....Second of all, I don’t think it’s appropriate to ask the membership about interpretation of rule #3. It offers the opportunity for a free for all, which thankfully has not happened yet. More important, the moderators need to interpret the rules. We use our best judgement and try to be fair. Sometimes we err. When that is clear, we correct our mistake. ..
Here's a few rambling thoughts about
Actually I think this is a healthy discussion since we are an extended anonymous (in most cases) family that shares a common bond. If the participants believe there is inappropriate censoring (aka application of rules) that will create and foster contention and agitation.
I have participated in forums for many years, I'm the primary administrator on a popular Jeep forum and staff on a very large RV forum. On the two forums I moderate I will not allow flaming - my retort is always "criticize ideas and not people." As others have mentioned there's quite a bit of a hysteresis (or gray area) where a discussion begins to enter that zone where the discussion *could* turn ugly or cross an absolute boundry, it's up to a moderator to turn the bus around and get it under control.
One of the mods here mentioned having behind a closed door consultation with their peers when dealing with a situation which is exactly what we do in the other forums. Chatting and coming to a consensus always provides the best possible outcome, however it might not be perceived by all as a desired outcome. The mods have to use their best judgement to make a call (trying hard to avoid a sports analogy here.)
Generally speaking, I think this is an extremely well moderated and managed forum due to the involvement and dedication of the mods. It's a lot of work.