Member Rara Avis
Thank you for your reply Ess, I appreciate it.
Firstly, might I suggest to you that this:
'If someone speaks out wrongly or offensively I think we need to speak out rightly and defensivly to that person, sometimes more privately, sometimes more publicly to show him that he is wronging and offending, by breaking a rule'
already happens? Members aren't banned willy nilly lol. A member doesn't act up and then get sent to a permanent naughty bin with little or no consultation - both private and public. Members are often addressed privately (to repeat others - sign up for deputy moderating and have a look how it all works. It isn't perfect, but a lot of hard work gets put in to looking after this place, Ess). You might also notice that Ron devotes a lot of time in writing long, considered replies in threads where all hell has broken loose. So do others. Members and moderators alike.
You are very right in pointing out that members play an important part in maintaining passions. And you know what? Most moderators here see themselves as members first, then as moderators. After all, it's usually out of love for passions that members volunteer to take a more active role in the general housekeeping.
'The person needs to know that we are offended and that we will defend his own presence no matter what'
of the sword and shield is a little more challenging to me. It raises issues of time, energy and responsibility. Firstly, moderators (and members) have limited time here, Essy. Most come to relax, contribute and to feel like part of a family. If there is a member that we have to consistently manage it takes a LOT of time and energy. Now, like someone else pointed out there is a lot we don't see happening that goes on behind the scenes. Some of the members who have found themselves banned have sent abusive emails, have stalked people etc. There must come a point where the question is asked - is this worth the time and energy it takes to be the shield against this person's sword? Is it fair to demand this much from our moderators, and our members?
Which brings me to responsibility. It seems to me that your suggestion removes the responsibility for the offender and that offender's actions. Do you not believe that as adults, members need to take responsibility for the way they conduct themselves in an internet community where interation is limited to words and screens? Just as we need to take responsibility for the way we behave around others in our face to face lives?
Is it our responsibility, Ess, that a banned member goes away with more spite than insight? Has that member not chosen to conduct themselves in a consistently inappropriate manner, and despite the efforts of the moderating team (and members), not curbed that behaviour?
Finally, I have an insight myself for you. I know you are a loving person, Ess. I know you like to believe the best about people. I've seen that emerge in so many of your posts. That's a good thing in today's world, and I respect, and care for you, for it. However, it does have its limitations. At the moment it seems that your view is one current in modern society - that of the offender as the victim. Unfortunately, to me at least, this view has been grossly exaggerated, and while I agree with rehabilitation and second chances, to an extent, I also believe in responsibility and punishment.
I also believe that the time and energy of the people here needs to be respected, and considered.
This is why I myself believe that banning is sometimes a very appropriate action - please also remember, it's not a common action (thankfully).
Have some hugs eh?