Apologies if this gets too circular, but I’m grateful to Mick Fealty for pointing to Ciarán O’Kelly‘s post re consultation and discussion. One line of thought in particular:
It may well be, for instance, that the distance that characterises interaction on the internet is actually quite a good thing in a divided society. Put simply, you can hold conversations with people you would not meet in, um, three-dimensional society, especially on sites where repeat games can encourage good behaviour. The trust can actually come from the lack of face-to-face interaction.