When a post is deleted and you're not banned for it, the odds are that it's just something we know will tend to lead to unproductive and repetitive arguments. That's not personal, and it's not a comment on you in any way. It's just the judgement of someone who's probably been at this a whole lot longer than you.
If you post something that's deleted and you add a comment or start a thread talking about how the mods are "pathetic," "censorious," "heavy-handed," "control freaks," or whatever... it's almost certain to get deleted.
Much to the surprise of most people, it has nothing to do with our 'fragile' egos. In order to become a moderator here, you need to have a thick skin. Most of us don't give a damn what you think of us. We have a purpose in mind, which is the good of the group as a whole, not ourselves or our (or your) personal convenience.
Here's the deal: When someone calls out a moderator on their decisions, it creates a situation in which there's a direct conflict. That often leads, whether by the originating person or some other party, to the feeling of needing to justify one's self. To prove you're right. In this environment, that incorporates the worst elements of bitter personal feud and general riot.
Most people, once they've stated a position publicly, are incapable of thinking about any position other than the one they've stated. They feel that admitting there might be other legitimate options is somehow an admission of weakness. Stupid, but true. That's called "being invested."
If you've ever fought with a friend or loved one, known you were wrong, and been unable to admit it - you know what that's like. It's not sane, but you do it anyway.
Then there's the 'riot' influence.
As a rule, people will tend to riot when they're angry, they feel that others are supporting them, and they can get away with it with a low chance of personal risk. If the balance shifts enough, most people will become violent under those circumstances. Not all, but most.
Add in the anonymity of the Internet, and you've got a powder keg. All the frustration folks feel with life in general wants to get out, and they'll take any opportunity to express dissatisfaction with how authority figures misuse them. Even when the "authority figures" in question haven't.
Here's where it gets weird. Some percentage of the people who get into those discussions get invested (remember that phrase?) in their positions. They will not, under any circumstances, consider that the other person might have a legitimate position. And, since their egos are involved, they're determined to prove the oppressive authority figure wrong.
The more people who agree with them on some level, the more justified they feel in those positions. In some cases, they're so obsessed that it only takes one person to send them over the edge. People who are otherwise sane (or sometimes not so much) become seriously deranged on the subject. They will do anything and everything they can think of to punish the nasty creatures who dared to embarrass them publicly.
They don't just succumb to the mob mentality. They absorb it. They come to personify it. They literally lose their connection with reality, and their sanity (on the issue in question) goes along with it.
A few minor gripes (legitimate or otherwise), a few more people jumping in with other minor gripes (same options), and one nutball who blows some small thing out of proportion at the right time with the right sort of inflammatory language, and BLAM!
Chicago Bulls fans tipping over cars and burning down businesses because their team... won?
No sense to it. But it happens.
Online, that's not as big a deal most of the time. But, unlike the sports riots, it doesn't stop there. A few of the morons who get invested in this nonsense keep going. Some of them year after year, doing any and every thing they can to punish "those evil Nazi bastiches." And they really don't care if they're screwing up innocent people in the process. THEY HAVE TO BE RIGHT, DAMMIT!
Sometimes they even screw themselves up. Sanity is a fragile thing for some folks. Life is tough, and the wrong trigger at the wrong time can give them access to a tempting road of rationale they can't resist. It can seem like their way out of responsibility for the things that are wrong in their lives.
Understand: The person making the initial argument may not be the kind to ever fall into that trap. They may be completely immune to its lure. They still set it for others, who may be susceptible to it. And those people will run in where angels know better than to tread.
Each psycho generated by that kind of discussion wastes time for the mods and the members, potentially for years. Ask any of the long-term members about Julian Bates or Mahesh Khemlani or Joe Kumar or Ng Chi-Chiu or any of the other psychotic freaks who've haunted the place over time.
Not to mention the problem of debating with every person who's got some tiny (or not-so-tiny) argument about moderation policy. If we had to, as one person suggested to me today, "prove ourselves" every time we made a judgement call, we wouldn't have time to do the things the role requires. Those of you who've been around a while know what would happen then. The creeps would win.
Anything and everything you ever valued in this forum would be gone. Just that fast, and just that certainly. Fortunately, 99+% of you are sane and sensible, and look out for the group. Much less, and nothing could keep the system going.
