I've been on a number of different forums and forum-type resources during the past months (and others in the past years). Not as a participating member, but for various research I had to do. Compared to what a lot of people say about Dhamma Wheel, I have realized two things: that members here on Dhamma Wheel are relatively nice to each other and very civilized (nothing bad with a good and respectful debate though), and that moderation might oftentimes be a good thing.
From the forums/forum-type places I visited, I realized first-hand that a lot of members can be highly condescending and even rude and mean. Some just give you answers and expect to turn around and not post again. Other times, your topic is instantly flagged by multiple members as being a duplicate, off-topic, irrelevant, or incorrectly phrased, and you are told about this in a very blunt/rude manner (and I'm not a newcomer to forums and forum-type websites). One thing is for sure, on the Internet, people very easily remove the filters which they normally have when interacting with people in real life.
Something else which I found out is that forums which have very little moderation are complete jungles. It seems that the less moderation there is, the more the people are disrespectful and they very easily snap at each other. It just creates an environment where the negativity feeds on itself. While moderation might seem like policing or parenting, it keeps a forum in good order, so that it can remain a good place to have courteous discussions.
So, this isn't necessarily to say that we are good, but simply to share that Dhamma Wheel is a very good forum, even though it sometimes might not seem like it. Forums or pretty much anything online is very much prone to hostility, so when you put things into perspective, Dhamma Wheel is a great place to be—we still need to be careful how we interact with each other to try to keep it like this though.
Away (until June or after).