There is the issue of what is right aside from current community interest.
Had more time to reflect. I think the site in its highest and best form and most contributing function is as a never ending brain storming session for the tech and the adaptive social response related to the tech and spreading privacy, security and freedom.
A possible way to get at currated conciseness but retain the tangents crucial to brainstorming may be a culture where posters who don’t mind doing so simply summerize threads at various points as the thread develops. This would complement the summary of thread function. Those summaries might be highlighted and there might be an easy way to tab among them. Presumably there will be a diversity of people creating these waypoint summaries across the progression of the thread so it will be easy enough to go back and check the papertrail of way points for consistency without getting lost in the tangents that people need to move their cognitive process along to progress the thread.
In this way we get both concise informational summaries satisfying the mod info curation goal and eliminate the need to police on topic. Maybe at the head of the thread the various waypoints would be clickable and maybe in the most recent there would be a “take me to the most recent way point.”
Now if people want to go tangential in text highlighted as a summary, well that would be pushing it. But even here the best response might be to withhold the tabbing link pending clarification. And of course there may be disagreements on the proper summary. But successive summaries would not pro con viewpoints and the bifurcation of analysis.
Would this help?