We all know of great sites that went down. Whether they disappeared from cyberspace or became moribund, we can usually point to that post, article, comment, reaction which took a lively site to a ghost town. Whether a Troll claimed ‘Freedom of Speech’ and chased other users with their insults, whether it was a misguided belief that there were ‘two sides’ to a debate when there was simply one hapless user and a dedicated squad of shills, the misreading of a situation by those in charge has been the death knell for many sites.
Too often the Administration or Moderator doesn’t appreciate the sentiments of the majority of users, and thinking to create a ‘balance’ blindly permits that comment or post to stand which chases the majority of users as if someone screamed ‘Fire!’
Many of the best moderators avoid ‘Freedom of Speech’ debates by opting for ‘relevance.’ In this way removing a post is painless. This decision to use the term ‘relevance’ shows the right kind of control.
Many Admins and Mods do not recognise that there are those who have a vested interest in destroying a site. For example, a writing site may systematically steal the work of their users. Although one may think that a ‘competitor’ would be more than happy to host such a report, the opposite is usually true. Hence it is more likely that an author, describing the rip off experienced on Site One will have his articles removed from Site Two at the insistence of ‘guests’ who complain to Admin. It seems remarkable that the Admin of Site Two would not realise that all these guests are shills of Site One, yet such is the case.
‘Policing’ a site does not mean censorship anymore than cleaning a bathroom should be seen as interfering in the rights of microbes.
The Moderators/Administrators need to grasp a reality; the majority of users will not complain, they will leave. The majority will not make an announcement or send a P.M. they will just cease to log on. There are no ‘one of a kind’ sites today the average user will defend. There is always another site, very much like the one abandoned.