IMO, they are really after Political Asylum and any others (I personally d/n/k) like it.
I agree. But this isn’t going to solve the problem.
The problem is lack of actual moderators. Two of the most successful and popular boards here (at least on the free side of things) are METAR and Saul’s. Those boards are definitely moderated. METAR is kept on track by Wendy, who I have compared to an iron fist in a velvet glove. Saul dispenses with the velvet glove for his board.
PA and similar are, frankly, barely moderated. Anything and everything goes - almost. There are a few minimal standards, standards that don’t always include civility. Moderation only happens via reported posts, and the response to such reporting is inconsistent and irregular. That makes the moderation utterly ineffective.
Most other boards, including stock boards, simply don’t get enough traffic to generate much concern. Things way out of bounds for those boards get either reported or ignored (or both). And on those boards, the responses to reported posts seem to be much more effective in keeping the boards on their rails.
After the cutoff date, the undesirable posts and/or posters will continue on other boards. Any place they can garner the attention they desire. METAR and Saul will pretty quickly dispense with these undesirables, but other boards may not.
The bottom line for me is that self-policing isn’t going to work consistently. Undesirable posts will infiltrate some boards, but will get policed out of others. And if they get entrenched on some particular board, the self-policing idea will utterly disappear. That’s already happened on two boards which have had to be reclassified from investing to political - the two flavors of Retire Early.
Years ago, there was only one retire early board, and it discussed retiring early. (Strange, that). But then political posts began to be tolerated on that board, and then only one side of political discussions was tolerated. So a second board was opened - ostensibly to get back to early retirement discussions, but in reality it just became the home for a different side of the political debate. Eventually, both were turned completely over to politics and classified as such.
The same thing will happen after certain non-financial boards are closed. The political debates will move elsewhere and will grow unless moderated out. If TMF doesn’t want that to happen, they need to provide adequate moderation to prevent it from happening. And if they’re willing to do that, they could just keep all of the existing boards open.
So I am not optimistic that these changes will have the desired outcome. But I will stick around to see what happens.