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Eric2048 said:

From what I can remember the reason for many people leaving the forums was because of the political discourse that plagued many threads around mostly from around 2019-2020. There was a lot of toxicity around the forums and the mods had to step in and hand out bans for some people. There was a big conflict between forum user and mods and many people ended up leaving. I think it has less to do with console wars and more to do with how bad the political climate was at the time.

Eh, I was a mod at the time, and probably one of the most active in politics. I can't recall any permanent bans purely from posts in politics sections. Typically the practice was to ban from politics first. And, it was really a handful of users repeatedly, not so much a wide group.

The actual amount of bans was not large enough to significantly impact traffic from my perspective. Whether the decisions had ripple effects one way or another with people thinking things were too strict or lenient who knows. I'll say personally from my perspective interacting in the politics section made me less want to be a part of the community as a general user. I'll avoid specifics to remain viewpoint neutral, but if someone showed themselves to be a generally gross person, I don't really want to shoot the shit with them about Mario. 

At any rate, just speaking for myself here, I never saw promoting or maintaining traffic as part of my role as a mod. If mods were unfairly enforcing rules and that was killing traffic, that's one thing. But if the rules were being enforced fairly, and that was hurting traffic, then it's the site owners choice if they want to change the rules. If I had been expected to just do what was best for traffic, I wouldn't have been interested. 

Last edited by JWeinCom - on 15 July 2023