Yes that was my point. It is a good thing that it is run by maidsafe and they have 'staff' holding the reins, so community members feel they can turn to someone who's interest is in community management rather than forum management (which have conflicting agendas). I was very pleased to see this happen.
This really highlights my point. One tonda, bluebird or A-Kaffir is worth 500 lurkers imo. From a mod team perspective someone who is difficult needs to be dealt with. When they cross a line (like saying they would punch you if they met you) then you have your reason and justification for permabanning. From a community pov this person is very valuable and we should be looking for excuses and ways to to keep them, not ban them (even though they create work). A forum mod bans in these situations, where a community manager is much more likely to reach out to the angry person and find out if they actually have violent intent, or were perhaps just frustrated and venting steam? The community manager wants to keep this active contributor because his interest and responsibility is to grow the community. A mod needs to manage it, so he bans because this person is creating a lot of work, and they can justify with complaints and 'rule breaking' - when users eventually resort to railing back with the only weapon left available to them, verbal abuse. Frustration makes all of act out a little bit, it's only human.
At the end of the day a community manager's bottom line is the users online and the trajectory of view and post count numbers. A mod's bottom line is a clean, spam free forum that is useful to members.
Well, people have left the forum because of the moderation but without being banned. Folks like safety1st and Team_2E16 were never banned, but they pretty much only post in PMs and have done for well over a year afaik. There are others too. I stopped posting for a few weeks at one point because of this, but I was never banned.
Again, this is community manager vs forum manager stuff. I remember keeping trollish posters on our poker forums despite the complaints from polite regulars, even when those complaints then became directed at me for not taking enough action. @danski can testify to that . We went against our forum 'player-mods' and the community consensus because keeping people happy and keeping them engaged and involved are two very different things. A more democratic community would see the same kind of (imo) excessive moderation as we see now. Most do agree where the line is crossed. I'd rather maidsafe managed it with a focus on growing it rather than keeping it tidy and civil. The only difference being that those involved would not feel so frustrated or powerless if it were more democratic. I don't think democratic is the answer though, autonomous is the answer. So decorum is the only real solution as I see it.
But I don't think you should get defensive either Pol. I do know what it is like on your side of the fence and I'm not saying you don't do a good job. I'm saying it is impossible for anyone to get this right without giving users autonomy. You don't have the tools to get this right and you make the best of what you have, I wouldn't take the migration of this community to decorum as an insult when it happens, we're just all here because we want to be 'free'. You've made this forum friendly and useful, I'm not suggesting there is anything to be ashamed of in that achievement, you are owed a debt of gratitude for it by all of us.
I'm sure I would have agreed that you could justify it, but that does not mean I would have done it. In 5-6 years of community management I never perma-banned anyone apart from spammers (I think?!). Community contributors are gold dust for a community manager/content whore. I created friction and issues by refusing to ban people for more than a day or two. I do agree that your perspective and actions have been perfectly conventional and justifiable. Even though I might have done it differently.
Anyway, decorum decorum decorum.
I look forward to some ferocious rows with people and plenty of F'ing and blinding. I am an argumentative soul and a know-it-all. You all know this already. It should come as no surprise that I would want a lively, argumentative and disagreeable forum to satisfy my need to argue with people.
We are on the same team. We both want what's best for SAFE. We're probably both right in our own ways, it's just frustrating to argue with a group of mods who all agree with each other, because the community is not being represented when a group of us disagree with you lot and you all agree with each other every time. As with life-banning tonda where many of us were dead-set against that, regardless of what he said. Or with banning profanity and beeping out all the swearwords... which everyone I've spoken to agrees (apart from the mods) was unnecessary and does more harm than good. Personally, I don't like things too sanitised because passion and offence are fun and exciting. Being polite is just 'nice' /yawn