Jon, I appreciate that maybe the troll problem is not your main concern, but it’s getting really ridiculous when they are allowed to make multiple accounts and post multiple threads in which they play their reindeer games and abuse, harass, and waste the time of decent, productive posters. The CA paid mods obviously can’t be on call 24/7, and it often takes hours or even a day before one shows up. Flagging and hiding threads can only do so much if the person is determined to keep up the bad behavior for hours, especially since users each have a limited number of flags available.
It takes a toll on good posters to have to constantly put up with this stuff, and without a good way of quickly nipping it in the bud, the problem simply returns again and again. I think this is one problem that everyone can all agree is a problem. It is not a question of a difference in viewpoints, or a generally good poster having a bad day and getting into an argument with somebody over politics or women’s clothing or whatever. This is the Internet equivalent of those who write on walls or disrupt classes in school.
It seems like the Discourse model, like many models for Internet discussion, wanted to assume the best of people and that folks would generally post in good faith and not make a bunch of troll threads or disrupt multiple discussion threads or keep returning over and over under different account names. Or else it assumed there would be sufficient moderators to deal with this stuff timely so folks weren’t exposed to it over and over and the vandalism didn’t sit on the forum for hours on end.