I have said this before..and others have also...this cyber world we exist in is basically words on a screen being red or typed. Tis hard to convey at times the thought or emotion or intent in those words. Something said maybe in sarcasm or humour is viewed at times differently than intended. I have had this problem for years where my type of humour comes across as anything but. But one has to remember there is a person at the end of those words.
I agree 100% that the main issue has been a lack of respect of others views, highly volatile discussions on politics or religion or whatever seems to bring out the worst in people. Maybe someone is having a bad day, maybe they just are in a mood. I really wonder if all these past discussions with people on here were held face to face, would they have become as nasty?
I cannot say there is one person on here I do not have respect for in them as a person and their knowledge and help. However when things get a bit nasty, I will just back off because I tend to be one of those middle road wishy washy sorts who can find positive and negative in just about everything. (Which is why my wife gets mad when I cannot make a decision)
They key is respect or lack of for others views and words. However once things are typed and read, the damage is done. I think people are passionate in their beliefs and you have to remember others are equally as passionate.
As for moderating things, well that is an ugly job. I know from past experience how hard and difficult it is to try to keep things going according to rules and basic human decency and yet do so without being viewed as some power hungry dolt. Maybe there could be a schedule of moderators, where someone moderates for a week or 2 and then someone else takes over. Let everyone who wishes to moderate do so, see how it is to sit in that chair. I would think they would find it not as easy as it seems.
I realize that for myself, I spend most my time in this ATS forum, while I pretty much read the other forums and sometimes even ask a question which later reveals comedic joy for those in plumbing, there are valueable people offering valueable insight. But one needs to keep those forums on track, so plumbing is plumbing and auto repair is auto repair and they do not branch off with off the subject discussions which ATS seems to be the place for.
Anyway, that is my rather loquacious diatribe on this. I am glad to see Fran and Dave jumping in, however as I noticed, it takes little time to get back to bickering. That is sad. That is what got us to this point in the first place.
Maybe when one says something in a humourous intent, toss in a smiley icon or something so people know it was intended as such.
OK, I will let you all return to whatever it was you were doing. Me, I got to go winter-up the snow blower.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.