There are a couple of dozen moderators of specific sections, and maybe 8 people with forum-wide moderator access. There are tens of thousands of you. Do the math.
Here's how it works: If you're complaining about a moderator's actions under an anonymous account, you go away. If you're not willing to associate yourself with the username, you have no rights even to a reputation. It is not possible to slander a fictional creature.
You're new and bitching because a post was deleted? Too bad. Learn. There's no damage to you in that, as we all have them removed from time to time (including me), for reasons that might not have anything to do with what we said. Even being banned for some time doesn't mean anything about you as a person. (I've had more than one member ask to be banned, to keep them from spending too much time here that they couldn't afford.)
Grow up. Get the hell over it.
We don't like banning people. That's not the purpose of an open discussion forum. And we sure don't nuke people just for disagreeing with us. Hell, if you knew how much and how often some of us disagree with each other you'd wonder why we hadn't collectively banned ourselves!
None of us have rights here, aside from the guy who owns the place. We each have some set of privileges, which are pretty clearly defined. Even the mods are subject to censure, as several of us can attest from personal experience.
Don't tell us about "free speech" or your First Amendment rights, as that just proves that you haven't a damned clue about what personal freedom, self-responsibility, or the US Constitution are all about. (The Constitution is a local ordinance that doesn't apply to most of our members, by the way.)
Don't try to argue what's "fair" until you have some clue about all the factors, and are grown up enough to know that life isn't fair. It has hard edges and sharp corners, and sometimes the lights go out when you're not ready. That doesn't mean that someone is out to get you. Sometimes it just means the lights went out. Storms happen.
Bark your shins, but don't bark at the mods. They're not required to accept abuse just because they're easy targets.
When people get into the "mob mode," and start to lose their good sense, they put themselves into a nasty position. They can't ever get back in and establish a reputation under their real names if we can identify them. That creates even greater pressure, because they know they did it to themselves. That's the point at which they really understand what they threw away. And they blame someone else for it...
The nasty meanies who were bad to them for being jerks to other members.
Do you think we feel sorry for them? Hell no. We literally don't have the time. There's always some new jerk ready to waste it for us, trying to prove he can outwit the system and become the new "big dog" (or snake) on the block.
You didn't get a warning, a justification, an explanation or a note of apology? That's why. It's because we're human, we have limited time and businesses of our own to run, and you should have made the effort to know better.
Threaten us and get belligerent with us? You're gone. We know where discussing anything with you leads. To you becoming another of the flaming freaks and psycho stalkers that make a vindictive hobby out of wasting our time. You're a slug, and you deserve nothing but salt and fire.
You are not an exception. You are not different from the rest. You're the same person we've dealt with hundreds of times over the years. You just don't know it yet.
We're here for the benefit of the overwhelming majority of the people to whom this message doesn't apply. The folks who know how to behave like civilized adults, not immature and entitled children. Like brats who need to be spanked.
You want to demand an explanation? Screw you. We don't owe you a damned thing. It's the legitimate members who make this place valuable. Not you. You're a parasite.
Crowds are kept from becoming mobs by two simple things: The good will of sensible people and the fear of consequences on the part of the insensate. We have way more of the former than the latter, but I can add to the consequences. From now on, anyone who starts any thread I see asking why their posts were deleted or arguing with any other moderator will get a minimum of one month's unsolicited vacation time from this forum.
Don't do it twice.
Anonymous accounts that do this, regardless of age, will simply go away. I don't care if you have 1,000 posts. No name, no manners, no rights.
Generic guru bashing? Same thing. Plain and simple. "Buh-bye." If you can't put your name behind an insult, you have no damned business issuing it. Even to classes of people with no names mentioned.
Arbitrary? Maybe, but over 95% of the people who are members here never, ever have to deal with a moderator in an official capacity. Of the ones who do, most come to us asking for help with something. Only a tiny fraction need to be told personally what not to do.
We'd rather spend our time helping the ones who ask then arguing with the one who don't make the effort to understand the basic concepts of an online community, be they mean-spirited or plain old uninformed.
Don't like it? Go to one of the whiner forums and tell them how evil we are. We won't bother you while you do that. Just stay the hell out of our way.