Yes. Our goal is to allow people to discuss the topic at hand without being intimidated, bullied, or dealing with inappropriate hostility; or the conversation being derailed or hijacked. Even if the hostility is only between two of the participants in the discussion, it becomes an obstacle to every one else who is trying to have a discussion or is even thinking of joining the discussion, and can effectively kill the topic.
Hijacking discussions is another thing that can kill discussions. So for example, we didn't want the discussion we are having now to kill off the discussion in which the original post appeared, so we split it off. Sometimes this is a trivial matter, like a long discussion of a game starting up within a discussion of a another game. But sometimes it is a more difficult call. The goal is to allow both conversations to flourish, unless the hijack is way off-topic or inappropriate for this website (such as talking points spam).
Personally, for the past few years I have felt uneasy about publishing any articles that might result in unpleasantness in the comments section, and we have sometimes re-worded things or just not published certain articles because it wasn't worth the emotional energy to deal with the potential bs in the comments. If you have noticed, I have nearly stopped blogging all together. We have had some very good writers leave or self censor themselves.
As a team we have decided that we don't want ourselves or our members to be held hostage by the tyranny of a few. Whether that tyranny comes from a pattern of behavior from a single member, drive-by trolls, or the simple fact that sometimes people lose their tempers, it is something that we needed to address.
Our moderators are trying to achieve this goal in an as evenhanded and as sensitive way as they are humanly capable of, and as we are technically able to. We know it will ruffle some feathers, but ultimately I believe most people who are moderated will look back when they are in a less emotional state of mind and be thankful that their momentary lapse of judgment is no longer on display for all to see.
Last edit: 26 Mar 2019 10:40 by ubarose. Reason: spelling