The banning of JL-95 occurred in private messages and normally I might not bother to write up a report on that since what happened in private could just as easily stay in private. However, JL was a fairly significant figure on this forum, being an ex-moderator and all. The following is my report on his banning.
JL was a moderator for this forum and its predecessor, about 2 years on both. In that time he was fairly reliable as an ally and very amenable to carrying out forum policy. He was a decent moderator from that perspective. His weakness was somewhat of an inaccurate carrying out of some policies and a lot of things needing to be explained that shouldn't be. Regardless, this was an insignificant problem.
Our first and only real falling out came over a debate over the shooting of Trayvon Martin. At my insistence, I requested that JL continually debate me and not withdraw over fear of being banned over it. I believed (and still do believe) that this had to be the case for several reasons: (1) he wanted to withdraw out of fear of being banned, which is absurd and inappropriate for his position, (2) I stick to the forum rules practically 100% and by debating me he would gain invaluable experience in the use of the forum rules, and (3) he wanted to debate the issue and it was only fear that was holding him back and he should be able to debate what he wants to.
We had our debate and I felt that some of JL's arguments were dishonest and I said so. He replied in kind and I called those lies. At that point he resigned in private and I said that he should stay. I felt he had potential and I had already invested a lot in him as a moderator. Among some of his comments were some insults that I initially overlooked but later came to realize were really not something I should overlook so easily. I retaliated against this like 2-3 weeks later and I made it fairly clear that I was retaliating for those comments.
At this point, JL was pretty cool about it and basically apologized for having thrown those insults in the first place. He asked if we could be friends. I said yes. I later regretted this. Not for anything he would do afterwards, but because I did not like the way he put it to me. He put it to me by saying something along the lines of but you said we were friends, I guess I should just discard that. That was the part I didn't like. It was an assumption that there was no eroding of our friendship and instead making it an issue of me supposedly breaking my word. What I belatedly realized was that I should never have accepted an offer of friendship put in that way.
After having overlooked the dishonest way in which this was put, I accepted his offer of friendship, then after I realized how much I didn't like the way he put it, I reneged and said that we were no longer friends. No insults were attached, no talking about him was attached, no de-modding was attached. I simply said that we are not friends and that he could stay as moderator or not and that it didn't matter which.
In any case, me reneging on our friendship was the last straw for JL. He again rattled off some more insults at me and resigned. To his insults, I banned him and retaliated with an insult. To this day we still trade some rather nasty insults via e-mail.
Did I make mistakes? Sure. I made two. The first in my delayed retaliation, and the second in saying we were friends and then after a few days withdrawing that. Do either of those justify what JL did? No. A delayed retaliation to insults does not justify the insults. Withdrawing friendship does not justify insults and breaking the forum rules.
From this exchange, I have learned a lot of things and I don't view it as a total loss, not by a long shot. What I have learned from it has been very valuable to me and to the future of the forum. I have incorporated several things in the forum rules which I think will prevent the situation, if not make it not more clear-cut who is right and who is wrong should a similar incident occur.
That concludes my report.