Here's the thing: when you put humans in any space, they're going to fight about shit.
Open dialogue is a fine and wonderful thing. So wonderful, in fact, that people defenestrate one another about it.
Any time someone uses a text medium to devote any rampant thought to any argument, something gets lost. When you're talking to someone, sharing an opinion, it's more automatic: you can just say either a) "You're a fuckhead," for example, or b) "Wow, I wholeheartedly agree with your couth, reasoned insights about social behaviour." Not even in real life debate have I seen people blow up this way, about any topic. With text, or maybe it's just forum-style websites specifically, you're dealing with a person's opinions and thoughts at the time. There is no arguing with the text. It stands, somewhat timeless, for all to see. And sure, words can piss you off.
So, instead of shitting in each other's pants, is it not simpler to calmly, with adult bearing, say, "Hey man, I disagree. Here's why, in twelve lengthy points. Profanity may be used."
I don't think it's a topical problem, so much as it is an environmental one, here in the house that Al Gore built. I mean, sure, yeah, okay, I like writing as much as the next aspiring author, but it makes little sense to get up in arms because of a debate of questionable relevance, in a forum for writing. Someone makes one small slip of the tongue (or, in this case, finger), and it's a conflagration of well-meaning nodes, argument-quelling, and otherwise impotent behaviours. You'll have a writeup, and then, someone else's take on it, discussion groups, discussions about other people's discussion...am I the only one who sees it this way? A little weird?
Maybe it's just me, but bitching about the most recent and most likely candidate for the oh-so-coveted Butterfinger McFlurry Award certainly takes time that I could've spent writing something wonderful.
And you've all got fingers of your own. Write me something wonderful. I promise, I'll keep my own opinions down to twelve points.
With as little profanity as I can muster.