Well, when you moderate a big forum like MTF with so many members, the first thing you have to accept is that not everyone will agree with your way of doing things. However, the general lack of respect stems from the mods' lack of empathy and poor transparency. If you start taking big decisions (like permabans or very lengthy bans) in a more sensible manner, analysing each case by its own merits, maybe even opening up discussion on the forum and letting the offender defend itself, etc... you'll see that respect will immediately increase. I know it's a lot more work, but that's what real moderation is.
Tell me why exactly you expect people to respect moderators when decisons that like 80% disagree with (not just bans, but stuff like ending the ACC) are taking unilaterally without even letting the forum members give their views on it, without any dialogue? You might think moderators are unfairly villified, but you deserve every bit of it and then some due to complete lack of tact. I don't like Corey Feldman and won't miss him at all, but the only right way to deal with a case like his - especially with him being a poster with almost 100k posts, posting for 10 years, with a lot of friends here - would have been to subject his permaban to public discussion and open dialogue, with CF himself having a chance to defend himself. The advantages would be: much more transparency in the decision making, much more respect towards the moderating staff (yes, taking controversial decisions unilaterally will not earn anyone any respect), even if he did end up getting permabanned backlash from his defenders would be lesser since they'd have had the time to talk to him and find ways to keep in contact with him outside of MTF, which is impossible with the ban being so sudden.
Disrespect isn't inevitable; I have been in a position of authority over a group of people (granted not as a big as MTF's members) a few times online and in real life and never had such problems in any way whatsoever. Disrespect is only inevitable when you abuse your power and/or take decisions that displease most of the forum unilaterally. Moderating a forum with as many members at MTF is not an easy job and not everyone is cut out to do it, it takes a level of patience, common sense and empathy that not everyone is capable of, but that is no excuse to turn the moderator position into a purely figurehead position where mods are suppose to act like bots detecing infractions and punishing them automatically at all.
First off each case gets reviewed individually, particularly when it's a permaban. In Mikey's case there was a discussion and a vote. I know that it's only after a ban, but the posters do have the ability to email us with their thoughts and reasoning, it may not always been in place, but it is there now.
I don't really know how you expect a discussion to work on this forum to be honest. MTF is very cliquey as it is and I don't believe the discussion would result in anything even resembling something constructive. Posters will support their (always unjustly) banned favourites, while some will claim the person is a troll anyway and deserved what he was getting.
ACC has always been a highly controversial subject, always causing a lot of problems, people arguing, insults being thrown around, posts reported, people asking for it to be cancelled. And over the years we first tried to be stricter in enforcing the rules during the contest, but when not much progress was made, we decided it was for the best to remove it as a whole. I can guarantee that the contest does not have the support of 80% of the posters and that's also not the case with a lot of the objections. It's an impression you can get, cause of the nature of the protests, but that's misleading I believe. We get people PMing or repping us in support, when they don't feel like posting their support in public in order not to get attacked by the people against the decisions. That's just how it is.
Look, I've said it before and it has been established that if anything the longer the poster is here, the more it takes for him to get a permaban. What would've a discussion about Mikey changed, when he's been banned and warned tons of times and knew that he was on his final warning, which he has stated himself. I think his total suspensions have been of more than 2 years, I mean how long should mods keep turning a blind eye just cause someone has been here for so long and has so many friends, when the person themselves don't accept responsibility and don't change their approach.
Bingo. Except this is good, not bad. Taking everything into consideration before making a decision is the very definition of good moderation. We don't need moderators to blindly apply the rules without taking the circumstances of each case into account, you can get an automatic software to do that. As it stands, moderators on MTF are pretty much redundant. Also, how exactly are decisions that most disagree with for the good of the forum?
Who said anything about leaving decisions to the members? Ideally, moderators will decide but they will listen to the members' arguments first and take them into account when making their decision. This should be standard procedure whenever big decisions are concerned (like permabanning a very active poster or ending the ACC).
Why is it good? I think you're missing the point. In large part when it comes to bans, people don't disagree with the ban reason, but with the banning of their friend. It's like I don't care what he did or said to someone else and how they took it, I like him, he's been here for ages, you can't ban him. How's that fair and good for the forum? That's the wrong kind of democracy.
Only rules that applied blindly are rules that don't leave any doubt, like starting result threads before the match is over. Otherwise I don't think that's really the case.
I have no problem with hearing arguments, but they are few and far between and drowned out by all the bashing of a decision just because it happened to someone or something you like.