What is someone to do though, in the circumstances where they are an expert in a field and also happen to be a proprietor of a business that directly profits off that expertise?
If I recommend speaking to Darkscout about his suspension solutions because I know first hand that they're fantastic and will significantly improve ride and handling, that's fine. But if he recommends his own product in the interests of ADVICE and not trying to make a sale, that's not allowed? He's actually better positioned to provide advice than I am but because he also sells something he mentions in his advice he can't say anything? He's not getting on and saying "buy this product I sell to solve your problems". He's getting on and explaining how something works and WHY it's better in ways I can't even begin to understand and letting people make up their own mind if they want to buy it or not.
I don't know whether I'm explaining it in a way that makes sense, but I was recently at the caravan and camping show and to draw on my experience there.... There were guys happy to talk with us as long as we wanted about the products without ever trying to sell us anything, answering every question we had until we were done, thanked them and left. And then there were the guys who the whole time you're talking to them keep pushing the sale and even as you're walking away will be pushing the "deal you can get if you buy today" type of thing. Darkscout isn't pitching a sale when he's providing advice.
It does appear however that for reasons that are unknown people are quite happy to consume, communicate and enjoy the benefits of the forum without actually having to contribute to the upkeep and maintenance of the site or having any consideration to the rules and regulations of this forum. The forum members are not requested to donate or contribute other than providing content (and that is a point worth remembering).
It's not uncommon for users to voluntarily contribute financially to forums in the interests of upkeep. The return is often some sort of "paying members only" chat area, and/or a real time chat area. One I have been a member of before called it "The Kitchen", as in "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen". A place where paying members were not limited to much of anything. You could actually have chat as though you were with people in a pub. Serious rule breaches were still dealt with but you could have a dig and take the piss and have a laugh without the over-moderation endured elsewhere in the forum. I think you'd find there would be a decent number of people willing to contribute an amount of REAL money under similar circumstances.
moderation is the process of adjusting statements and comments to ensure that the comments and statements stay within the rules. If these statements or comments cannot be adjusted then they are removed. This is pretty plain and simple. If you abuse, berate, intimidate or belittle another member then be prepared for moderation.
Oh if only this statement were accurate. Moderation on THIS forum is also having a post changed simply because someone else thinks their wording is better than yours. E.g. Changing a thread title from "The New 2019 Roadmaster Elite" to "The Limited Edition 2019 Roadmaster Elite Announced" does not fall within the definition of moderation you've provided but moderation like that happens all the time, and that sort of thing in and of itself is actually a form of belittling and no better than telling someone it's "you're" not "your". I agree entirely with moderating attacks, abuse, berating, intimidation or belittling, etc. I have nothing against moderation when it's required. And it's pretty obvious when it is required.
Censorship is removing content that is has nothing to do with the rules and regulations of the forum but is merely designed to stifle discussion around a particular topic.
According to who though? If someone can repeatedly post their views on the same topic why is it un-acceptable for someone with opposing views to repeatedly post their opposing views on the same topic? That's a real example by the way, and it's one sided censorship if the multiple posts of BOTH views aren't censored equally.
The people that perform the moderation on this forum don't do this lightly and quite often there is discussion amongst other moderators as to the action to be taken. They are doing the best that they can..............
If they don't like it, quit. I always laugh when I hear of anyone complaining of the effort required for their entirely VOLUNTARY role. If you're voluntarily doing something you don't like, stop doing it.
In my opinion If you don't like it - leave.
Isn't that exactly what he's said he's doing? lol