I've been thinking about this comment ...
When this site started, it was closely moderated, and people were banned for various lengths of time for various offenses. Since that time, the rules of bahavior have been relaxed to the point that there virtually are no rules now. At one time, you could not post words which are common now. This relaxation of the standards of the contents of posts means someone can say just about anything to you that they want to say. Things are very different now than they were in 2002.
While I am not advocating a return to such strict moderation of the site, I can't help but notice that some use the the "new freedoms" more constructively, or more positively, than a handful of others.
And I'm coming to the conclusion that it is the small handful who have
exploited these new-ish
freedoms for their own ends, who have acted as a deterrent to the participation of quite a few of the more thoughtful posters ... & dare I say it: posters with more integrity in their dealings with others.
I mean, who wants to argue with online thugs & bullies ....or trolls?
Who wants to be abused, on very personal grounds, for merely stating their point of view?
Who cares to take the time to post in-depth, thoughtful responses when they'll just be brushed of by some crass, dismissive response?
And end up fruitlessly arguing with some one's nincompoop agenda.... or worse, defending their own integrity?
Anyway, that's what I suspect may be the real cause of the loss of some of the posters I miss most here.
And that's certainly what has put me off participating in quite a few threads here, myself.
It's interesting, over the past few months, observing the re-emergence of threads from way back.
I've found myself reading some of these threads from start to finish ... & sometimes marveling at the thoughtfulness of some of these old posts, the time & the effort the posters actually put in to convey their perspectives .... without
being thumbed up or down in response to their contributions.
PLUS how many different A2Kers
participated in those discussions!
So much more interesting to read, to participate in ... a much more satisfying experience all round.