@jabba old friend, if you say “do what I want or else I leave”, rather than advocate for those changes and accept the process, you come across as manipulative and bullying
We all react when we feel strongly, so I hope that’s all this is, but it does lose my respect and willingness to listen.
I’m much more interested when people present evidence and reason. You’ve done that to an extent, but it has not been clear to me whether or not the change you support will have the effect you expect. I don’t think we can know TBH, whether letting more people post here will encourage or discourage newcomers.
BTW You are no doubt aware that meta discussions happen off the front page so as to keep the topics which visitors see relevant, and more interesting to new visitors. So complaining about this being moved to meta, after a reasonable time to get seen IMO, is also complaining about a policy designed to encourage joiners.
I have not argued either way on the proposition by @Josh and did not vote because I don’t know what the effect will be either way and I’m not even sure it matters that much. I don’t think the effect justifies the level of feeling you’ve shown here, so I think that may be about the more general issue of how this forum community is run.
I can’t help connect that with you suggesting the forum be shut down recently.
There have always been people who wanted to change how things are done here, and there are mechanisms to advocate for that, and it has always been open for somebody to put forward a better way to run this forum, and put it to the whole community in enough detail to vote on. But no matter how strongly they felt nobody has seriously attempted to do that. So we are where we are, and most people seem content with that most of the time. The forum has grown continually for over four years, now accelerating, and is the biggest resource both of past posts and responses to new enquiries that the whole project has.
I don’t see the big deal on this topic/OP though, one way or the other. I probably wasn’t a mod by the time it became restricted, so I don’t recall the issues @neo highlighted as reasons for that happening. But prior to that I do remember the kind of sh*t mods had to take from people that wanted no moderation (not yourself, in fact a very few) but they would have damaged this community and the project rather than see a moderated forum. For example I was deleting child porn from the forum at that time and one mod was physically threatened in response to what I thought was very reasonable question.
This project is a target for various reasons, and I’m confident that we would not have a successful forum at all without moderators. We have a process for moderating that works well IMO, having seen it from inside, and now for a couple of years outside too.
I’m sure there are ways it can be improved, but by definition, changes have to come by working through what is already in place, and that also requires that we have to accept the process and the outcomes.