Hi, all! Long time, no see.
I had this urge to join a conversation, but it turned out the thread was old, and I didn’t want to bump its obsolete main topic. Therefore, I try this unconventional approach instead:
I am sensitive to all caps too. I read them to myself (in my head) as shouting, and it kind of hurts mentally, similarly to how real shouting would. When applied to a shorter segment, it becomes abrupt shouting, which in a way is actually even worse than when applied to the whole paragraph. Again, that is how I read them.
This is a great example of how not all important aspects of verbal communication are reliably conveyed through writing. Interestingly, @rrrr_rrrr refers to their intention as the true meaning, whereas @Mugen87 (initially) refers to his interpretation as the true meaning. (At least that is my interpretation. ) The example was “low-stake” and apparently had nearly no risk of becoming a conflict. That will not always be the case, though.
Mismatch between intention and interpretation can occur over any communication channel, but I think an informal technical web forum with many nationalities represented can be particularly vulnerable.
The quotes also contain another example, which is an apparent ambiguity regarding what constitutes moderation, with moderator @Mugen87 “confessing” to have moderated merely by providing what looked like friendly advice. I can imagine two reasons why: 1. Because the advice was actually intended as a (mild) warning. 2. Because it could be perceived as such. In my opinion, both would be valid reasons for @Mugen87 to consider the advice as moderation.
Common understanding enables fruitful discussion, and is a common responsibility. I encourage everyone to always (everywhere) strive for clarity and tolerance. Remember that the appearance of hostility may stem from a misunderstanding. Try to interpret an incoming message in a way that favors the sender.
The same principles are relevant for moderation practices. For example, deleting an offending post/comment, rather than suspending/hiding it, can easily be (mis)interpreted as hostility, possibly fueled by loss of produced content, or by lack of clear and benevolent communication.
(I do not pretend to be a perfect practitioner of the principles I put forth, but it is a goal.)