The heated topics have been in their own forum all along (and any topics that become heated are moved), but casual observers happen to stumble upon some of it. The general vibe, sometimes even the crap itself, spills out to the other forums. The mods and admins are constantly pestered by complaints about he said she said. So, if left alone, it's a danger not only to the user base, but to the people in charge. Suffice it to say, if they get run off, the whole thing goes down the toilet.
Unfortunately, the same poison took hold of another one of my sites years ago, and I was MIA. Everything went downhill from there, and I don't know if or how I can recover it. So, I'm definitely going to do something about it, because I know what happens if I do nothing...
What do you do with the "highly charged" stuff on your hot debates forum, and all of the stuff that results from it (if you even have one)?
If you had a hot debates forum go bad like this, what did you do to solve it?
My current thoughts are...it's a part of the community, almost like a child of its own mind, and it needs to be tended to (at least in some way that does not drive us bonkers), rather than just abandoned or closed down full-stop. Maybe a private forum, but with the invite being on the other side - i.e. ask to be let in, that way you're the only one to blame if your ruffles get feathered.