It's possible to have some differences of opinion with people on this site whom you might usually be in total agreement with. It's not a big deal. It doesn't lead to rancor and thumb-downs .
I do not believe that this is true (other than for very minor differences of opinion). There is a set of positions that are fairly well supported in the US and/or academia that you can not defend here without being personally attacked.
I already had this discussion with MaPorsche... we set up an experiment which failed pretty badly.
Try supporting Christina Hoff Sommers view on feminism, or express any question that #MeToo has gone to far (both of these positions are far from fringe). Try arguing on free speech restrictions... or suggesting that the some celebrity Gorilla doesn't really know sign language and people here lose their minds. I would be happy to set up another experiment with you if you would like to try it. I think you will find that you are part of a group that will punish you if you cross into certain points of view.
I stand by my style here. I push arguments and ideas pretty hard, and I will stand by what I believe to be the facts. I have given in when I have see that I am wrong. And I never punch first with personal attacks. Anyone has the ability to ignore my posts, or my style or anything. I believe that I belong here, and I have found many people with whom I can interact respectfully. I am going to post and defend my opinions; popular or not.
I don't mind if someone tells me I am wrong, or that my ideas are completely offbase. I love it when someone provides new evidence or a different perspective that shows me I am wrong (which has happened). The endless threads declaring me a misogynist, lying, moron, whining, rape-apologist, passive-agressive, Nazi sympathizing, hateful troll...and the people who jump from thread to thread to make these attacks in unrelated topics... disrupt any chance for civil discussion.
In my opinion the problem is the nasty attacks and disruptive behavior by a group that has a fairly narrow set of opinions with only minor differences.