I love all of the other intents behind Aether, but I’m uncomfortable with the “always-on” democracy. I don’t think it’s a good way to organize anything, but especially not communities. I’ve been a mod of niche subreddits that got popular, and when they got popular newer users often came into conflict with the mods over what the intent of the sub should be.
I don’t think any amount of new legitimate users should be able to completely co-opt a community’s culture, especially on the internet where there’s absolutely no scarcity or impediment to simply creating a community that reflects your own goals. That’s without even going into the issues with possible artificial demographic shift, or the going viral of one community’s dispute “busing in voters” so to speak. Entryism is a serious concern in any democratic organization and it’s far too easy on a platform like this one.
I don’t want to be part of building any vision that can at the drop of a hat be changed. I’m especially concerned that my primary motive for seeking a platform like this is discussing niche topics without fear and that means smaller communities even more susceptible to the problems inherent with democracy. Can you imagine how stupid it’d be for a democracy-critical community to be co-opted by democrats?
I’d love to participate if there’s ever an update and assurance that communities that opt out upon creation won’t ever be subjected to any sort of democratic usurpation, whether of mods, goals or rules. There should be a place for the creators of a space to retain control of it, against both admins’ agendas and potentially new users’. I’ll subscribe to blog updates hoping this is added, but I can’t become a paid supporter with the platform in its current state.