The nature of your comment can go very deep, right into the nature of human interactions. The points raised in your attached document are a small illustration of general human interactions that happen everywhere and all the time. By interactions with other humans, 99.9999% of interactions have an aim to infulence or guide responses and reactions. I mention this because it is a basic and natural part of human behaviour, and analysis of any interactions will yeild these kinds of observations.
Now intentional manipulation is another matter all together, and this can be divided into the aims of manipulating this in a beneficial direction or manipulating things in an unbeneficial direction. Manipulation is just another word for influencing.
For example the Buddhas descriptions of Right Speech, are designed to influence people to behave in beneficial ways.
This forum explicitly states what kinds of behaviours, and the kind of community that we wish to foster. There is nothing insidious or devious about it. It is stated up-front, that individuals participate here on the understanding that they agree with and accept the guidelines. This is what drives moderator actions.
However, moderators are just human beings We discuss issues as a team to try and minimise personal bias, and to be as fair in applying the guidelines as possible. However, it will not be perfect… that is just the nature of reality. Mistakes will be made - but they are never done so with a negative intent.
Outside influences. It is a very difficult and complex job to moderate ‘public’ input. If moderators notice specific attempts to manipulate the forum by individual participants or groups, or even by fake accounts, we do our best to deal with it.
We have recently been discussing exactly these issues, they are not easy. However, an aspect that members may not be aware of is the extent of forum users who are silent. It is only about .001 % of forum users who post. That’s right 1/1,000. Now we also have a duty to look after the interests of those users, not just those who are posting.
Given the very clear outline of the purpose and expectations of SC D&D, it is up to forum members to align themselves to the forum, and not the other way around. This is not a “publicly” owned platform. It is resourced by SC and is operated with specific goals in mind. Therefore it is not open to a ‘democratic’ process of changing the focus or the nature of the forum. Of course any well functioning service of this kind, takes user input very seriously - the aim is for win -win outcomes. But still one must remember just how small the percentage of “vocal” members is. The moderators are aware of this and take it into account - but it will be invisible to other service users.
This is my personal opinion, though it is informed through experience of being a moderator as well as through many discussions with the Mods and Admins here.
I hope that it puts things in greater perspective for you.