martinibuster - 6:48 pm on Mar 4, 2013 (gmt 0)
I don't recall that the data concluded that moderation helps communities grow. It only concludes that unfettered expression leads to polarization of opinions. I believe the title of this discussion is misleading because the article does not support the contention that it puts forth.
The study showed that a lack of moderation has a polarizing effect on opinions. But there is no conclusion offered that moderation will help grow a forum. It seems that many of the most popular forums across most any niche contains various degrees of wild and wooly interactions that point to a lack of moderation. A lack of moderation hasn't prevented those highly popular forums across a range of topics from growing.
I believe that moderation of member expression can inhibit the growth of a forum. There's an upside and downside to running a forum that could be bigger but nastier as well as smaller and nicer. I believe it is exceedingly rare to have it both ways, to be both large and civil.