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I dislike Ashiel's posting style intensely: smarmy, dismissive and arrogant. Any and all of her threads I hide as soon as I read them and I have avoided interactions with her because they were always vitriolic.
That being said this whole situation is absurd and Ashiel (and apparently a few others) should be unbanned.
Barring threats to staff or other posters, outright racism or repeated threadcrapping (aka - the drive-by's, we have a few in this thread) a perma-ban, or ban asking the poster to beg to have it lifted is ridiculous.
IMO the moderation staff needs to buck up a little and remember that they need to remove their emotions from the situation when dropping nukes, wipes, locks and issuing bans. That or just outright state your political/social views and say that any threads, comments or critiques that challenge or offend them will be met with deletes, warnings and eventual bans.
In this exchange - based upon the emails - an emotional response from a poster was met by an emotional response, i.e. dismissal. Why would you tell someone that "maybe this isn't the place for you" then ban them? Shouldn't that phrase be acted upon by the poster - you know, deciding if the place really is for them and if they still want to continue posting?
The moderators here need to remind themselves that they both have infinite power to control the narrative while simultaneously possessing human emotional responses to things that they find offensive.
On that note, I also feel (aka - an opinion) that it is incredibly distastefully to see staff (moderators or otherwise) +1 posts poli/socially charged posts or post that are pro-paizo. I'm not seeing the need for them to get involved in political or socially charged threads or the need to "back each other up" or friendly posters. All this does is foster an even more "Us vs. them" environment based upon who are their open favorites are on the boards.
Apologize to her, bring her back and tell her to keep it civil if she decides to post again. Fix it and move on.
Then I can start hiding her threads again.