While flame wars, drama and online slugfests are hardly new, I know that many people here are feeling the pain of several extended conflicts which have resulted in many "veteran" members either being banned or leaving the site. It occurred to me today, and then was confirmed when I read Drifterwood's thread "Too many have gone" that the loss of those more-vocal members and the associated banning may have had a chilling effect on the discussion here. I am sure that quite a few people, myself included, have gone to type a response to someone and decided against it, somewhat afraid of what might happen. No (sane) person wants to stir up a hornet's nest, but at the same time, one of the great things about these forums is that opinions are given, positions are defended, and people become informed through that process. With the recent problems, perhaps the risk of being labelled a troublemaker, or the possibility of being banned has had a chilling effect on that lively and sometimes-heated debate. When I try to think of something that might help, the one thing I keep coming back to is the idea of boundaries. Children (and adults I suppose) learn by having boundaries set, then experience consequences when those boundaries are exceeded. Bringing consequences onto someone who wasn't informed of exactly where the boundaries lie is unfair. I'm not saying that the mod team does this necessarily, or that the ToS does not set those boundaries, but I am saying that it seems that the interpretation of the ToS might be different from one person to the next. The rules by which we play here should be crystal clear and not open to interpretation. The boundaries of LPSG are laid out in the ToS, but I think that there is still uncertainty about what can and cannot be done. At what point does a debate become an argument that could lead to a ban? How does one post one's unconventional opinion without being labelled a troll? Exactly what makes a troll a troll? It goes on. Personally I would feel far less "chilled" and more willing to jump into threads with both feet (all four hooves?) if I knew precisely where the boundaries lie. Is that the case with others here too?