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    • Hi lidja,

      I think of these questions all day every day and we have our own moderation channel in Slack where we debate them, sometimes with a lot of passion. We all bring our own biases and sense of morality to the debates.

      We view ourselves as publishers of user-generated content. We're different from someone like The New York Times because we don't hire journalists and we don't edit what our users post. But we do have to make judgements on what is hate speech, bullying, dangerous, etc., and there will be furious debates when people disagree.

      The Internet has an incredible variety of sites that let you say almost anything. Those are easy to build. It's much harder to build a service that's all about great public conversations, but that is our mission.

      We will soon enable panel conversations, which I don't think have ever been done on the Internet, except in video form. The thing is, the Internet is the only venue on earth where there is an expectation that anyone can join the conversation, but it's the worst place to have that expectation because it only takes one person to ruin it for everyone. In real life, the expectation is when you assemble a panel on a stage, it's in everyone's interest to let the panel speak without someone from the audience trying to interject.

      It's in our interest and yours to find really interesting panelists that millions of people would want to hear from, but even then we will have to block some panels from seeing the light of day.

      Make sense?

    • To add to what Chris said, I wanted to answer your individual questions one by one, since they're fantastic questions that deserve direct answers.

      Will you take up the familiar mantra, “Cake is just a platform”?

      No, absolutely not.

      We've discussed this a lot internally because we see Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and other platforms taking that stance, and that's not what we want Cake to be. We want Cake to be a place where people have great conversations, and that means we're not interested in being a platform for abuse, hate speech, etc., because those things are the opposite of great (and they drive away good people).

      Will you post a credo of community standards and enforce those standards? Or maybe just expect users to abide by the standards?

      Our terms of service include clauses describing both specific and general standards for content on Cake. For example: "You may not threaten, defame, bully, stalk, abuse, harass, impersonate or intimidate people or entities."

      We will enforce this by removing posts and suspending users if necessary. We will also exercise our own judgment in deciding whether to carry out enforcement actions that aren't specifically delineated in the terms of service as new situations arise.

      What will you do the first time you become aware that cake is being used to bully?

      We'll do everything in our power to remove the bully's ability to bully (for example, by suspending the user in question and removing abusive posts) and to ensure the physical and mental safety of the victim(s). We'll also do our best to learn from these situations and try to improve Cake so that they can be prevented in the future.

      What will you do when you have a panel of experts and one of the experts shares misinformation?

      This one's a bit tricky to answer as a hypothetical, since I think it would depend a lot on the circumstances. For example, if we had a panel with the New York Yankees and one of the players posted incorrect information about their batting average, that's probably not a big deal.

      But if we became aware that, for example, Russian trolls were spreading misinformation via Cake conversations with the intent of influencing an election or sowing discord, then we would take action to prevent further damage (such as by deleting the conversations or posts in question and suspending their authors).

      That said, while we do want to be responsible and avoid being an avenue for people to spread misinformation, Cake isn't a journalistic organization and can't fact-check everything, so we do rely to some extent on users flagging problematic content.

    • I genuinely hope you guys will be able to find your way through that maze. I would pay money (now there’s an idea) to participate in a civilized, intelligent, creative, constructive online community and not worry about the threats that plague other online platforms. Those platforms seem to value free speech over thoughtful speech, and the result is often very discouraging.

      The orientation of cake — focusing on content instead of profiles, and lacking a clear organizational structure/site map for users to see (and then use to pile on) — may work in your favor. I hope so!

    • Facebook might have a moral dilemma, but they don't seem to have a financial one. It appears immorality pays well.