I think maybe the rules here are not specific enough..
I am a member of several on-line forums, and one is TOTALLY peacefull! and yet is also very active..
the rule is simple.."this forum is about garden railroads..period..no other topics"
so sometimes people stray and bring up OT topics..like during the recent war sometimes topics would stray into politics and get very heated..the moderator would step in with "you all know the rules..if you want to talk politics thats fine, just take it elsewhere..email each other directly or find a forum about politics, there are billions of them..this thread is locked"
then people cool down and drop it..and the conversation gets back to where it belongs..that one simple rule keeps things VERY peaceful! and people simply dont WANT to talk about anything other than trains!
Maybe this forum needs to be "CP topics only"..even lose the "general topics" forum where *anything* can be discussed..or make it "general CP discussion"..personally I dont CARE what anyone here thinks about politics or anything else! I wouldnt mind if ALL threads here were about CPs only..if that simple rule were made, it could be enforced without question..
"this thread is wandering off topic, it is no longer about CPs, it will be locked now"
end of story! in that case, the moderator is simply enforcing the rule that EVERYONE agrees with! no room for debate, no grey areas..
also, personal attacks or rudeness warrant a locked thread..even if the arguement is about CPs! (although usually when personal attacks start, that automatically becomes "off topic")
also, IMO a thread should NEVER be deleted outright! that only feeds the controversy and makes things much worse! because people then begin to speculate about what happened, and the "truth" (being the thread in question, and everyones actual words) are gone..thats bad.
only profanity or swearing should be deleted outright..all the "fights" should always remain..just lock the thread, nothing more..
thats my view.