No, I don't. Unless the criticism crosses the line into attacks on the mod or mods. Are there situations when the distinction isn't very clear? Sure. But to me, when the criticism clearly turns into insults, the line is crossed.
Except this never actually happened in many threads conveniently closed for 'moderator bashing', this rule is so vague that it allows any mod to shut down criticism when he doesn't like what he's reading, as SliceAce put it.
First, it is different in the sense that the group "all gasquet fans" is not clearly defined, and therefore, all the members belonging to the group "all gasquet fans" are not individually identifiable. In contrast, every member of the group "all mods" is identifiable and can be pointed to individually. In fact, all mods are individually listed here
for your convenience. Because of that, calling all mods Nazis amounts to calling every single identifiable member of that group a Nazi, whereas calling all gasquet fans nazis doesn't amount to calling specifically identifiable individuals as nazis. For this reason, calling all mods Nazis is worse.
Second, referring to all members of a fan-base as Nazis can and has been infracted in the past. So I'm not sure I understand what your point is in making that comparison.
What? When you single out 'all Gasquet fans' you're definitely insulting specific people, namely those who declaredly support Gasquet. Not to mention that there are more Gasquet fans than MTF moderators so the number of people 'attacked' is far higher, regardless of whether they are identifiable or not. If I insult all Jews, not every member of the group is identifiable either, doesn't make it any different.
All its others flaws apart, this rule puts moderators on a pedestal, one that is not warranted at all. Personally attacking a moderator is not better or worse than attacking a normal member and shouldn't be treated differently.
I didn't say there is a constant attack on the mods. But mods are more likely to be attacked because people don't like it when the rules are enforced against them. It has nothing to do with doing a good job or bad job. To use a personal example, I have been attacked (not "criticized") for infracting someone for the use of a well-known racial slur against african americans, as well as for infracting someone for the use of a vulgar homophobic slur. Does the fact that I was attacked mean I was wrong for infracting those posts?
In any case, my likelihood of being attacked by those two posters was increased because of the fact that I am a mod. Had I not been one, I'm fairly certain I would never have to interact with those two individuals.
People don't like it and react negatively towards distant figures robotcally applying rules and pre-set infractions? Well, color me shocked, this is a completely unexpected collateral effect of the way MTF is (not) moderated, no one could have seen this coming. Oh wait...
Do you even understand why posts like those are the norm instead of the rare exception? It all goes back to the way MTF is (not) moderated; members' MTF 'persona' and the type of people who join in (and their intentions) upon reading the forum for the first time is a direct result of the general atmosphere on MTF. You saw those racial/homophobic slurs and you took the easy/lazy way out by dishing out an infraction on the users, which seems all well and good on paper, but in reality couldn't be any more counterproductive.
If instead you had stepped into the thread in question and actively moderated the discussion using tact and common sense (editing said post, sensibly alerted them that such slurs were out of line...), odds are those users would have got the message much better and improved their behavior and they'd not have attacked you. If this was a regular practice (moderators stepping in/actively moderating the site), the quality of the discussion and the overall atmosphere of the forum would improve, not to mention the forum would probably end up moderating itself at some point for the most part.
I reiterate: applying rules robotically and dishing out pre-set infractions/bans does not and will never improve the forum's quality or reduce the overall trolling/bad atmosphere. Well on the contrary, it does even more damage, it is counterproductive