I know Rich has talked about some of these mechanisms as ways to get people to come back to one’s community. Of course, everyone likes to think their community is beneficial to members, but as those directly benefiting from the growth of the community, we are hardly impartial judges.
I agree with a lot of this. I think Nir’s work in breaking down what drives habits is good - but the morality behind it is always going to be a problem.
My perspective is generally to trust the people building communities to know what’s right and wrong. If it makes someone smarter and happier in their lives, I’m ok with using these principles.