Let me respond to a couple different things going on in this thread, starting with @_bob's comments regarding censorship. We agree with your bullet points, completely. But we're not here to censor you to keep the "truth" away from other members. It's the moderation teams responsibility to keep the peace, to keep the conversation flowing, and to remove distractions and off-topics comments from the original topic. It's far to easy to get off track, especially when members resort to tearing apart another member's topic/post, whether legitimately or illegitimately, in the topic itself. That shouldn't happen. If there's a problem, use the flags to report the matter, discuss it with the mod team directly, or message the member.
@_bob, regarding profitbaby, that's what happened with your removed posts. We weren't protecting profitbaby, we were trying to keep the discussion on topic. Now, regarding profitbaby's membership , we made a mistake keeping him/her on as member as long as we did. He/she should have been gone a long time ago, We went through that user's last 18 months of posting history, and in too many occasions, there were numerous violations that, while recorded, weren't taken into account together. And we made a request to him/her, that went unanswered, and that should have been the end of it. But it wasn't followed-up on. So profitbaby is gone. We apologize for that error, which ultimately resulted in your replies to him/her, and your post removal.
I also want to take this opportunity to make clear that we have no hidden agendas or for-profit deals with scammers and trolls or any vendor in the Forums, as is peddled here by a handful of members repeatedly. If you see a banner advertisement or "sponsored by" tag on our website, that means we either have a direct or indirect (through something like Google AdSense, or some other ad network) advertising deal with that vendor or ad network. We also allow sponsorships of certain areas of our site, including articles, quizzes and polls. WE HAVE NO OTHER DEALS WITH ANY OTHER COMMERCIAL VENDORS IN PLACE. NO AFFILIATES. NO INTRODUCING BROKER DEALS. ONLY DIGITAL ADVERTISING.
Could that change, sure. But any other accusations of something different are completely false, and I've stated that on several occasions. If there are members around that you feel are scammers/trolls, report them using the flags available to you in every post. As for us protecting stealth vendors and promoters, that is also a false claim. If a topic turns into a flaming war, the off-topic comments are removed. Plain and simple. If you have a problem with your comments being removed, or want to know why, you can simply message a moderator to find out why.
We've been openly flexible in our moderation efforts and even the most critical topics about the site, our relaunch and moderation efforts are still open for anyone to read and contribute. Discussion that go around in circles are of no benefit to anyone, so they get closed, but not deleted. If our motives were to censor, those would be the first topics to be removed. And there are several members, new and old, with consistent criticism of our efforts that are still members, posting their opinions openly.
As for our moderators, they are staff members, employees of the company, and have been for over 5 years. We do not employ 3rd party posting or moderation companies. Those, again, are completely false claims. Unless you read it on the Forums, posted by a company employee or moderator, any statements made by other members about our motives are pure opinion. They are entitled to make them. But to sell them off as "truths" is completely unfair.
And for those members that haven't moderated a discussion where those involved all have a different opinion and claim to be right, it's harder than it looks, Case in point, we censor bad language and several members don't agree with the decision to remove it, that we're heavy handed. We leave the image of a woman, uploaded by a woman, in a bathing suit and members don't agree with the decision to leave it. Moderation isn't always black and white. We can't please everybody, we know that. But you can always contact us and make your case.
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. As always, keep it civil.