Over at lesswrong.com a posting titled Well-Kept Gardens Die By Pacifism makes the case that “Good online communities die primarily by refusing to defend themselves”, and that moderators are necessary. That may be true, but it’s also the case that moderation can kill communities. Any community that really needs to question its moderators, that really seriously has abusive moderators, is probably not worth saving. But this is more accused than realized, so far as I can see.
Boing Boing went back and quietly deleted everything they had ever posted about Violet Blue, a sex columnist who has written for WIRED, the SF Chronicle web site, and other places. At some point, somebody noticed. Various people got irate. Violet Blue said she had no idea why all the posts were removed. Boing Boing initially tried to ride out the storm by ignoring it, but eventually too many people wrote about it.