My personal views on 'banning' people
I thought I'd post my views on the subject of rules and banning members who don't comply with rules. I make regular contributions to various online forums and what I have observed over the years is this: it seems to me that the forums that have the most strict rules (and where they are strictly enforced) happen to be the least active.
There is one forum that I contribute to where there are only a few rules and those rules are really more about complying with the laws (defamation laws, copyright laws, etc) of the country where the website is based. As long as those few rules are obeyed then you can say whatever you like and be as obscene as you like. It's not surprising to me that this particular website is very active. I'm guessing it's very active because people can express themselves freely without having to worry about being banned (or even be warned about breaking the rules).
I accept the possibility that there is no direct correlation between how relaxed the rules are and how active it's members are, but somehow I think there is. Either that or it's one hell of a coincidence.
I am not posting these comments because I want things to be changed to suit me - that would be a sign of arrogance because I don't own this website. I am simply posting these comments so that those who are in a position to review/change the rules might like to consider another point of view.
I want to finish this off with one simple and obvious statement: management have the right to make rules that it likes (and to enforce them however they like), but members also have the right to not like those rules and simple go elsewhere. This is what freedom of choice is about.