A2K has generally taken a very laissez faire approach to moderation, seeking to be very permissive in what we allow. The main reason for this was that it sought to be the marketplace of ideas.
The main thing A2K got wrong, was misunderstanding what the global marketplace of ideas is. I sought to make a single monolithic community when in reality society works with communities of communities and it is not reasonable to expect things to just work themselves out at large scale. Beyond the natural capacity of a close community (see research like the Dunbar number etc) civility has always broken down on A2K, each and every time. I have never minded that (and still don't) so that has always been fine. But if this community is to survive the next five years it will need to revitalize itself, and right now the assholes are keeping the majority away. This is going to change.
With the new platform coming, where A2K will merely be one community in a community of communities, we no longer have to make A2K as unregulated a marketplace of ideas as it currently is. The platform itself will be able to cater even more to free speech without each individual community having to do so, and that's good news because A2K no longer has to cede the community to the assholes anymore.
This does not mean unpopular people or opinions are unwelcome. It means a repeated pattern of boorish behavior is no longer going to be tolerated. There are plenty of people here who express unpopular ideas without being an asshole about it.
When the new platform is here anyone will be free to do pretty much whatever they want (as long as it's legal) on our platform and it will become a much more unregulated marketplace of ideas, this will allow each community to set it's own standards for inclusion (and by extension, exclusion and censorship).
I have always been viscerally against exclusion, and still am. I hope that we do not have to kick anyone out as a result of these changes and that everyone who is having a hard time acting like a decent human being on A2K can raise their own standards of behavior for the sake of the community, but if not we are not going to tolerate it anymore.
EDIT: The current Able2Know Content Policy can be seen at the A2K Rules page
. See also this blog post: Talking rules