On some message boards, moderators have a higher comfort level with discord than the moderators here. On other moderated forums where I post, disrespect isn't considered a reason for closing a thread. Nor does it matter if the subject takes on a life of its own, veering and staying off the original topic. Or if OP has abandoned the thread. I understand sensitivity to how newcomers might construe some of the arguments. But seriously, anyone getting into animal rights or veganism will encounter scathing discord pretty soon. It's part of the territory and part of the education: what the different sides say, how much sense they make to you personally, the kinds of personalities you'll encounter, which ones seem unhinged, which ones might be trolls, which ones just think you're an idiot, how to examine your own beliefs and stake out and defend your own position -- or change your own position, for that matter. Banning hateful exchange here can appear to mean "we'd really hate for people to get the right idea."
It's the moderators who do the work, and it's up to the moderators to decide when to lock. On message boards where I've moderated, I very seldom locked a thread. The few times I did, it felt like a sore defeat and a little like a death. Nearly always, threads under threat of being locked are also the most active threads on a forum, the most invigorating, stimulating exchanges going on at the time. For me, it took a toxic form of piling-on with bullying overtones, or threats of physical harm to justify locking. And it always followed warnings to individuals on both sides of the fracas. I've never seen discord at that level on VB
, certainly nothing that was ever lobbed my way.