Ultralite (11/24/2009)fishFEEDER9697 (11/24/2009)Ideally-- the members would moderate themselves, and there wouldn't have to be an eye-in-the-sky to keep people in line.
The problem lies in the inherent nature of the medium-- written word. Not all of us are as articulate as you (Mr Garbo). This leads to people trying to read between the lines and second guess each other. The inherent nature of people, especially in a quasi-public setting,makes them react defensively, and people start getting all jumpy. Why is that their (our) nature? I don't know. (I think youstarted a post a while back about little man syndrome?)
Bottom line: If all members would make their best effort to commuicate at the highest level possible and exercise a little tolerance, then there would be no need for moderation. Until then, whoever is responsible for this whole thing has to draw the line somewhere, and as you pointed out, that line is going to be somewhat subjective. We can only hope that it is applied evenly across the board.
That's why I love the Digg (www.digg.com) news site, it is self moderated. Users can vote a story to the top, or give it a "thumbs down" and bury the story.