Agreed. I'll answer your question in a moment ...
I've been online for 20+ years. The cycle of online human communication is *always* the same.
* Forum (BBS / newgroup / website) provides a common ground for people to share info. / tips / opinions
* Site is small as only the "geeks" use it
* Site gains Momentum and goes mainstream
* The crazies come out of the woodwork -- Name Calling / Ad Hominem / Trolls attack -- people keep forgetting authority needs accountability
* Moderators are either
a) 45% of the time non-existent
b) 45% of the time grammar/spelling/free-thought nazis where posters need to tow the party line,
c) 4% of the time does it rarely exist there are balanced moderators who allow a difference of opinion as long as it it kept civil and intelligent
d) 1% site allows members to self-moderate
* All the old members complain about "the good ole days" when the noobs / newbs / hipsters, etc. didn't drive the S/N from Signal into Noise
* New site starts that promises to be "Bigger, Better, Cheaper", etc.
* Old site membership is split as some members leave to check out "Awesome new site" (temporarily, others for good),
* Old site lingers but never really recovers from the mass influx of growth and decay.
* Rinse and Repeat ad nauseum.
What /. did innovate at the time was to allow the crapfest of usenet to be FILTERED. Reddit has mob rule when you get carpet modded into oblivion because people don't want their thinking challenged.
Newspaper used to exist because people saw the value in someone else filtering the amount of information to collect mostly signal and to present THAT to you so you didn't have to waste your time filtering the S/N.
Now to answer your question:
Why is *good* moderation so HARD?
1. Because it involves TRUST. Are you an expert? Prove it? etc.
2. The problem is that Truth is NOT only objective, but ALSO subjective. The majority fall into the fallacy of duality. "I'm right, THEREFORE you're wrong." instead of being humble and honest enough to admit. "My POV has + and -, Your POV has + and -. What *new* things can we learn from the difference and intersection of these strengths and weaknesses?"
As a Mystic I am able to see the Strengths and Weakness in *everything*. The question is NOT about simple-minded good vs evil, but about being able to have an open mind and consider ALL the possibilities: the short-term, the long-term, how the strengths of short-term thinking/action might eventually become the negative in the long-term, and vice versa, what did the negative teach us, etc. Most people are not able to communicate with clear, simple, logic free of mis-guided emotion, let analyze something to that depth.
Being passionate is fine. Be able to walk the line between Logic and Emotion -- yeah, we're all still trying to figure that one out. Especially when some noob / fanboi makes an ignorant comment and you just want to flame his ass for being a stupid git. :-)
cue oblg. xkcd ...
* "A Community Membership Life Cycle Model" http://arxiv.org/pdf/1006.4271.pdf