I would not want to be an Admin of this, or any other forum. It's a thankless job at the best of times and with what has been transpiring over the last few months being an Admin on this forum must be frustrating, aggravating, etc etc etc.
I, and I am sure many of the other forum members, REALLY do appreciate our Admins time and efforts.
True, it does have its downsides, and sometimes (well okay - often) as an admin, you're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't, but that comes with the territory. Thanks for the appreciation.
But (wish there weren't any of those ) I also believe it should be part of an Admins responsibility to avoid being sarcastic and/or condescending when responding to members.
There are times when comments from Admins (like JamesH above - not meaning to single you out James, just a recent example ) are made in a response to a specific members post, but the response content refers to "people, you, they". Such comments can be seen by forum members as being directed at all of us, rather than at the specific forum member(s) that might have waved a red rag. If Admins are purposely directing sarcastic or condescending comments at forum members as a whole then I see that is a problem.
We are all individuals, and admins come at this from many different perspectives, as do all posters. Whilst I agree that admins DO have an additional responsibility to maintain a certain standard, it can be very galling to have to keep going over the same arguments time after time. The easiest answer is for admins to delete wayward posts without explanation, and ban anybody who utters a dissenting remark, but that is not what the admins (although I'm only speaking from my own perspective - other admins may feel differently) want. Such a policy would surely stifle discussion, would not help anyone in the end, and would not be inline with the RPF quest for openness. Anybody is entitled to express an opinion, but not if they resort to swearing, personal attacks, or continuosly repeating the same old argument ad nauseum. That is certainly my main criterion when moderating.
We all have very different senses of humour, which is often a big part of the problem - not understanding whether a particular post is serious or not. Also, it is very easy to type out a quick response to something that somebody else says, without really understanding what was meant - or how it could be interpreted.
To my mind, the most useful piece of software that could ever be written is one that intercepts all outgoing posts, emails etc, holds them for (say) 24 hours, then redisplays them, with the incoming item that triggered the response, asking "IS that REALLY what (s)he meant? Did you REALLY mean to say this?"