I appreciate that the moderators of SN sometimes agonize over their responsibility, and I believe that they do an excellent (and usually thankless) job of maintaining civility.
The nature of all internet forums is that we are all faceless, can be somewhat anonymous, and our only presence to the wider audience is the ideas that we take the time to type for all to see.
A consequence of posting to a forum, as opposed to email or PM, is that posts are visible to anyone that views that thread. Thus, the posters are reaching a wider audience than simply the person to whom they may be responding. This one to many relationship tends to attract trolls. Quoting Wikipedia;
In Internet slang, a troll (pron.: /ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
part of a post can be considered disruptive, this includes the avatar (and I can think of a few examples), the custom user title, the body of the post, and the signature line. Any part of a post can detract from an otherwise valuable insight. I believe that other posters respect, and value constructive contribution. That is THE reason that I am here. My signature line (and I don't always include it) is a statement of my SAILING credentials.
I appreciate that there is an Off Topic thread, in that it gives the gun lobby, pro-life, abortionists, religious and political fanatics, and all their opponents rest a place where they can vent. Although, I believe that there are other forums, on other sites, where their contributions would be more appropriate. Kudos to SailNet and the mod's. for allowing this.
If someone takes offense to any part of my posts, please let me know in a PM. If I continued to offend, I expect that I would eventually be banned from the site.
The bottom line is that SailNet is supposed to be about Sail
ing. If someone takes offense to a signature line, an avatar, the custom user title, or the body of a post, then chances are that it is
offensive, and I believe that the moderators are doing the larger SailNet community a service to police them.