... IMO, it's not a matter of paranoia or hysterics, but a matter of principle. ....
As has been stated, I banned the young people who were behaving badly
Furthermore, members are always told that, if 'trolls' appear, then they should be ignored and not 'fed'.
If one accepts that those people were trolls, then they are enjoying a real feast!
However, before they tuck into their banquet, perhaps it would be as well to remember that this is not all about them.
To quote you, Carl:
... the seeds of the distrust have been going on for some time now ...
I do not understand this.
Certainly you have said positive things about my behaviour on the forum, but this implies that bad things have been happening, which I haven't moderated correctly.
No forum is perfect.
I know that I am not perfect, and I can & do make mistakes, but my conscience is clear regarding my forum behaviour.
I do my best in awkward situations and I believe that I treat everyone with respect, but every so often we seem to get threads of complaint ~ and I do not know what I am supposed to be doing wrong.
the success of the board has been more because of some of our members and their caring ways than the forum's ownership and administrative team may realize.
Presumably I have been classed as a member of 'the administrative team', yet I would not be here if it were not for the interaction with friendly & caring members. I am a member, myself. I joined and stayed because I loved the interaction.
I have thought of leaving many times ~ I think that I have had enough reasons ~ but, so far, the interesting & friendly discussions have prevented me from doing so.
As I said before, I do receive complaints about members, but not always the same members.
Imagine this scenario:
X says that Y is a troll, but Y says that X is a bully.
Then Z complains that both X and Y are causing disruption, so must both be trolls.
Then A claims that I am being unfair, because I haven't reprimanded X, while B complains that I am being biased, because I haven't reprimanded Y.
I then suggest to X and Y that they calm down and ensure that rules are kept, only for them both to complain that I have wrongly picked on them.
It's a very difficult situation to deal with ~ and not an uncommon one. Whatever I do, someone could be upset enough to leave.
Then their friends will become upset and may complain.
It's an almost unwinnable situation.
There are always at least two sides to every dispute.
I try to be fair, tactful and caring. I can do no more than that.
The moratorium that I think you and/ore PDM might have requested when this last "flap" began would have been to delay asking to have an account deleted ...
I always double-check with members who say that they want their accounts deleted. I explain what it means and make sure that it is what they want. One member changed her mind about leaving this time.