"Well-run forums have set rules regarding when a moderator can and cannot close a thread."
This forum is, by and large, one of the best run I've ever encountered, and I've been doing this board posting crap since 1991. It's also the reason I've stayed here since April 2000 when I've abandoned dozens of other boards in the same time frame.
The board owner (Rich Lucibella) expects his moderators to use judgement and common sense when addressing problematic posts/posters, and hopes that the posters actually read, and comprehend, the terms of service (fat chance!).
While I'm going out on a limb here, I feel relatively confident in saying that Rich probably has about as much tolerance for establishing form micromanagement procedures as he does for governmental micromanagement. I'll leave it to your imagination to figure how his tolerance level.
I count two moderators here among my personal friends (and yes, there are a couple of others whom I can't really stomach), but as a group they exercise great restraint in their forum management.
I've yet to see a moderator become mad with power here, but I've seen it many other places.
I call it the overinflated computer penis syndrom -- where a moderator closes threads randomly without reason, bans posters whom he doesn't like, or worse, posters who disagree with him, plays favorites, etc., -- essentially a case of MY PENIS IS HUGE BECAUSE I HAVE THE POWER TO KEEP YOU FROM POSTING attitude.
Most of those boards fail in short order as people get sick of the petty ****. I think the lack of that here goes a long way towards explaining why this board has been so successful.
Don't like that, though?
I'm sure there are other boards out there that would suit you better, ones where moderator micromanagent and penis power dominate.
Go forth, armchair seel, and find yourself such a board.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza
Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.