gain Total Control - Bring your community together in a safe space that you own and control."

Beware!

MightyNetworks is another such platform. The faq immediately makes clear the distinction between "hosts" and "members".

The section for how to remove a member is simple for hosts. Just press a button. No process. No democratic governance here!

There is a lot of focus too on monetisation of the community.

Causes a lot of dissonance for me to see otherwise great looking projects like weareeveryone.org using it for their community platform.

The tools you use will shape reality.

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