I haven't been very active on this forum in recent years, but I've been lurking and I reading throughout my absence. I recently stumbled across an awesome thread with some passionate discussion:https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=31132.0
This thread initially took a bad turn. I feel that the assumption of good faith was violated by the main participants; however, in spite of the initial rejection of what I feel are the norms of online discussion groups, the thread got *really* interesting. It also got pretty off-topic for a recipe post. OP was no longer involved for one reason or another.
The thread turned to anarchy, fortunately it was mostly positive anarchy, which we probably own to the rigor of the participants more than anything else.
Currently there is an assertion that the thread should close the discussion as it's gotten waaay too offtopic. That's fine (I'm honestly disappointed by that outcome, but would accept it); however, rather than repeat the same mistake and lose important context on that discussion I've decided (unilaterally) to open a topic here to talk about moderation, thread derailment, and the responsibilities of participants.
Mods: if this is not where this goes, or has already been discussed in detail, feel free to move or close as you see fit.
To kick off discussion, AFAICT these are the only rules or guidelines for discussions that are posted: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=32.0
and they have gotten this forum a long long way so kudos to all involved in making that happen.
Are there other guidelines needed?
Are participants generally acting in good faith with those guidelines?
Who decides when a thread should close?
Is this a beer forum and should I just rdwhahb and this discussion is waaay too heavy and unnecessary?