As far as I'm concerned, if someone is here for the sole purpose of being disruptive, The Isthmus would do the board a favor by removing them. Persistent trolls will return, and they often have, so you simply remove them again. It's not about free speech and it's not about only allowing members who agree with one another, it's about making sure that members are interested in discussions rather than simply fomenting anger and frustration.
Personally, I don't think it's difficult to tell who's who and I think we've lost a few valuable members (Kurt W comes to mind) who simply got tired of their serious threads being hi-jacked by people who had no real interest in discussing the topic... and wanted to make sure no one else discussed the topic either.
A more liberal deletion of threads posted for the sole purpose of being inflammatory would help as well.
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