I am finding myself rather disheartened by the fact that people seem to firstly misunderstand where the line between attacks and strongly held views is, and secondly believe that just because a person holds an unpopular or even unreasonable opinion, if another person engages in a personal attack due to the opinion, that attack is somehow vindicated.
Again, I believe this is due to standards of polite discussion on the internet declining and radical factionalism increasing.
To clarify however here is a brief and entirely made up example::
Bob: "swamp is a really stupid game. You can fight off zombies but if you die there is no consequences. Yes, some people go hardcore, this should not be a choice, everyone should be hardcore and allowed to kill each other. Its only that swamp players are entitled blindies who can't cope with anything bad happening to their characters and want a save little environment to play in. That is the only reason swamp is popular because people can't cope with the real world or a game with real challenge."
George: "what the hell do you mean? You lose a hole bunch of stuff when you die, its hard getting experience, and anyway, plenty of mainstream games have options not to engage in pvp if people don't want to, so why is this a "blindy" thing as you put it?"
Bob: "It is a blindy thing because it is all about safety. Blind people are too used to having everything provided for them and limits removed. If blind people really want to play mainstream games properly need less of this coddling, and more properly written games with permadeath and really tough difficulty."
George: "I just said, there are mainstream games without pvp options, why is pvp such a major thing? your not listening to my opinions here"
bob: "In swamp nothing bad does happen when you die, oh yes you have to get your stuff back and maybe kill more zombies, but as the game is so easy anyway grinding is dull. Actually, I bet the developer of swamp just made the game that way so people can grind and grind in a safe environment whilst paying out money since the developer knew they were selling the game to poor little blindies"
George: "Bob for goodness sake! in swamp you do lose out when you die even if your not in hardcore. Plus, just because you find swamp easy doesn't mean everyone does, and there are other games with pvp options out there if you want them"
Bob: "But swamp is the most commonly discussed and most popular fps, which is why it should be a propper fps game with real challenge, not just a safe place for blindies to feel good about themselves"
Max: "bob, you are an idiot! why can't you listen to other people's opinions, get off your fucking high horse for a second and stop calling everyone who disagrees with you blindies. Really do you know anything about mainstream games? Why don't you stop talking out of your arse or get off the forum"
In this case, max would get the warning. Bob holds a deeply unpopular, and erroneous opinion which he believes to the hilt and will not change his views despite being presented with counter examples, he likely gets on the nerves of everyone on the forum, especially those who enjoy Swamp, yet annoying as it might sound, Bob is not actually breaking the forum rules.
he's entitled to his opinion and entitled to express it. He did not personally attack anyone, his comments about "blindies" in the swamp community were generalised and not specific.
Max on the other hand, even though people would likely applaud his opposition to Bob's unpopular views is the one who stepped over the line and directly resorted to personal insults against Bob.
George Argued bob's opinion, and got exasperated (as he would), but remained civil in spite of the fact that even he manifestly is getting somewhat annoyed at Bob.
This is the line between debate and attacks.
People are entitled to their opinions, unpopular as they might be, there is no rule that a person must change their opinions, neither does holding an unpopular view, or even an insufferably annoying view make anyone "deserving" of personal attacks.
I hope this clears up the mods position on the subject, and shows why the action against Ironcross was necessary in this case.
As to the time of Bann, a ban needs to be long enough to stick, and in this case to clear the air.
I personally really do hope when and if Ironcross returns to the forum next year he will remember what has happened and continue his otherwise valuable contributions to the forum without his temper causing him to cross the line as unfortunately he has slightly too often.
With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)