I think it's hard to make any sort of general statement about trends on this board. Everyone interprets things differently, and there are so many threads that it's easy for two people to have very little overlap in what they have read during the same timeframe.
I have, pretty regularly, seen references to other threads made in an offhand way, with the title nicknamed. People will refer to those other threads in a way that makes it clear they think everyone has both seen it and read it. But I sometimes find in that situation that not only have I not read it, I haven't even seen it, and have to do some serious digging just to find it.
I am only on this board at pretty specific times of day (pretty much weekday mornings and evenings, and weekends), and I have a very specific way of browsing threads that I'm sure not everyone shares. So my impression of what is posted here is likely to be very different than someone who browses threads differently or is on here at times when I am not.
I say all of that because, personally, I haven't witnessed all that much in the way of antagonist-to-OP bashing, nor have I witnessed all that much in the way of OP bashing. What bashing I have seen seems to be split pretty evenly between the two. That's not to say that others haven't witnessed something different, because I have no doubt they have. But it also doesn't mean that my takeaway of the amount of bashing going on is inaccurate, either.
And, of course, we all interpret things through the lens of our own experience. What to one person seems like a completely over-the-top reaction might seem to another like an entirely reasonable course of action.
One thing I do sometimes see, which I think can contribute to seemingly harsh language overall, is that an OP will describe a situation that appears completely beyond normal to the vast majority of posters, even though from the description, the OP clearly thinks it's normal and not very noteworthy. So the posters respond, saying how abnormal they think the situation is, and the OP realizes (after a whole lot of responses) that the situation actually isn't normal.
I don't think that happens all that often, but it does happen. And when it does, the OP is ultimately able to see the abnormality that is so clear to other posters only because those posters don't hold back when describing their reaction. To someone who doesn't see things the same way, that can come off as very harsh. So in threads where it's not an overwhelming number of posters seeing something as completely beyond normal, but just a few, it can look like those few are just bashing the antagonist (or the OP, depending), even if that really isn't what they intend to do.