The following story does not apply (groan) here, but it does illustrate how moderators can be affect a forum. I don't have the writing skills to really show how one overzealous moderator, given free reign to do things his way, nearly took down a very active subforum. I was active on a large forum with numerous subforums. The site founder/owner and moderators let the largest & most active subforum get out of control. Certain groups fought with other groups, individual fought with indiciduals, individuals fought with groups, etc. The snarling was always present, but slowly & surely it was allowed to become snapping, then actual biting. It didn't help that a handful of members decided to share passwords. An appeasement policy was attempted, but it didn't a genius to see that it wasn't going to work, and it didn't. The owner decided to crackdown. He appointed a 'main' moderator (we'll call him Hammer) for the troubled subforum and gave him free reign to kick ass. Hammer had just came off being temporarily banned for attacking other members, not to mention he had a history of being hotheaded, vengeful, & flagrantly violating the rules. Hammer came in with a big hammer and immediately starting using it. The problem members were quickly tossed. In the process many good members who got anywhere close to crossing the line also got banned (quite a few weren't even that close). Members who didn't post anything wrong had their posts deleted. Entire threads would get deleted; all it took was a very slight hint of a problem, real or (often) imagined. No explanations were offered. Thinly veiled threats of "Be quiet or you're next" were common. Direct comments such as "Leave if you don't like it" were frequent. Unfortunately many good long-time members did exactly that and never returned. It took the owner several months to remove Hammer (he left the site much hated and thoroughly disgraced), but by then the damage had already been done. At least 1/3 of the top quality active members were so POd they left, and very few returned.