I agree. But the way things have been run for the past few years sure haven't made this a "safe" place, as has been discussed ad nauseum.
My join date says '08, but I'm another old-timer who has mostly just been reading the threads discussing moderation. I've been here since '02, but had a different username before. I was disgusted enough with the extreme moderation that I not only stopped coming here for a good while (a year, maybe?), but I closed my account. However, I still found myself looking for info online that would link here, and wound up returning. I post often enough and read a bunch, but I have not felt any sense of belonging or community since coming back here. I always felt like I was being watched. To me, this place felt like one of those super fancy homes where everything is so sanitized and decorated that you are afraid to sit down or touch anything.
I'm glad for less moderation. A good example of "moderate" moderation has already been given in the poll thread. I would be perfectly fine with that type of moderation.
I can agree with a lot of what you are saying here. I am starting to understand that a lot of my reaction to the changes was based on the actions of a little group who was causing a lot of chaos. After understanding this I can agree that there are some positives to the changes and I will scoot over to the polls thread to read about what you are referring to...Thanks :)