i'd say it's almost a yearly thing elfie.
it took me a while to get used to the fact that while chatting here, your posts will be viewed by people who have the power to censor. it's an unnatural feeling for me, and i suspect many other people would feel the same.
i've been on unmoderated boards which require thick skin, lightly moderated boards that have their days, and heavily moderated boards such as this one.
from my experience, unmoderated boards can be fun, like driving at high speed. but it's in heavy traffic, so there's bound to be wrecks, tension, and aggravation. i can't go there on a daily basis.
lightly moderated boards are the ideal, imo, but are extremely difficult if not impossible to pull off. it's human nature to have some conflicts. also, cliques tend to form around common enemies, and that can get ugly, or at the very least, uninviting.
heavily moderated boards take a little getting used to, and some trust on everyone's part. trust is a fragile thing, however.
all of that said, the good part is that while we're all human, we have some pretty good humans who are in charge of said censorship here.
the only problem that i've seen recently is when people, both moderators and members alike, take out heir displeasure on one another in the public forum. i am guilty of such not very long ago. members can be censored, even negative karma-tized for it. the admins have all final say. that's just the way it is.
the problem that i'd mentioned comes when the rules are not obeyed by both parties, admins & members. to explain: i saw it suggested in one of the recent threads that got a little contentious that public admonishment of a member is sort of considered good practice once in a while to remind everyone of the rules. i think that is totally wrong. the admins should be examples of how they want the site to run, and should do everything in their power to be "above" the fray.
that would include a polite
pm when they have to be contradictory about something, or have to do some severe censoring. (i'm not suggesting a pm for every little thing).
we, as members, have a responsibility to try to communicate within the posted rules.
i'm sure i'm not gonna be popular with you guys about this, but admins and moderators have an even greater responsibility to show us how it's done.
other than that, i think we're cool...
edited to add: thanks for not locking this thread (i hope it wasn't an oversight, lol) and leaving it up for discussion. it means something when our opinions matter, and are allowed to be viewed by others.