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It is already clear that Vladimir Kalitvianski has been target of censorship and persecution by the moderation team (or a part of the moderation team) of this forum. Therefore, he had good reasons to leave this forum. Now that I think the facts are clear, and before determining responsibilities, I ask the moderation team to immediately invite or ask Vladimir Kalitvianski to join this forum again, with the same reputation he had before enrolling in this forum o his reputation when he left, whichever he prefers. Besides, the moderation team should accept any Vladimir Kalitvianski petition regarding reediting his answers and comments as they were before censorship.
I can't speak for others, but I can tell you that I got frightened and stopped all scientific contributions cold dead immediately after the first hints of threats to Vladimir Kalitvianski. I was reading the emails back then, and I saw Dilaton making propaganda against Vladimir's stuff and calling the site "Vladimir Overflow", and so on. I trusted the voting to get the stuff right, and not once did I see a voting mistake on the site, but the moderators kept on harassing him in addition to scientific criticism and downvoting (which are the proper channels to challenge someone).
So I didn't trust the moderation team since November, but I also couldn't identify any explicit moderation abuse, so I gave people the benefit of the doubt, and waited. The harassing stuff never resolved itself, I got called a Vladimir-lover, and "your friend Vladimir" and so on and so on, when I was just trying to preserve free speech for everyone, really, for selfish reasons, because once Vladimir is blocked, I'm certainly next.
So I got bad vibes from the moderators every time I came here. Then I got an email from Dilaton asking me if there was bad blood, I said "No", and I came back to the site thinking to get on with the science, since Vladimir clearly was being left alone, and I figured the moderation issue had resolved itself. I left a comment or two on science, checked meta, but that day was coincidentally the day after Vladimir had resigned in protest. So I threw a hissy fit, because I figured the forum was dead, and time to move on.
If others are like me, which I don't know, they were never put off by Vladimir's occasionally infuriating contributions, because these were never particularly influential. Rather, they were put off by the chilling effect of the moderator harassment of Vladimir, which make it impossible to have academic freedom of free discussion. You had not only to worry about the science, but also worry about what Dilaton would think of your comments. That's completely stifling to an academic discussion.
As I see it, moderation needs to be invisible to users, and as a user, not a moderator, it was not comfortable, even though I never felt personally in danger, because of my moderator status. Just my 2c, I am telling the whole truth.
Regarding "too few people come here", I believe that the people who left the site or became inactive watching were exactly like me, waiting to see how the moderation sorts itself out, but that may be a delusion of projecting one's own thoughts to others.
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