Revenue may play a part, but perhaps not nearly as much as you suspect. I think that perhaps a reluctance to act for fear of compromising someone's right to free expression plays a bigger role.
When it comes to revenue - I suggest taking a look at the two alternative health sites that others have compared CZ too whilst lamenting CZ not having higher rankings and traffic. Mercola's site is filed with ads, albeit for his own products. And take a look at Natural News. Besides the Google Ads being much more prominently displayed, look at all the sponsors ads on each page now. Trust me, those cost an arm and a leg - the sponsor ads here at CZ are but a fraction. And that does not include the ads in the daily NN newsletter, which also cost some serious coins.
If revenue were the driving force here, then I suggest that CZ would look much more like NN or perhaps Mercola. Personally it wouldn't really bother me to see more aggressive and prominent advertising on CZ. The fact that we don't see it suggests to me that revenue is not as important as some perceive it to be.
Words show the intent of someone's heart
I have a hard time believing in most cases that those words made it anywhere near their heart before escaping from their brain..
I understand you points, but this is supposed to be a website for healing - and posts which stoop to name-calling, slurs and put-downs are anything but healing. I would also state that stress and emotions can very much have physical effects and thus words can indeed hurt you. Not everyone has the emotional make up to withstand being verbally assaulted, and I that is likely especially true for those who are suffereing from physical and mental problems who come to this forum for help and healing.
If TOS and the Webmaster's instructions say to attack the message and not the messenger, then either that should be enforced or else the rules and instructions should be tossed - and what a cess pool that would create!
There are plenty of no-rules cess pools out there which allow verbal abuse, I and a great many others don't want this to be one of them. If a person cannot debate on the merits of their own arguments without allowing their messages to become personal, then they should not be debating - at least not on this site.
I am not sure how difficult the programming might be and I know that it would take some extra work on the part of the moderators, but there could be a solution, and that is to have the ability to put members on "moderated" status where their messages have to be approved before they are posted.
That is how my Yahoo forum is set up and, though the Yahoo forum format leaves much to be desired in some areas, that feature works wonderfully. No one's right to express themselves freely without abusing others is denied, but spammers, flamers and those who want to get into personal attacks and name calling are first warned and then if need be put on moderated status where their messages have to be individually approved by one of the moderators. After a period, they can be returned to normal posting privileges with the possibility of again being put on moderated status if they return mis-behavior.
It also works well for those who have a problem with people disagreeing with their messages and want to continue to debate for no more reason that evidently insisting on having the last word if they cannot intimidate other members into submission.
In my opinion and experience of having the forum for over six years, that system is much better than having to chose between either allowing TOS violations and misbehavior to continue or outright banning someone. It is a way of saying "this is how the forum works, like it or not, and we will expect and enforce a certain amount of civility" and putting action behind the words.
Though it sounds like a lot of work, and it likely would be in the beginning, the tool is actually needed quite rarely. In part, that is because everyone who joins is put on moderated status for the first 60 days - or less if they have made enough posts to indicate that they are not there to spam, attack or disrupt. Knowing that the tool is there and that it will be used is plenty to keep it from having to be used except rarely.
I realize that having and using such a tool might result in some few people leaving the site. I think that the number would actually be quite small and that for the most part it would be "good riddance" if they left because they could no longer abuse other members or flaunt TOS rules. I also think that such a tool would prevent many, many more people from leaving who are turned off by the violations and attacks that continue to occur.
Granted, my Yahoo forum only has 2000 members and it is a single support forum - due to the limitations of the Yahoo format. That will likely change one of these days with a move to our own site where we can seperate topics and threads better and likely have a place for debate. One thing that will not change is the ability to put members on moderated status and it is something that I wish we had at CZ.
It appears to me that a great deal of CZ is not moderated at all at this time...
You may be right. Though a bit off-topic in regards to member behavior, I would say that the deplorable lack of ratings calling attention to important and good posts on the news forum would seem to back up what you are saying. How long has it been since we saw a rating on a post that originated in the News forum now? 60 days at least I believe.
The bottom line to me is that this is not supposed to be a free-for-all where anything goes. At least not according to TOS and WM's instructions. This is supposed to be a place of healing and as such it should be a relative civil place where fragile people in need of healing are not abused or turned away by those who are not willing to behave civilly.
I disagree. In support forums, people can only find what the message contains by reading it. I know we are talking primarily about debate forums here, but the mishavior is found in support forums too and in some of those moderation appears to be very lax. When it comes to debate forums, while there are obvious topics to be leery of for those who want to avoid contentiousness, such as politics and religion, there are also health topics which merit debate where members should be free to safely go to in order to see more than just the favorable post on support forums.
Support or debate, there is no need nor justification for personal attacks or abuse. Saying stay away is in my opinion a cop-out to excuse inexcusable behavior. No member here should fear going to any forum, and they should be able to participate and post in any forum without fear of being abused too. As I said earlier, there are plenty of cess pools on the internet where name calling, slurs and put-downs are allowed. By and large those places are not intended for healing. This one is, and such misbehavior is in no way healing.