It really all comes down to whether you truly believe in free speech or not. The ningmaster, apparently, does not.
No, it really comes down to whether or not the servers that the website you're on has any rules about certain behaviors, and then whether or not the site owners/runners have any rules about certain behaviors. John and Hank Green may not, but the ning providers do as outlines in section 14 of the terms of service.
The ningmaster's job is not to come up with rules, unless that's the power delegated to them by John and Hank, but to enforce the rules already made. Arguably, he did that. He saw someone that was breaking the rules made by the ning and that you were required to read when making an account to this website and he took action to have them removed. The question is whether or not the crime fits the time, and that's not up to any of us but to John and Hank or the owners of the ning.
How can you stand by this decision? Banning someone for offending you is utterly ludicrous. What gives you the power to revoke anyone's right to free speech? No one has that power, let alone someone simply running an internet forum.
The fact that this has happened needs to be immediately addressed. This should not have happened. And, I'm sorry, well no, I'm really not sorry, but this decision needs to be revoked. And it needs to be avoided in the future. And the people of the Ning do, as you suggested, need to have a say in how it's governed, if indeed it needs to be. An eye should be kept out for spam and porn, but the posters should in no way be controlled.
Just to be clear, this website is private property, and so, because LZ is not a government, he does have that authority legally.
The question is now whether this forum really belongs to the Ningmasters. Not legally, but simply in terms of who should decide what opinions and tactics we can and cannot read. I contend that the Ningmasters simply exist to serve us, and that this site, as a place for the users, should be open to all opinions and rhetorical styles. Free speech is sacred to a menagerie of members of this forum, and those who disagree with free speech should argue against it in an open forum rather than banning those they dislike. I've written more than enough arguments on this matter throughout over 6,000 other posts, and you already rationally and eloquently explained to LZ precisely why he is wrong.
"How can you stand by this decision? Banning someone for offending you is utterly ludicrous. What gives you the power to revoke anyone's right to free speech? No one has that power, let alone someone simply running an internet forum."
But since he doesn't have that power, Decepticon isn't banned, so this discussion is superfluous!
("You can't do that!" "What do you mean, 'you can't do that'? I just did!")