I guess there are mixed messages coming out then, because I know I've seen posts in the past where mods have stated that they appreciate it when the forum does a little 'self moderating'.
I've read through to the end of this, and while I think there are some really good points made, this struck me, because I think some self regulating is important. There are many polite ways to do it, because I've done it myself. Call a statement unfair, or ask someone to tone it down.
But a big part of the problem is that there are people in here, some with massive post counts and others much newer, where I cringe every time they post. The comments aren't report-worthy, at least by my definition. But they go that extra step to toss in possible snark. Or they dive bomb threads where they haven't been participating because they caught someone missing a point in the OP and they simply must point it out. Or they toss in a one-liner question with an undercurrent of disbelief.
I think that, in subtle ways, they contribute to any negative tone people are seeing. They send out a little piece of bait, and pretty soon the sharks are circling.
Maybe we do need clarification on this. Because the one thing that seems obvious is that an etiquette forum should be holding itself to a higher standard. And nothing sucks more than having a thread locked when 90 percent of the participants were enjoying it and contributing.
I'm going to make a greater effort to report the truly egregious comments, but it's the lesser ones from serial antagonists that can be trickier, imo.