Let me throw in my complete agreement with the sentiment from John, larsb and others. I've attempted to not let this get under my skin, but as another example of a good thread gone bad - My Mobipus
controller discussion completely turned to crap and was unceremoniously locked without comment over a year ago, never to re-open. Same primary offender. Same constant posting as an absolute authority (in line with the username).
Generally his posts contain more than their share of half truths, common misconceptions or misguided/dangerous opinions, however mixed in with this is a genuine enthusiasm and a willingness to take things apart, buy unproven products and provide feedback for the communities benefit. For that reason I haven't escalated, as on reflection I thought perhaps the good outweighed the bad. In recent history that balance has swung hard towards the crazy end of the spectrum, resulting in gigantic red bold lettered spam containing the equivalent of 'NANANA I CAN'T HEAR YOU' in reply to civil responses and suggestions from well respected forum members - though doubtless this has been scrubbed from the record. From the other posters here, I now see that perhaps a lot was going on behind the scenes..
There is a wealth of information on these boards and one of the defining qualities of the discourse was the willingness of SMEs to call out misinformation and correct error where observed. Sometimes this lead to lively discussion - not a problem in of itself - but generally it was towards the benefit of us all, not the degradation of the individual. I feel perhaps any lively discussion held today would be met with 'THIS IS A SAFE SPACE' and a timeout, followed quickly by the departure of the knowledge and accumulated experience held by the poster.
I am not a fan *at all* of the white-washing, eradication or combination of thread content which renders the original conversation thread difficult to follow. If duplicate threads are created and conversation has progressed in both and weighed against benefit to the community you think a singular conversation would be better, then lock one with a link to the other similar topic along with your rationale. If people post offensive content or outright personal attacks, remove or edit the offending material and post an update to the thread with actions taken and reasoning. Transparency is important. Transparency may well exist, in the private moderator spaces and obscured threads but it's not real to the average forum user.
There's a significant amount of people like myself that read a great deal, learn a great deal and perhaps post relatively little - but think a great deal about when we post. It doesn't take a lot of BS for me to not post as I frankly have things I probably should be doing instead (like right now when I should be writing cloud infrastructure documentation). Please don't filter out the silent masses by pandering to vocal agitators. Soon you'll just have agitation.